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Hergé, Tardi, Paul Cuvelier, and Hugo Pratt featured in Artcurial's Comic Strips sale
Hergé, Tintin au Congo, china ink, crayon and white gouache blanche for this third plate from the album published in 1937 by Casterman publishers (estimate : 300 000 – 500 000 € / 330 000 – 550 000 $) © Hergé/Moulinsart 2015.

PARIS.- Artcurial’s Comic Strips sale on 21 November will celebrate the big names of what is known as the ‘9th art’. There will be an entire section devoted to Hergé, the creator of Tintin and also for the first time, a section dedicated to Tardi comprising some 26 works. Comic Strip authors from the 20th and 21st century will be represented by Hugo Pratt, Enki Bilal and Moebius. In early October 2015, Artcurial organised its first sale of western Comic Strips in Asia and achieved strong results including two world records for works by Enki Bilal and Moebius.

“Quality works are getting harder and harder to find. The world of Comic Strips has recently witnessed a renewed enthusiasm. Our new clients come from all backgrounds, the majority have previously been collecting contemporary and modern art and appreciate the graphical and historical side of collecting Comic Strips - a world which represents the 20th century and ties in with Pop Art.” Explained Eric Leroy, Comic Strip expert at Artcurial.

The section dedicated to Tintin will present rare adventure albums by the young Belgian reporter and unmissable original drawings by Hergé. Two particularly important works will be on offer at the auction:

• The third plate for the 1937 edition of Tintin in Congo (estimate 300 000 - 500 000 € / 330 000 – 550 000 $). In this drawing, Hergé takes pleasure in improvising a simple, almost child like exoticism. The story, which initially featured in the pages of the Petit Vingtième in the early 1930s, offers an insight into a new world. The light and fragile trace of the lines get lost in the overall context. For the first time, the illustrator thinks about the reader – the triangular composition oozes suspense. One can see Tintin who appears to be dreaming and awaiting a fawn like creature. His dog, Milou is asleep and will comment later on and the evil -looking leopard man who surrounds them adds tension to the scene.

• An impressive crayoned plate for Coke en stock (estimate 180 000 - 220 000 € / 198 000 – 242 000 $). The drawing follows Captain Haddock’s outbursts. Tintin remains calm and the artist’s energy is concentrated on the Captain’s rage, depicted with movement and details which provide a framework for the page. The Captain gets carried away and his behaviour mirrors the explosive style of Hergé’s drawing.

Artcurial will devote an entire section to the world of Tardi, comprising 26 works. This is the first time that there has been an auction sale dedicated to the artist. Collectors will be able to acquire a group of important charcoal drawings that formed part of the exhibition Tardi en banlieue (organised in 1990 at the Escale gallery); superb illustrations for Voyage au bout de la nuit and Mort à crédit by Louis-Ferdinand Céline, and canvases from the series, Tardi par la fenêtre.

“Organising this sale event is a great opportunity. Tardi is not only the creator of Adèle Blanc-Sec and Nestor Burma, but also one of the major authors of the ninth art. He is someone who, like Hergé, Edgar P. Jacobs and Enki Bilal, has crossed the boundaries of traditional comic books to offer readers a real artistic adventure.” explained Eric Leroy, Comic Strip expert at Artcurial.

Tardi began his career drawing for Pilote in 1970. In 1976, the public was introduced to the first episodes of the adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, Adèle et la Bête and Le Démon de la tour Eiffel. From 1981, in the magazine (À Suivre), he developed the character of Nestor Burma from the novels of Léo Malet : Brouillard au pont de Tolbiac (1982), 120, rue de la gare (1988), Casse-pipe à la Nation (1996).

Passionate about the late Belle Époque and the First World War, 5 (Le Trou d’obus, 1984 ; C’était la guerre des tranchées, 1993), Tardi also illustrated the work of Louis-Ferdinand Céline : Voyage au bout de la nuit (1988), Casse-pipe (1989), Mort à crédit (1991).

In two major exhibitions, Tardi has shown his works on paper (Tardi en banlieue, Escale gallery, 1990) and his paintings (Tardi par la fenêtre, Christian Desbois gallery, 1996).

The final section of the sale will gather album and original works from some of the biggest French and International artists of the Comic Strip world.

Paul Cuvelier, one of the four legendary illustrators from Tintin (alongside Hergé, Edgar P. Jacobs and Jacques Laudy), will be represented by three impressive boards, two for Les Nouvelles aventures de Corentin Feldoë (12 000 – 18 000 € / 13 200 – 19 800 $), one for Le Poignard magique (6 000 – 8 000 € / 6 600 – 8 800 $).

Other highlights include Franquin with Gaston Lagaffe (estimate 70 000 – 90 000 € / 77 000 – 99 000 $); Hugo Pratt and two great adventures from Corto Maltese, Les Éthiopiques (estimate 40 000 – 50 000 € / 44 000 – 55 000 $) and Les Celtiques (estimate 25 000 – 30 000 € / 27 500 – 33 000 $).

Collectors of Americain Comic Strips can admire a rare oil on panel by Carl Banks, Uncle Scrooge (estimate 22 000 – 25 000 € / 24 200 – 27 500 $) taken from the famous Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Collectors will also discover works from the modern period with Enki Bilal and the cover of Vaisseau de pierre (120 000 – 150 000 € / 132 000 – 165 000 $), Froid Équateur (25 000 – 30 000 € / 27 500 – 33 000 $) and an illustration of Reptilienne for the cover of the Magazine, Pilote (13 000 – 18 000 € / 14 300 – 19 800 $); Jean Giraud is also featured with several impressive plates from Blueberry, (estimate 10 000 – 15 000 € / 11 000 – 16 500 $)

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