Billions of blistering barnacles! Snowy sketch goes for $1.12m

Lifestyle

Billions of blistering barnacles! Snowy sketch goes for $1.12m

Admittedly, it's a pretty significant drawing that any Tintin super-fan would give Red Rackham's treasure to own

Tymon Smith

It’s 26.6cm x 28.7cm in size and shows a black and white line drawing of a dejected young man sitting under an aeroplane with a broken propeller while a bandaged dog looks on. It also sold for $1.12m at a Heritage Auctions sale of European comic art in Dallas, Texas recently.

That’s because the drawing is one of the few original magazine cover drawings available in the public domain of the world’s most famous young intrepid reporter Tintin. It’s also the original drawing used for the first published magazine appearance of Belgian creator Hergé’s beloved character on the February 13 1930 cover of Le Petit Vingtième, the children’s supplement of conservative Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle.

The stories published there would later be collected and published as Tintin in the Land of the Soviets – regarded these days as Hergé’s weakest work and only ever released in black and white, seen by many aficionados as a sign that the Belgian cartoonist was embarrassed by his early anti-Communist manifesto for children. It is however seen as important in laying the groundwork for the style for which he would become so well known and that would see the publication of 22 full-colour Tintin adventures before Hergé’s death in 1983...

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