February 24, 2012 12:20pm PT by Andy Lewis
Unique ‘Calvin & Hobbes’ Illustration Fetches $107,550 at Auction
The only piece of original art by creator Bill Watterson for public sale more than doubled its presale estimate.
The original cover drawing for the 1989-1990 Calvin & Hobbes calendar sold for $107,550 at auction yesterday. The price more than doubled auctioneer Heritage Auctions presale estimate of $50,000. The name of the buyer was not disclosed.
The drawing features Calvin and his toy tiger (that is real in Calvin's imagination) Hobbes sleeping under a tree.
The art was a gift from artist Bill Watterson to comics historian Rick Marschall–whose name is inscribed on it–and has been in his private collection for the last twenty years.
This is the only piece of original art from the comic series that ran from 1985-1995 ever offered for public sale. Creator Bill Watterson never licensed Calvin & Hobbes for t-shirts or toys. Calendars and books collecting the strip were the only products ever offered.
More Calvin & Hobbes art is unlikely to show up on the auction market again. The notoriously reclusive Watterson--he's only given one published interview since 1989--deposited his entire archive at The Ohio State University's Museum of Cartoon Art. Reportedly a few individual strips have changed hands on the private market, but nothing had ever been offered for sale at a public auction.
Several other pieces of original comic art sold for high prices at the same auction. The cover for 1966'sAmazing Spider-Man Annual no. 3 by John Romita, Sr. sold for 104,562.50.
Other notable sales include a page from Batman: Dark Knight Returns no. 1 for $50,787.50, a Steve Ditko-illustrated page from Amazing Spider-Man no. 22 for $44,812.50 and a two-page spread from Watchmen no. 4 for $26,290.