Superheroes and super artists drove Heritage’s Comics & Comic Art Auction to an impressive total of $6,670,739. The sale was held over August 2-4, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. Active bidding on the Frank Frazetta Escape on Venus painting original art pushed it to $660,000, taking the top spot in the auction. The cover image was done for the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel’s 1974 reissue (Escape on Venus was created in ’72 and was released as a print later in the decade).
“The result for this painting continues a trend of Frazetta paintings that have enjoyed enormous success in our auctions,” Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President Ed Jaster said. “Frank Frazetta was known for painting strong, sensuous women in fantastic environments. Escape on Venus is a prime example of his ability to paint in a way that directs the focus of those viewing his paintings to a specific place. In this painting, the trees and plants around the borders of the painting are done in subtle, muted tones, sending the focus back to the tiger and the woman in the center of the image.”
It was the third highest price achieved at Heritage for a Frazetta painting, behind the Death Dealer 6 painting original art that hit $1,792,500 in May 2018 and the At the Earth’s Core paperback cover original art that cleared $1,075,500 in August 2016.
The Incredible Hulk #1 CGC 9.0 featuring the origin and first appearance of the Hulk smashed its way to $264,000. Gene Colan and Bill Everett Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 original cover art soared to over twice the preauction estimate by selling for $240,000.
John Romita Sr. Amazing Spider-Man #55 original cover art with a closeup of Doctor Octopus was also popular with bidders, closing at $105,000. Jack Kirby and Chic Stone Tales of Suspense #60 splash page 1 original art depicting Captain America nearly doubled the preauction estimate to hammer for $96,000. Wally Wood Weird Science #22 original cover art with sci-fi/horror art yielded $90,000.
Additional highlights included Jack Kirby and Paul Reinman X-Men #1 page 5 original art that cleared $72,000, Detective Comics #35 CGC 9.2 Larson Pedigree reached $66,000, Bernie Wrightson Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly’s Frankenstein unused illustration original art brought $60,000, and Barry Smith Conan the Barbarian #5 original cover art ended at $60,000.
The auction also contained 23 Star Wars action figures, which accumulated $201,180 in bids. Highlights were a loose Bib Fortuna action figure prototype AFA 85 for $31,200, Obi-Wan Kenobi first shot prototype figure with yellow lightsaber for $20,400, and Luke Skywalker double-telescoping 12-back-C figure for $15,600.