It's Not Every Day You Get to See an Original Calvin and Hobbes Piece In Person. (Or Buy It.)
|Courtesy Heritage Auctions|
|One of the few Calvin and Hobbes originals ever to come on the auction market's now residing at the corner of Oak Lawn and Maple. For now.|
Like that Frank Miller Dark Knight Returns piece that sold in May for an astounding $448,125, this is Holy Grail stuff: The reclusive Watterson, who stopped the strip around this time in 1995, donated his entire collection of original artwork to The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Heritage sold off a smaller piece in '07 for around $14,000. Todd Hignite, Heritage's consignment director for the Comic and Illustration Art division, says this will open at around $50,000 -- but expects it could go for Batman prices or much, much higger.
|Hignite and his (very temporary) prized possession|
The piece comes from the collection of Rick Marschall, "konic konnoisseur," who Hignite's known for years. Marschall's selling it reluctantly, says Hignite, "but the time had come." It arrived in Dallas a couple of weeks ago and will stay here till it's taken to auction in New York in February.
"I've never heard of a published watercolor even existing on the market and know of only four, five things of his on the market," says Hignite, who, during our chat, would occasionally glance lovingly at the piece sitting on his desk. "Watterson donated virtually everything to Ohio State. He's a very private guy, but it's always been my understanding the only work that got out was stuff he donated to friends or traded. This piece doesn't have a reserve, so it'll sell for what it sells for, but there are no real auction comps to value it. I tend to be on the conservative side but, but you can't predict the high end at auction."