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Drawing used in first published Tintin cover sells for $1.5m

WASHINGTON An original drawing used for the first published Tintin cover was sold at an auction on Saturday in Dallas for US$1.12 million (S$1.53 million), the Heritage Auctions house told AFP.

The identities of the seller and buyer have not been released.

The illustration, by Tintin creator Herge (the pseudonym of Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who died in 1983), shows the young reporter sitting on a tree stump carving a makeshift propeller for his plane. His dog, Snowy, sits and watches.

The beloved Tintin books have been translated into more than 70 languages, but in 1929, 22-year-old Herge was telling the journalist's story in the pages of Le Petit Vingtieme (The Little Twentieth), a children's supplement to a Belgian newspaper.

The serialised Tintin stories proved so popular that soon, Le Petit Vingtieme published them in 16-page instalments instead of the original eight, and on Feb 13, 1930, Tintin made the cover.

It was only months later that the first book in what was to be a series of two dozen - Tintin In The Land Of The Soviets - was published. More than 200 million Tintin books have now been sold worldwide.

Most of the old Tintin cover illustrations are on display at the Herge museum in the Belgian town of Louvain-la-Neuve, according to the Heritage Auctions catalogue.

The sold drawing, in India ink and gouache, was signed by Herge. Heritage Auctions said the illustration was one of the "rare cover illustrations signed by Herge in private hands", as well as the oldest.

- AFP

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