Dallas, Texas - The Belgium-based Boon Foundation for Narrative Graphic Arts cast the $600,000 winning bid to add the original art for the eight-page story Master Race (EC 1955) to its collection of artworks from comic strips and graphic novels.
Heritage Auctions offered the original art for the first time since its publication in 1955 at a public auction of vintage comic books and comic art held Thursday, Nov. 15, in Dallas, Texas.
“These eight pages date from 1955 and were the first major representation of the Holocaust in the history of graphic narrative,” said Daniel Spindler, a representative of the Boon Foundation. “Master Race is one of the world masterworks of graphic narrative.”
Created in Belgium in June 2018 by Philippe Boon, the Boon Foundation for Narrative Graphic Arts houses several thousand works, in particular strip comics and graphic novels. This collection of artifacts, illustrations and original pages stands at the heart of a vast cultural project dedicated to the narrative graphic arts. A permanent venue will be opened shortly to the public in Brussels, and travelling exhibitions will be organized.
“The foundation’s mission statement to ‘share, enthrall and preserve’ matches Heritage Auctions’ mission perfectly,” said Jim Halperin, Co-Founder of Heritage Auctions. “We’re thrilled that this artwork, for one of the most critically acclaimed comic stories of all time, will tour the world on public display.”
Frequently called the Citizen Kane of comic books, Master Race is a powerful look at the effects of Nazi concentration camp atrocities upon those who survived them, while retaining EC Comics’ signature "twisted" ending. EC Comics co-editor Bill Gaines and writer Al Feldstein developed the important Holocaust story, but critics point to Bernie Krigstein’s storytelling artwork that perfected the piece and influenced the comic genre for more than 60 years.
Master Race was the cover feature for Impact #1, one of EC's "New Direction” wave of books, which was released in 1955. Krigstein's jaw-dropping formal invention of mirroring previous panels and layouts from one page to another became an iconic template for both mainstream and underground cartoonists for many decades to come.