Dallas, TX - History has a chance to repeat itself when Frank Frazetta Escape on Venus Painting Original Art (1972) (est. $500,000+) is expected to claim top-lot honors at Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction Aug. 2-4 in Dallas, Texas.
If that ends up happening, the events will mirror those that took place at the firm’s comics auction in Chicago, which was held in May. Another Frazetta painting, Death Dealer 6, sold for nearly $1.8 million to boost the total return from that auction to just over $12 million. Each was a world record.
“Any time world records fall, that’s a tough act to follow,” Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President Ed Jaster said. “On the other hand, Frank Frazetta’s paintings are enormously popular, and is one of many exceptional lots in this auction, which has options sure to entice collectors of all levels.”
Created in 1972, Escape on Venus was used as the cover of the 1974 re-issue of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel of the same name, and also was released as a print later in the 1970s. Known for his ability to depict sensuous, strong women in fantastic environments, Frazetta loved to challenge himself, which often meant varying his technique and palette. This technique is part of the explanation for his ability to help observers direct their focus where he wanted. In this case, the brightly colored tiger, with its piercing yellow-green eyes, and the knife-wielding woman draped in jewels draw the viewer’s attention, while the trees and plants around the borders of the painting are done in more subtle, muted earth tones, which only increases the focus on the woman and tiger in the middle of the image.
A copy of Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel, 1962) CGC VF/NM 9.0 Off-white to white pages (est. $300,000+) is such a prized Marvel key in this grade that Heritage Auctions has offered only two in a higher grade. Ranked #2 on Overstreet’s list of the Top 50 Silver Age Comics, this issue includes the origin and first appearance of the Hulk. The first issue in the original series is the only one in which the title character appeared in grey, before ultimately turning green in what is widely accepted as a continuation of the process that made Dr. David Banner turn into the Hulk. Other characters also abandoned their original grey looks: Iron Man upgraded his armor from grey to gold, while one of the original X-Men, The Beast, evolved from his original grey look to a blue and black hue.
The “Special Once-In-A-Lifetime” proclamation on the cover of Gene Colan and Bill Everett Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1968) (est. $100,000+) is no exaggeration. Iron Man and Namor the Sub-Mariner appeared together after each had shared a title with other characters: Namor had teamed with the Hulk in Tales to Astonish, and the Hulk kept that numbering, while Iron Man had paired up with Captain America in Tales of Suspense in a series from which Captain America kept the numbering. The end result of the dual splits was Namor and Iron Man joining forces for this single-issue series, after which they split broke out into their own individual titles, so each enjoyed multiple #1 issues - one shared and one individual.
John Romita Sr. Amazing Spider-Man #55 Cover Doctor Octopus Original Art (Marvel, 1967) (est. $100,000+) offers the genesis of one of the most striking comic covers anywhere. This stunning image shows an extreme close-up image of supervillain Doctor Octopus, who is engaged in a battle with Spider-Man, who can be seen in the reflection of Doc Ock’s glasses. The image, positioned over a banner blaring “DOC OCK WINS!” is done by legendary artist John Romita, Sr., in twice-up scale in ink over graphite on Bristol board, cut and affixed to the larger Bristol board for a total image area of 13-1/4 by 20-1/4 inches.
Other top lots include, but are not limited to:
· Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers Tales of Suspense #75 Splash Page 1 Captain America Original Art (Marvel, 1966) (est. $75,000)
· Wally Wood Weird Science #22 Cover Original Art (EC, 1953) (est. $75,000)