Just like Tintin, which set a record at a Paris auction last year, Hong Kong's iconic Old Master Q could catapult vernacular comics into prominence in Asia's world of 'high art'
In June 2014, French auction house Artcurial hosted the L'univers du Créateur de Tintin
sale in Paris, which auctioned a rare 1932 cover illustration of Tintin in America
by Herge, the creator of Tintin
. The cover sold for a record US$1.6 million — nearly double the record figure set by the same artwork in 2008.
Following on from this, the significance of the market for original comic book art was further cemented when American auction house Heritage Auctions smashed records for American comic book art with Todd McFarlane's cover art for the 1990 Spider-Man #328
. Meanwhile, last August, a nearly pristine copy of Action Comics No.1
, in which Superman
made his debut, was auctioned for US$3.2 million.
In Hong Kong, at the same time that the Action Comics No.1
comic book was set to break an auction record, Sotheby's Hong Kong Gallery
also hosted its first selling exhibition
of Old Master Q
comics, which featured more than 120 original illustrations by Alphonso Wong Kar-hei (perhaps better known by his pen name, Wong Chak) dating from the 1960s to the 1980s, and showcasing comic strips in four- to six-frame formats as well as various covers. It was, to date, the largest selling exhibition worldwide of Wong's work ever.
This is a preview of the "Growing up and still going strong” article from the combined January/February Design issue of Perspective magazine.