The original hand-colored Bill Watterson Calvin & Hobbes artwork from Nov. 19, 1986 – the first original Watterson Sunday strip known to have come up for public auction – brought a world record price of $203,150 (including Buyer’s Premium) on Friday, Nov.16 as part of a Vintage Comics and Comics Art event at Heritage Auctions.
“A world record price like this is a testament to just how beloved Calvin & Hobbes was and is,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “The final price realized tops any offering from any cartoonist ever, including the giants like Charles Schultz, Winsor McKay and Elzie Segar.”
The strip was presented by Watterson as a gift to fellow cartoonist Brian Basset, creator of the popular strips Adam@Home and Red and Rover, who held it in a special place in his personal collection for many years. The piece was bought by an anonymous collector.
The only other known example of published Calvin & Hobbes art to have surfaced for public auction was in February of this year, also at Heritage Auctions, when the original watercolor art for the cover of the 1989-1990 Calvin and Hobbes Calendar realized $107,550.
“For many collectors this is a chance they’ve were waiting many years for,” added Hignite. “There’s no telling when a chance like this will come around again. The top collectors came after this with great energy.”