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Frank Frazetta artwork – $250,000 (£200,000) at Heritage.

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Competition from more than 30 would-be owners led finally to a $250,000 (£200,000) winning bid for a Frank Frazetta oil on board artwork. It was used for a 1967 paperback edition of the first book in Jane Gaskell’s ‘Atlan Saga’, The Serpent, though in the artist’s family, from whose own collections it came to auction, it was apparently always known as ‘Aros’.

“One of the reasons this image is so compelling…” said Heritage, “…is that it hits two of the biggest fantasy art tropes at the same time… lovely semi-naked female figure and a giant snake.”

In May last year, as reported in ATG No 2399, Frazetta’s Egyptian Queen artwork for the cover of a 1969 issue of Eerie magazine sold for a staggering $4.32m (then £3.4m).

Monster value

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Bernie Wrightson’s front endpapers design for a 1980s edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – $240,000 (£192,000) at Heritage.

One of the books that is spoken of most reverently in the comic industry, said Heritage, is a version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein illustrated by Bernie Wrightson.

Beginning work in 1975, he spent six years on the project and offered in this auction was his artwork for the front endpapers – one of only three landscape format pieces that he created for this project, along with the wrap-around cover design and rear endpapers.

It sold at $240,000 (£192,000).