Offered by Heritage Auctions (20% buyer’s premium) in a multi-million dollar sale of comics and comic art held from September 9-13, it was made for a story that had been called ‘Under the Moons of Mars’ when first serialised in the All-Story magazine.
First published in book form in 1917, it was one of a series of tales that featured John Carter, a Virginian veteran of the American Civil War transported to Mars, as its hero. However, in this much later artwork I suspect he is not quite as his creator had imagined him all those years before!
Frazetta always insisted that his artworks were returned to him by publishers after use – as a long-term insurance and investment plan – but it seems that he was so enamoured and proud of this one that he immediately began painting another for his own collection.
Small details are included in this second version that do not appear in the first.
That original version was actually sold by Frazetta in the 1970s but the second version has remained in his family’s possession since his death in 2010 and only now came to auction to add to the list of Frazetta’s original artworks that have made huge prices in Heritage sales.
Superman second time
A copy of Action Comics No 7 of 1938 that marked what was only Superman’s second cover appearance was sold at $170,000 (£132,815). Superman co-creator Joe Shuster provided the cover and interior art.
This copy bears a number of unsightly official stamps that were applied during a court case in which DC brought an ultimately successful lawsuit against another publisher, whose Wonder Man they saw as a copyright infringement,
A copy of DC’s very first, 1939 issue of the Superman comic, rated 4.5 by CGC, sold at $290,000 (£226,565).