A comic book auction held at Liège’s Palais des Congrès on 24 April has succeeded in attracting over €190,000 in bids, according to Belgian comic book auction company BD Enchères in a comment to Belgian news agency Belga.
The auction featured several hundred lots of vintage, rare, and collectable comic books, some of which sold for up to €7,500.
Belgium is known as a Mecca for comic book lovers across the world. Known for its bande dessinée culture, Belgium has produced comics of world-famous artists such as William Vance, Jo-El Zara, Griffo, Marvano, Jean-Pol, Jan Bosschaert, and Luc Cromheecke.
Belgium artists have produced classics such as Tintin, The Smurfs, Gaston, Spirou et Fantasio, The Adventures of Nero, and Lucky Luke. Comic books are now referred to by many as the “ninth art”, after the performing arts, cinema and media arts.
Comic books are so popular in Belgium that several popular protagonists feature on newly issued Belgian passports.
The auction featured special editions, albums, original cells, and more. The 56th annual auction was a marked success, according to the organisers.
“Out of the 516 lots, there were very few unsold items and we have seen a lot of interest with a large number of participants,” Michael Buys said.
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Several standout lots attracted attention from the bidders.
An original panel of the cover of Les Petits Hommes by Béatrice Tillier fetched €7,500, a first edition of Lucky Luke sold for €4,500, and a drawing of Gaston Lagaffe from Franquin was purchased for €3,700, according to Buys.
Other rarities that went under the hammer included 8 bronze statues sculpted by Frank Pé, author of the Broussaille and Zoo comic series, illustrations by Béatrice Tillier, and rare Tintin editions.