The original art for a three-page Zap Comix story by underground comic artist Robert Crumb makes a rare appearance at Heritage Auctions later today (February 21).
As Heritage states, "art from early underground comics is seldom offered at auction and this rare set shows Crumb's unmistakeable style behind a Rapidograph mechanical pen." Its rarity is reflected in the sale price, which stands at $75,000.
Robert Crumb's work first appeared in 1967 in the pages of underground newspapers such as the East Village Other, whose readership consisted of hippies and other counterculture figures.
In 1968, he rose to prominence as his Zap Comix debuted, kickstarting the Underground Comix movement with his creations Fitz the Cat and Mr Natural, as well as the controversial African-American stereotype, Angelfood McSpade.
The present story, entitled "Ducks Yas Yas" is "about big city blues, about the stoned out gurus, hopped-up saints and flunked out hipsters who roam the streets and stay up all night and don't watch television!"
Hailing from the earliest era of Crumb's career, it is an incredible find, and one that may not be repeated for decades, as many Zap Comix stories are sold off page by page. The artwork remains in excellent condition, with much of it freehand ink work with some pencil sketches.
The highlight of Heritage Auctions' sale is the earliest known cover art to feature Superman. Sign up to Paul Fraser Collectibles' free newsletter to see the results of the sale, as well as the latest from the collecting world.