Rare original drawing from 'Tintin in America' to go on sale

Original Tintin comic book drawings have been fetching millions at auctions over the last few years

A rare original drawing of Tintin from the comic book album "Tintin in America" will go under the hammer next month, the Artcurial auction house said Tuesday.

The 21x15 cm (8.2 x 5.9 inch) China ink drawing by the Belgian cartoonist known as Herge, one of four colour plates of the 1937 edition of the book, is valued at between 600,000 and 700,000 euros ($635,000 and $740,000), Artcurial said.

The drawing, to be sold with its colour overlay, shows the intrepid boy reporter, revolver in hand, standing on the running board of a speeding taxi chasing evil-doers in the streets of Chicago.

Herge colour plates -- limited to four in each of eight black-and-white albums from "Tintin in the Congo" (1931) to "The Crab with the Golden Claws" (1941) -- rarely appear on the market.

The April 8 auction will feature several other Herge works including a collection of drawings published in the Belgian newspaper ahead of the release of the album "Red Rackham's Treasure".

One of the drawings shows crusty sailor Captain Haddock wearing a plumed hat and brandishing a sword alongside Tintin and his dog Snowy.

Original Tintin comic book drawings have been fetching millions at auctions over the last few years.

In November an original drawing from "Explorers on the Moon" sold for 1.55 million euros at Artcurial, setting a record for a single cartoon drawing.

The 1954 book is viewed as one of Herge's masterpieces.

Herge already holds the world record for the sale of a comic strip.

A double-page ink drawing that served as the inside cover for all the Tintin adventures published between 1937 and 1958 sold for 2.65 million euros in 2014 (some $3.6 million at the time) to an American fan.

Herge sold some 230 million Tintin albums by the time of his death in 1983.