DALLAS, Texas (July 19, 2017) – Several pieces by the most successful artists from the countercultural Underground Comix movement of the 1960s and 1970s – which are consigned directly from the collection owned by rock ’n’ roll legend Graham Nash – are expected to be among the most coveted lots available Aug. 10-12 in Heritage Auctions’ Comics Auction in Dallas.
Nash is known best as a singer, songwriter and musician in the English pop/rock group the Hollies and the folk/rock supergroup that includes his name: Crosby, Stills & Nash.
“We are honored Mr. Nash selected Heritage Auctions to offer his extensive and advanced collection of comic art,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Comics Operations at Heritage Auctions. “Mr. Nash has a true ‘collector’s eye’ and he spent years locating rarities that have not been seen in decades.”
The top prize among the Nash’s offering of art by master Robert Crumb likely will be a dramatic Robert Crumb Zap Comix #1 Cover Original Art (1967), which carries a pre-auction estimate of $100,000 and up. The image is a perfect example of Crumb’s refusal to hold anything back, with the word “Zap” being written across the top in electrified lettering over the image of a nude man being jolted through a cord attached to an electrical outlet. The image was intended by Robert Crumb to be on the cover of Zap No. 1.
Also expected to sell for as much as $100,000 is an extraordinary Robert Crumb American Splendor Complete Six-Page Story Original Art (Harvey Pekar, 1979). Crumb and the story’s author, Pekar, were friends before Crumb became famous; one of the interests they shared was collecting records. Pekar lacked artistic ability, but convinced his friend to do the artwork for his stories by acquiring 78 RPM records – often blues, one of Crumb’s favorites – for Crumb.
One group of artwork coveted by collectors is pieces in which Crumb drew himself into the story. One example is this Robert Crumb The People’s ComicsComplete Four-Page Story Original Art (Golden Gate Publishing Company, 1972) (est. $50,000 and up). “The R. Crumb $uck$e$$ Story” shows the artist as a spoiled “bigshot” who eventually accepts a dose of humility when he has to become just another worker in the fields.
Another lot reveals a glimpse into the sexual appetite of Crumb, who was known to take long trips across the country in pursuit of women. In Robert Crumb Weirdo #22 Complete Four-Page Story Original Art (Last Gasp, 1988) (est. $40,000 and up) shows the events and thoughts behind Crumb’s pursuit of a woman on a rainy night; it is less about graphic sex and more about a peek into his obsessive personality.
Also in the auction are several prized Crumb pieces outside of Nash’s collection. “Mr. Natural” is one of Crumb’s most popular characters and is brought to life in this Robert Crumb Mr. Natural #2 (San Francisco Comic Book Co., 1971) (est. $50,000 and up). The second part of Crumb’s “On the Bum Again” is relatively tame when compared to some of his other work, and comes from the period between 1968 and 1972, the years during which Crumb produced his work that is pursued most fervently by collectors.
Other top Crumb lots are expected to include, but are not limited to:
- Robert Crumb ID #2 Cover Original Art (Eros/Fantagraphics, 1991): est. $25,000 and up
- Robert Crumb Weirdo #23 Cover Original Art (Last Gasp, 1988): est. $25,000 and up
- Robert Crumb The Organ #2/Mr. Natural #1 One-Page Story Original Art (Christopher Weills/Apex Novelties, 1970): est. $20,000 and up
- Robert Crumb Unknown Detroit Bluesman Record Album Cover (Unissued) Original Art (Barrelhouse Records, 1970): est. $20,000
- Robert Crumb Your Hytone Comics #nn Complete Nine-Page Story “Pete the Plumber” Original Art (Apex Novelties, 1971): est. $20,000 and up
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong. The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members, and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.