Captain America Memes, & Kevin Maguire's "Strikeback!"


STRIKEBACK!: THE backstory


"Strikeback!" is the story of two young lovers, joined by a curious mental connection. While celebrating her 25th birthday in a most romantic way, Nikita Dragonryder is kidnapped by some dog-themed bounty hunters. Her beau, Rascal, tries his best to fight them off, but can't. Even a red and white striped scarf that can magically change into almost anything he can imagine, can't save her.

In the first issue, alone, that scarf turns into a parachute, a chainsaw, a hammer, a slap-happy fish, a bear trap, a frying pan, an ax, a ladder, and a baseball bat. It's a beautiful thing, and Steve Oliff's careful colors always gave the scarf a three dimensional look that helped to sell it.

In the scuffle, Rascal is saved by a mysterious stranger by the name of Midnight Devil, drawn to evoke Jackie Chan's fighting skills. The two become fast sorta-friends and set off to save Nikita. But, first, Rascal calls in a few more friends -- the team known as Strikeback, which includes a half-man/half-tank named "Sherman" and a ninja woman, amongst others.


I mentioned the annual Christie's auction of original (mostly) Franco-Belgian comic art a couple weeks back. The auction happened shortly thereafter, and we're now overdue for a look at the results.

The Uderzo "Asterix" page that was estimated to go for $130,000 or so blew through that, not surprisingly. The gavel came down at a final $188,000 or so. Even that seems low, but the big money always flocks in this auction towards Herge and the Tintin lots.

To that end, the big Tintin lot drew a final bid over $300,000, with a second lot hitting over $250,000.

The biggest Tintin sale, though, was the art for an image used at the Belgian Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in Montreal in 1967. Expected to fetch a cool $300,000, it sold for twice that. Someone paid $690,000 for it. It's a niece piece of Tintin art, don't get me wrong, but -- wow.

Franquin would not sit quietly in the shadows, though. There was the cover from the "Gaston Lagaffe" album that drew $236,000, more than twice the expected high end of 111,000. That was the lot that included the image they used on the catalog's cover.

An interior "Gaston" page came close to that price, but was expected to draw about 15% less. That $225,000 price tag feels more impressive for that reason.

The total draw from the auction came in just over $4,250,000. Not bad for a day's work in Paris...

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