<i>Dark Knight Returns</i> artwork sells for almost $450,000

Heritage Auctions expected to bring in $100,000 for page 10 of The Dark Knight Returns #3. It turns out their estimate was a little bit on the low side.

The piece actually sold for $448,125 to an anonymous collector -- "the single most valuable piece of American comic art to ever sell," the auction house said in a press release.

"I've always loved that drawing,” said Frank Miller, who drew the landmark Batman: The Dark Knight Returns miniseries, before the auction. “Danced around my studio like a fool when I drew it. I hope it finds a good home."

“Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns defined the best of 1980s comics, and has since been universally acknowledged as one of the most important and influential stories ever published,” said Ed Jaster, senior vice president of Heritage Auctions, “and no image from that important comic series is more iconic than this Splash Page. It’s a little surprising, yes, but fitting that this piece is now the most expensive piece of American comic art ever sold at auction.”

Per the press release, the previous record price for a piece of original American comic book art was set last year when the cover of EC comics Weird Fantasy #29, by artist Frank Frazetta, sold at Heritage via a private treaty sale for $380,000. That of course was a cover, which typically sell for higher prices than interior art. Typically ....

“Heritage auctioned Frank Miller’s original artwork for the cover of Daredevil #188 for $101,575 last year,” said Jaster, “so we knew there were serious buyers out there, especially for Miller’s top work. Now we know for sure what collectors are willing to pay. This piece is far away the current king. Nothing else has even come close.”

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