For pure enjoyment’s sake, I have invested original comic art panels in the past. I have picked up several panels of Cloak & Dagger on eBay, prices ranging from about $25-$75 a pop. It is a beautiful dying art and process. Everything is now done digitally on a damn Wacom tablet nowadays. I love seeing the pen strokes, washes of ink, the balloons and halftones directly hand-pasted on the art boards. I have always thought that these original panels were an underrated collectible. I mean, not only is each page an original work of art, they are also one-of-a-kind.

Well, take a look at this Holy Grail original comic panel and how much it recently fetched. Unbelievable. Want.

Heritage Auctions Press Release – May 6, 2011

NEW YORK – The original art from Page 10, issue #3 of Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (DC, 1986) became the single most valuable piece of American comic art to ever sell when it brought $448,125 as part of Heritage Auctions’ May 5 Vintage Comics and Comic Art Auction. Final price includes 19.5% Buyer’s Premium.

“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.”

The piece was bought by an anonymous collector.

The image is the single most memorable image from the entire comic book series and the greatest image from the decade of the 1980s ever to come to market, as well as now standing as one of, if not the most desirable pieces of original comic art from any era to come to market. It is a perfect stand-alone image of Batman and Robin (Carrie Kelley, the first female, full-time Robin) soaring high above Gotham City, emblematic of the entire storyline.

“I’ve always loved that drawing,” commented Miller, when asked before the auction what his thoughts on its imminent sale were. “Danced around my studio like a fool when I drew it. I hope it finds a good home.”

Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Batman: The Dark Knight #3 Batman and Robin Iconic Splash Page 10 Original Art (DC, 1986)

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Original Dark Knight Drawing Sets World Record at Auction Thread