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    Robert Crumb Help! #24 "Fred the Teen-Age Girl Pigeon" Complete 2-Page Story Original Art (Warren Publishing, 1965). Let's take a quick look back at the year 1964. The Beatles had burst onto the scene, arriving in America in February for an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and waiting to greet them at John F. Kennedy Airport were throngs of screaming teenage girls. Robert Crumb, freshly married and toiling at a job he didn't particularly like, longed to be a professional cartoonist. Robert had sent several samples of his art to his idol, Harvey Kurtzman, and this two-page strip became Robert's second published comic story (the first was "Fritz Comes On Strong," which appeared in Kurtzman's 22nd issue of Help!). Crumb's character Fritz the Cat had appeared in his personal journals and homemade comics since childhood; here, he takes on the role of Pop Superstar, surrounded by adoring fans as he leaves the plane, guitar case in hand. However, the fate of young fan "Fred" would peg Fritz as a "no-good," a role he would play out in Crumb's later comics.
    This two-pager, drawn in 1964 and published the following year, is Crumb's oldest complete professional story in existence, as the pages of "Fritz Comes On Strong" have gone their separate ways. Any Fritz the Cat art by Crumb is rare (he famously killed off Fritz in 1972 as a reaction to Ralph Bakshi's animated movie), and something this early and complete is exceptionally rare and desirable. The art is in ink on Bristol board, with an average image area of 9" x 12" per page. The fourth panel on page two is an original art replacement added at the time by Crumb; the paper used has lightly toned. There are minor smudges on each page, along the left side. Overall condition is Very Good.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2019
    21st-23rd Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 32
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,382

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    I have done a preliminary analysis and the total of the hammer prices was $67,550. With BP, the final figure was $80,722.25. That is against the total insurance value of $34,785 or 2.32 x ‘pre-auction estimate’. Incredible, really, so a big thanks.
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    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
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