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    Robert Crumb - Original Art for R. Crumb's Comics and Stories #1, complete 10-Page Story plus cover, First Drawn Story of Fritz the Cat (Rip-Off Press, dated April, 1964, first published in 1969). We would sprain a simile trying to describe the importance of this lot. Robert Crumb is one of the most significant comic book artists ever and his art is collected by sophisticated art collectors and institutions world-wide. We are offering the original art to the very first story (pencils and inks) that Crumb drew featuring his most famous creation, Fritz the Cat. Crumb used Fritz in countless comic book stories, chronicling the satiric adventures of the randy feline traveling through the social upheaval of the sixties. In 1972, Ralph Bakshi based the first X-rated animated feature, "Fritz the Cat" on Crumb's creation. At first glance this lot looks to be just three nice copies of an early underground, but when you open up the worst-looking comic and examine the pages you realize that it is the complete original art for this seminal masterpiece! Crumb drew this Fritz story back in 1964 just for himself and then later decided to publish it. The story shows Fritz the Cat coming home to his family, after being away for years, and getting frisky with his sister. The spine of this special copy is partially split and there are small stains and fingerprints on the cover. The interior pages are much cleaner with only a few small light stains in the margins. Crumb inked this with a very fine pen giving the art a distinctive scratchy look compared to his later, but earlier-published, work. The art has been authenticated by art historian Alexander Acevedo of New York's Alexander Gallery, and a letter attesting to this authentication is included herein. Given the importance of this piece, it seems almost superfluous to mention that this lot also includes a first and second printing of the comic book, but these are highly collectible in their own right. The first printing is a VF 8.0 only because of a light layer of dust rubbed onto parts of the cover. The second printing is a 9.0 VF/NM due to a light bend in the upper right corner and a couple light spine stresses. Is there any more important work by Crumb than this lot, his earliest known complete comic book art and the first comic book incarnation of Fritz? In 1996 Sotheby's sold a 1968 ten-page Fritz the Cat story for $36,800. Overall size is approximately 5.5"x 8.5". Image size is approximately 4.5" x 7.5".

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2002
    10th-13th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 8,636

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $6) per lot.

    Jerry Weist's Comic Art Price Guide 2011
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