Following the 2011 world-record sale of the original Issue #3, Page #10 splash page art from Frank Miller’s iconic Dark Knight for $448,125, Heritage Auctions is offering two more original pieces of Frank Miller Dark Knight artwork, this time consigned by Miller himself. They will be offered as part of Heritage’s Feb. 22-24 Vintage Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction.
The first, the Absolute Dark Knight Book Cover Original Art (DC, 2006), is an immensely popular, bone-jarring image that brings together the elements that made Miller’s vision of the Batman such a legendary work of industry-changing artistry. It carries a pre-auction estimate of $50,000+.
“It took me years to define, in my own mind, Batman as less a creature of vengeance than of vigor,” Miller said of the drawing. “This piece is one of my personal favorites. To me, it sums the man up.”
On its publication in 1986, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns changed the landscape of the graphic novel irrevocably. With its dark vision of Batman’s future and its stunning artwork, The Dark Knight Returns set the world on fire.
The second piece from The Collection of Frank Miller is the Frontispiece Splash Page Original Art from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (10th Anniversary Edition) Batman and Robin (DC, 1997), from an edition of the comic released a decade after its inception. It also carries a pre-auction estimate of $50,000+.
“Like any hero, Batman is complex,” said Miller. “Here we see him as a father figure, instructing one of my favorite creations, dear Carrie Kelly.”
For the 10th Anniversary Edition of the ground-breaking series, Miller created this perfect stand-alone image of Batman and Robin (Carrie Kelley, the first female, full-time Robin) in action and in their element, cloaked in the darkness of night.
The work has been locked away in Frank Miller’s own collection since the 10th Anniversary Edition’s publication and, unlike many pages from the series – where differences between the original art and the published version are evident, as a result of Miller making changes on paste-overs – no changes were made to this artwork for publication.
Miller’s Dark Knight art is among the most important and sought after by collectors, and such singular stand-alone images of his Batman and Robin rarely come surface for sale. While Miller worked with Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley on the artwork for the 1986 series, both of these images are rare examples of 100% Frank Miller pencils and inks on his most popular character.
Frank Miller will be making an appearance at the venue for the auction, The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (The Ukrainian Institute of America), on Tuesday, Feb. 21.