Georges Remi (known by the pen name Hergé) (1907-1983) was a Belgian cartoonist best known for creating the Adventures of Tintin, a comic series about a young Belgian reporter whose adventures took him all around the world. The series, which began in 1929, was featured in Le Petit Vingtième, the children’s supplement of the conservative Catholic Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle (The Twentieth Century). In 1936, Louis Casterman began publishing the Adventures of Tintin as books.
The original illustration, created by Hergé, for the cover of the book titled Le Lotus Blue just set a record for the most expensive comic book artwork, although it was never used. He created the artwork using Indian ink, gouache, and watercolor, but when Hergé submitted it, he was told that it would be too expensive to mass-produce the colorful cover. (He created another version with a black dragon and a red background.)
Hergé gifted the original artwork to his publisher’s 7-year-old son, Jean-Paul Casterman, whose children consigned the work and expected it to sell it between €2.2 – 2.8M. The bidding came to an exciting end when a private collector purchased the artwork for €2.6M (€3.2M-w/p; $3.9M).