In 1996 (according to an exhibit catalog), Illustration House, in New York, held an exhibit of comic strip art to celebrate the centennial of the comic strip. They issued a catalog of the exhibit, which was largely a sales catalog, but it included listings for quite a few works that were not for sale.
I don’t think that the exhibition was a place to grab any bargains, and I suspect that the comic-strip centennial provided a lot of public awareness of comic strips, their history, and their value.
I’ll mention below some of the highest prices from the catalog, but remember, this was about seventeen years ago.
Foster, Tarzan Sunday, $9,000
Foster, Prince Valiant Sunday (partial), $9,000
Herriman, Krazy Kat Sunday, $8,000
Hogarth, Tarzan Sunday, $4,500
Raymond, Flash Gordon Sunday, $29,000
Schulz, Peanuts daily, $3,800
Now the thing that really interested me was number 95, a Rusty Riley Sunday from September 27, 1959. I knew that had to be one of the last Sunday Rusty Riley strips — and that was my main interest in it. It was not pictured in the catalog. As I recall, I bought it sight-unseen, after discussing it with Fred Taraba, a dealer in illustration art who was then employed by Illustration House.
The price was $550. That seemed quite a high price at that time.
October 18, 2013