We’re not necessarily going to make a cottage industry out of running all these “record setting art sales” PR pieces, but given the recent passing of Frazetta, the fact that his cover for Weird Science-Fantasy #29 just in a private treaty sale for $380,000 to Heritage Co-Chairman and Co-Founder Jim Halperin, it does seem somewhat noteworthy, but as what the release notes is “almost surely” the highest sale ever for a piece of comics art and as an indicator of where prices for Frazetta art are going to go now, i.e. prohibitively expensive. We’re not savvy enough about the original art market to know if the Heritage bigwig buying the art means anything.


  1. That Weird Science-Fantasy cover has always been a particularly highly regarded piece of comics art. Russ Cochran, in the notes to his EC Library reprint volumes, has cited it as “the most outstanding cover ever put on a comic book”.
    The art itself has a mildly interesting history, originally intended as a Buck Rogers cover, and rejected as too violent before Bill Gaines used it as an EC cover. It is also an example of Frazetta’s forward-thinking stance on artists’ rights, as he sold Gaines the rights to use the artwork, but not the original art itself (contrary to Gaines’ standard practice of purchasing the originals to all of the art that he used).

  2. The hope is that this is a trend. The reason is because Frazetta was a popular artist with fine artists eye and a skill in rendering that made subtle exaggeration an art form unto itself. Perhaps now that Frank Frazetta is no longer with us those reluctant to acknowledge his contribution to fine and popular art will finally set the fannish praise aside long enough to study and appreciate what the artist did to get so much attention.
    The fact that a drawing sold this well is more than a little encouraging because his drawings are often the focus of more discerning followers of Frazetta’s art and career.

  3. To me, it’s more famous than a picasso in a way, as well as being truely amazing. I have been watching the prices on Franks work skyrocket…and thats fine really, since there will be no more originals.

  4. I wonder what price Frazetta would have received when he first sold this original, or has it remained in the estate until recently?

  5. I’m neither a Frazetta fan nor an EC fan, but that cover is so iconic that, IMNSHO, it’s drastically undervalued. As in, it should have broken seven figures.

    — Rob

  6. Undervalued. This is one of his iconic comicbook cover images, and a classic representation of Frazetta’s inks. It looks so effortless and loose, but the ink is applied masterfully.

  7. According to online sources, the piece was sold by the Frazetta family. In my opinion the sale is an act of shortsighted greed. Aside from the fact that the piece could have easily fetched three times as much in an auction, the dispersion of yet another key work in the Frazetta collection a bad omen for the future of the collection.
    Jamie, I’m not familiar with Heritage’s business practices; could you elaborate?