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Find Out How This Anime Art Drawing Fetched Hundreds of Thousands

Regarding comic art and collectibles, few things are as prized as original anime drawings from pioneering manga masters. A past auction proved just how valuable these illustrations can be when an extremely rare page of Osamu Tezuka’s iconic Astro Boy series sold for a staggering €269,400 (approximately $300,000).

The Artcurial auction house in Paris hosted the sale of this legendary six-panel page in May 2018. It was rendered in Chinese ink and watercolor. The 35cm x 25cm artwork depicts young robot hero Astro Boy mid-battle against some unseen foe.

Astro Boy’s Stratospheric Value

A page from the original Osamu Tezuka Astro Boy illustration.

For context on just how unprecedented this selling price was, the pre-auction estimate for the Astro Boy page was only €40,000 – €60,000. The final realized price obliterated that expectation by nearly five times!

Eric Leroy, a comic strip expert at Artcurial, attributed the record-smashing sale to “the rarity and exceptional character” of Tezuka’s original 1950s creation. He noted that works from the “godfather of manga” rarely appear on the market these days.

The committed European collector who walked away with the prized page had dreamed of owning it for some time. Their persistence paid off astronomically with this purchase.

Astro Boy’s Pioneering Legacy

Astro Boy flying across buildings in a futuristic city.

For those unfamiliar, Astro Boy (known as Mighty Atom in Japan) was a pioneering manga series created by Osamu Tezuka in the early 1950s. It follows the adventures of a young robot struggling to find his place in the human world after being rejected by a robot circus.

The series quickly became massively popular upon its 1952 debut and helped kickstart Japan’s postwar manga revolution. Astro Boy’s influence still looms large over anime and manga today as one of the first major multimedia franchises spanning comics, animated shows, toys, and more.

Speaking of anime merch, fans can explore the ultimate anime subscription box featuring some of the very best Waifu and Yaoi figures and merch out there.

While copies of Astro Boy comics and merchandise are readily available to fans and collectors, actual original drawings from Tezuka’s hand are exceptionally scarce. This rarity, combined with Astro Boy’s historical significance, is what allowed this page to reach such a breathtaking price at auction.

The Allure of Anime Art

The Astro Boy sale highlights a growing trend of vintage manga artwork garnering incredible prices from passionate collectors. Just like with iconic American comic book art, these original drawings are seen as invaluable pieces of history and craft from legendary creators.

In 2014, the first Superman comic book sold for over $3 million, establishing it as the most expensive comic ever sold. While that remains the bar for American comics, the jaw-dropping Astro Boy price shows that Japanese manga art is catching up quickly in prestige and value in the collectibles market and anime community.

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