Rare early Smurf drawings on sale

Im Artcurial Auktionshaus am Champs-Elysees in Paris versteigern sie demnächst 33 alte Schlumpfzeichnungen von Peyo. Was Reuters vergisst zu erwähnen (man müsste ja auf externe Quellen verlinken, huch wie furchtbar!) ist, dass alle 33 Artworks auf der Website des Auktionshauses in HighRes anschaubar sind, inklusive des Katalogs (PDF, 4,3MB) mit Hintergrund-Infos.

Oben eine Originalzeichnung mit dem ersten Auftritt der Black Smurfs, hier die Infos aus dem Katalog:

The Black Smurfs (The Purple Smurfs) - Indian ink on paper, plate 16. Dupuis Publishing, 1963. 17,2 x 12,6 in.

This is a quite magnificent and exceptional strip in more than one regard, and has the largest panel in the entire story. Large panels are extremely rare in the series and have always held a particular significance, here showing the drama and despair of the situation. A rare piece indeed!

The Black Smurfs first came about in the form of a short story published in Spirou number 1107 in 1959. Five further short stories would then be released before 1962. This is the first adventure of the Smurfs without Johan and Peewit. It marks the very beginning of the series in its own right, which would then go on to have the worldwide success we know today. Due to the immediate success of these new small characters, Peyo would completely redo these short stories after 1962, in order to adapt them into album format. Peyo himself stated 'I redrew the episodes appearing in short story format so as to adapt these to album format. Francis assisted me in this'. Francis Bertrand, known simply as Francis, future illustrator of the Marc Lebut et son voisin series, was one of Peyo's very first assistance, even before the arrival of Walthéry in 1963. For this album, Francis in all likelihood only completed the illustration of surroundings and wording.

Von Reuters: Rare early Smurf drawings on sale

Rare original drawings of the Smurfs, blue-skinned cartoon characters created by Belgian artist Peyo, are set to fetch up to 120,000 euros ($167,000) each on Saturday in the first auction of the late artist's work.

The highlight of a sale of 33 full-page Peyo comic strips at the Artcurial auction house on the Champs-Elysees in Paris will be a black-and-white sketch -- "The Smurfs and the Magic Flute."

It is the first time Peyo's family has sold original Smurf artwork, although some drawings given as gifts has been sold, and the sale is drawing interest from enthusiasts worldwide.

"It was a stroke of genius on Peyo's part to have made the Smurfs blue because everyone -- whether they're Chinese or European -- can identify with them," said Eric Leroy, Artcurial's comic expert said.

The Magic Flute drawing was the basis for the cover of Peyo's 1960 "Johan and Peewit" comic, a precursor of the Smurf series in which the diminutive figures, who sport white pants and pointy hats, first appeared before becoming stars in their own right.