Tintin original cover art bought at auction for more than $1 million

There’s a lot of money to be made in comics — just ask Marvel and Disney. But not all comics are about heroes in tights.

The first original cover art featuring beloved comic character Tintin from “The Adventures of Tintin Vol. 1: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets” has sold for $1.125 million at the European Comic Art Signature Auction in Dallas.

It fell slightly short of expectations June 8, as the pre-auction estimate was set at $1.3 million.

“The Adventures of Tintin” was created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi under the pen name Hergé. The cartoon was first published in the weekly children’s supplement to the Belgian newspaper “Le Vingtième Siècle” in 1929. It followed the adventures of a young Belgian reporter named Tintin and his dog Snowy.

The tales have been translated into dozens of languages, and adapted for radio, television, film, theater and video games. Steven Spielberg recently produced and directed a 3D film based on the series called “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.”

“Tintin is a seminal character, who has been loved and admired for generations the world over,” said Joe Mannarino, a director of Comics and Comic Art at Heritage Auctions. “His popularity is as great now as it has ever been.”

Most existing original cover art of Tintin is housed at the Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, making the piece one of the few privately owned cover illustrations signed by Hergé.

It is the first cover image to feature both Tintin and Snowy, and it shows Tintin carving a piece of wood into a makeshift propeller while a bandaged Snowy watches.

Bids for the piece were made by 29 collectors. The previous owner and the winning bidder have chosen to remain anonymous.