The original art for an instantly recognizable image by legendary underground comics artist Robert Crumb is coming to auction for the first time ever in Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction Nov. 21-24 in Dallas, Texas.
Robert Crumb “Stoned Agin!” Your Hytone Comix Inside Back Cover Original Art (Apex Novelties, 1971) is considered a “Holy Grail” among serious collectors of artwork by the iconic Crumb, and is being offered for the first time ever, in part because of the artist’s love of music.
For years, the whereabouts of the artwork (estimate: $250,000+) were unknown and the subject of considerable speculation.
“The consignor received the artwork directly from Robert Crumb,” Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President Todd Hignite said. “After moving to Northern California in 1970 and getting to know Crumb through friendships with other underground cartoonists, a trade was arranged with the artist, swapping some rare old blues 78 records for the artwork. The original has remained in our consignor’s personal collection ever since, buried away and securely stored for more than four decades, which has only added to the appeal and demand among collectors. This art is not only the great “lost” Crumb, but an incredibly key image for 1960s and 1970s counter-cultural history. Such powerful images that have been seared into the imaginations of so many very infrequently come up at auction.”
The art is in ink on Bristol board, with an image size of approximately 12 by 8 inches on paper measuring 13-7/8 by 10-7/8 inches. The beautifully detailed original has been reproduced innumerable times, including as a blacklight poster, on pinback buttons, postcards and t-shirts, etc.
The artwork is even accompanied by the cardboard portfolio in which Crumb delivered the artwork; the portfolio has a handwritten “to do” list in pencil, possibly written by Hytone publisher Don Donahue.