Rare Robert Crumb artwork from the collection of music legend songwriter Graham Nash is heading for sale at Heritage Auctions.
The collection, which includes original counterculture artworks from the Underground Comix movement of the 1960s and 70s, will be sold in Dallas on August 10-12.
Graham Nash initially rose to fame in the 1960s with The Hollies, before forming the folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash, and is renowned as one of the most influentialsinger-songwriters of his generation.
“We are honored Mr. Nash selected Heritage Auctions to offer his extensive and advanced collection of comic art,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Comics Operations at Heritage Auctions.
“Mr. Nash has a true ‘collector’s eye’ and he spent years locating rarities that have not been seen in decades.”
The most significant item from Nash’s collection is Robert Crumb’s original, unused artwork for Zap Comix #1.
When Crumb was given the chance to showcase his work in a new adults-only comic book in February 1968, he leapt at the opportunity, and created Zap Comix.
His original design for the first issue featured a naked man attached to electrical socket via unusual means, along with the comic’s slogan “plugs you in”.
However, at the last minute Crumb allegedly got cold feet, and produced another cover image – this one less likely at attract the wrath of the censor.
The original was believed lost for many years, and has appeared in print only once since 1968. Now offered from Nash’s collection, the artwork is expected to sell for more than $100,000.
“The Zap #1 cover is, I believe, a very important piece in the arc of Robert’s journey as a great artist,” said Nash. “He has to confront censorship for the first time, and you can see why. This long-lost piece is a wonder to behold.”
Further highlights from the collection include a six-page story, illustrated by Crumb and written by American Splendour creator Harvey Pekar, entitled ‘How I Quit Collecting Records and Put Out a Comic Book with the Money I Saved” (est: $100,000+); and a four-page story from The People’s Comics entitled “The R. Crumb $uck$e$$ Story”, estimated at $50,000+.
Back in May 2017, Crumb’s original cover artwork for Fritz the Cat sold at Heritage for a remarkable $717,000, making it the most valuable piece of American comic book artwork ever sold.