Steve Ditko’s ink and pencil artwork for the opening splash page of Amazing Spider-Man No 18 of 1964. It led the Heritage sale at $360,000 (£310,345).

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The highest of those bids from September 8-11 was the one of $360,000 (£310,345) needed to secure the original ink and pencil artwork for Steve Ditko’s splash page opening for issue No 18 of Amazing Spider-Man, published in 1964.

The catalogue entry opened with the line “The earliest appearance of Green Goblin in original artwork we have ever seen!”

The artwork was titled ‘The End of Spider-Man!’, but Heritage was quick to point out “thankfully that was wrong, but it sure did give us a striking and compelling opening to the story”.

The super villain had first been seen in Amazing Spider-Man No 14, but this was a very special appearance in a comic of ‘Gobby’.

The Spider-Man web face in the header, it seems, is a ‘stat paste-up’ and there are a few other minor faults of condition, noted the catalogue entry.

Five other black and white artworks by Ditko, all bar one produced for Amazing Spider-Man issues, brought six-figure bids in the Heritage sale.

From one cartoonist to another


The coloured artwork for one of Bill Watterson’s popular Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strips – though not in this instance featuring Calvin’s tiger chum. It was sold by Heritage for $180,000 (£155,175).

The Calvin and Hobbes strip ran daily from 1985-95 and featured the humorous antics of a precocious, mischievous and adventurous six-year-old boy, Calvin, and his sardonic tiger friend, who others can see only as a stuffed toy. Sad to say, Hobbes does not feature in this particular strip.

Bill Watterson’s original artwork is rarer than dinosaur teeth, said Heritage, and this was an example warmly inscribed for a fellow cartoonist and illustrator, Garry Trudeau, whose most famous creation is the Doonesbury strip. Executed in ink and watercolours, signed in the second panel, as well being signed and personalised below the image, the artwork sold at $180,000 (£155,175).

Heritage's sale in its Dallas saleroom totalled over $18m.