A groundbreaking collection of original art from ’60s American Underground Comix — featuring iconic and subversive art from Robert Crumb to Victor Moscoso to Art Spiegelman — will be offered for the first time in 40 years when The Eric Sack Collection – Masterpieces of Underground Art crosses the block Nov. 17-19 at Heritage Auctions. Sack’s collection is the largest of its kind and has been exhibited worldwide in museums examining the counterculture art movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
“I didn’t buy every single piece of art that came my way, but practically every single piece,” Sack said. “I was probably in my early 20s when I first acquired the original drawings in 1978. I noticed them taped on the back wall at a comic convention. My eye focused on them from 60 feet from the front door and I went and bought them.”
The surprisingly diverse collection spans original cover art; illustrations; complete, multi-page stories and even album cover art. The collection’s subversive messages perfectly capture the disarming work of a select group of artists who were dedicated to shining a light on society’s ills and contradictions.
Once called the Sistine Chapel of Robert Crumb, Sack’s collection holds one of the largest selections of art by Crumb — spanning an extraordinarily diverse cross-section of the artist’s talent. “Robert Crumb is my favorite artist,” Sack said. “His style has that 30s and 40s softness that sometimes disarms you when you start to look at the subversive nature of the subject matter itself.”
Crumb’s “Freak Out Funnies”, a Complete Two-Page Original Art Set from Zap Comix #0, 1968 (est. $40,000), is an iconic example of the artist’s love of alternative “hippie” publications. The work was created during the artist’s early years in San Francisco – ground zero for experimental, underground comix artists of the time.
Le Monde Selon Crumb [The World According To Crumb] Promotion Poster Original Art, drawn by Crumb and featuring all of his classic characters will be auctioned (est. $30,000) as will the Unused Cover Art Illustration for Head #1, 1971 (est. $20,000). The Original Cover Art for Arcade Comics Revue #3 (est. $25,000) showcases one of Crumb’s hallmarks, a grim city skyline filled with old tenement buildings, power lines, and water towers, as an ugly modern counterpoint to the beauty of nature.
Making a rare appearance at auction, the Original Art for a Complete Three-Page Story from Zap Comix #3 titled “Hairy!”, drawn by Crumb, depicts his iconic 1960s hippies (est. $30,000).
Along the same vein are artists’ Gilbert Shelton and Dave Sheridan’s 1975 Original Cover Art for The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers #4 (est. $10,000) one of the most popular Underground Comix series of all time.
The collection also includes:
· A Rare Collaborative Jam Comic Strip by the entire Zap Comix roster of artists (est. $15,000)
· The Original Wraparound Cover Art for Rand Holmes’ A History of Underground Comix (est. $20,000).
· Rick Griffin’s Man From Utopia Story Page 4 “Eyeballs Fightin'” Original Art (est. $15,000).
“I was fortunate to acquire a number of pieces from the original artists,” Sack said, “and at the time I chose to purchase these pieces, many people were not buying the originals so was often quite surprising to the artist that I chose to own these original drawings.”