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Garfield Creator Has Gift for Auction House

Cartoonist Jim Davis says it was 'just a logical thing'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 21, 2019 1:30 PM CST
In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 photo, Heritage Auctions collectibles specialist Brian Wiedman displays Garfield comic artwork drawn by creator Jim Davis in Dallas. Thousands of the comics drawn by Davis...   (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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(Newser) – Cartoonist Jim Davis is offering up more than 11,000 Garfield comic strips hand-drawn on paper in an auction that will stretch into the coming years, with at least a couple of strips featuring the always-hungry orange cat with a sardonic sense of humor available weekly. “There are just so many, and it was such a daunting task to figure what to do with them so that they could be out there where people enjoy them too,” said Davis, creator of the comic strip that appears in newspapers around the world and has spawned TV shows, movies and books. Dallas-based Heritage Auctions began offering up the strips in August, the AP reports. The auction house is selling two daily strips each week, along with longer Sunday strips being offered during the large-scale auctions throughout the year.

The strips span from the launch of Garfield in 1978 to 2011, when Davis began drawing the strip digitally. He says he still draws it by hand but now it’s with a stylus on a tablet instead of on paper with a pencil, pen, and brush. Indiana-based Davis says that over the years he gave some strips to family, friends, and staff, while others are on displays at museums, including the Smithsonian Institution, and he even tried selling them on his website for a few years. But he kept most of them, he says, storing them in a fireproof, climate-controlled vault. The auction, he said, "was just a logical thing" to let fans and collectors buy them. One comic grader says the daily strips are currently selling on average from around $500 to $700, and the longer Sunday strips are selling for $1,500 to $3,000.

(Read more comic strips stories.)

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