For Sale: Alan Moore's inspiration for Watchmen

When Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons first sat down to flesh out the world of Watchmen, which Time magazine recently named one of the 100 greatest novels of all time, the creative team discovered that they had both been influenced by the same comic-book story from the April-May 1953 issue of Mad magazine—"Superduperman!"

''We wanted to take Superduperman 180 degrees—dramatic, instead of comedic,'' said Moore in Watchmen: An Oral History.

Without "Superduperman," which inspired Moore to play with superhero stereotypes, there'd be no Watchmen, and the Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Brothers lawyers would be off suing somebody else this month instead of each other.

Now a rare piece of original artwork from that influential comic book can be yours.

Next month, Heritage Auction Galleries will be selling the splash page from this Wally Wood masterpiece, drawn thanks to a script from Harvey Kurtzman and first published in Mad magazine #4. Online bidding on the 13" x 18" illustration should begin Feb. 9, 2009, with the auction held sometime during February 26-27 at the company's 2009 February Signature Comics & Comic Art Auction.

The current pre-auction estimate is that this piece will go for at least $20,000. If you're anxious to add it to your collection, get ready to act fast, because this image has warped generations of comic-book creators.

Who knows? Considering how much Gibbons and Moore have said they owe to Superduperman, you could very well end up bidding against one of Watchmen's creators!

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