Otaku USA Magazine
INTERVIEW: Heritage Auctions’ Director of Animation Art on Their Massive Anime Auction

Heritage Auctions is putting on the The Art of Anime and Everything Cool Signature Auction from June 25-27. Hundreds of items are up for bids.

“We’ve been sprinkling anime art in all our Signature Sales to test it,” Jim Lentz, the Director of Animation Art at Heritage Auctions, told Otaku USA. “We’ve had some Astro Boy and Kiki’s Delivery Service and Akira cels in our section we call Everything Cool. And they’ve done very, very well. So we decided to jump in. We watched the phenomenal growth of Pokémon cards and I thought, Let’s bring this to market.”

The items come from the collection of Mike Glad. In an interview with Heritage’s client magazine, Glad said, “There’s the whole rich history of manga art, and the aesthetics of Japanese cartoons are distinct. When you see a Japanese anime character, you know that it’s anime. There’s no wondering whether Speed Racer came from Japan. You’re not going to see Snow White running around like Sailor Moon. This work broadens your collecting to a world far different than U.S. animation. Bright colors that pop envelop the young, yet the target audience is often adults. Life doesn’t always have a happy ending.”

“I think it’s one of the single most important anime art collections ever come to auction,” Lentz said. “There’s over 300 lots, and it’s from Akira, Dragon Ball Z, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Ghost in the Shell . . . it’s kind of an A+ after A+ collection.”

Asked if Heritage Auctions will do more anime-specific auctions if this one goes well, Lentz said, “I think this is the jumping off point. We do a Signature Animation Auction twice a year of vintage animation art from all the studios. But if this does well, I would keep The Art of Anime and Everything Cool as a separate, standalone, continued auction.

“While the main emphasis is anime, it’s also Everything Cool,” Lentz continued. “So there’s everything from The Simpsons to Ren and Stimpy to Batman: The Animated Series, The Brave Little Toaster, Lilo and Stitch, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Rugrats.”

Good luck, bidders!


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.