Monday, November 15, 2010


Original Illustration of Wonder Woman, 1941

A fascinating find on Heritage Auction Galleries is the original concept sketch of then soon to be Wonder Woman. Illustrator Harry G. Peter submits these drawings to creator William Moulton Marston in 1941. The illustration was sold in Oct. 2002 for approximately $33,350. Click image for better view!

H. G. Peter - Original Illustration of Wonder Woman (ca. 1941).
This is, quite frankly, an incredible piece of comics history. Recently acquired from the estate of H. G. Peter, Wonder Woman's original artist, these are his first sketches of the Amazon Princess. The figures are done in what appear to be pencil, ink, and crayon and show Wonder Woman from the side and from the front. To the right of the figures, in pencil, Peter has written to Dr. William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman's creator,

"Dear Dr. Marston, I slapped these two out in a hurry. The eagle is tough to handle - when in perspective or in profile, he doesn't show up clearly -- the shoes look like a stenographer's. I think the idea might be incorporated as a sort of Roman contraption. Peter".

In red pencil, below the figures, Marston responds,

"Dear Pete - I think the gal with hand up is very cute. I like her skirt, legs, hair. Bracelets okay + boots. These probably will work out. See other suggestions enclosed. No on these + stripes - red + white. With eagle's wings above or below breasts as per enclosed? Leave it to you. Don't we have to put a red stripe around her waist as belt? I thought Gaines wanted it - don't remember. Circlet will have to go higher - more like crown - see suggestions enclosed. See you Wednesday morning - WMM."

Measuring approximately 13" x 18.75" overall, the piece is in excellent condition. It was obviously folded to fit in an envelope, with a horizontal fold approximately 4.5" from the top and five vertical fold lines. The profile figure stands approximately 8" tall, while the front-facing figure is slightly larger at 9". The historical importance of this piece cannot be overstated. This is a rare insight into the creation of an iconic character, showing clearly the creative process undertaken by two important comics pioneers. A piece of this caliber is rarely offered for public sale, especially one with such important historical qualities. Obtained from the estate of H. G. Peter, included with this lot are two other interesting items: a hand-drawn, hand-colored postcard addressed to "Miss A. Fulton" and signed "H. G. Roth" (Peter's real name), measuring approximately 6" x 4", and a sepia-toned portrait of Peter holding a pipe, which measures approximately 5.5" x 5.5". All in all, a fascinating collection of material from one of comic's most important artists.

image and description courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries/

1 comment:

Clueless in Boston said...

Very interesting. I always liked reading Wonder Woman comics, and many others as well. Forget Betty and Veronica, Wonder Woman was the sexiest femme in all of comics. :)