Batman painting sells for $173,000 at auction

DALLAS (AP) — A painting depicting Batman that pop artist Mel Ramos traded for a stack of comic books more than a half-century ago has sold for $173,000 at auction.

The 1962 painting titled “A Sinister Figure Lurks in the Dark” was sold by Heritage Auctions Wednesday in New York City.

It was bought by a Dallas collector who wishes to remain anonymous.

Dallas-based Heritage says Bill Steinfelt of California offered the painting, which he’s had ever since his 1962 trade with the then-undiscovered artist.

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Leon Benrimon, Heritage’s New York director of modern and contemporary art, says the painting is one of around 50 works Ramos did early in his career of comic book characters and superheroes. He says the works are widely considered to be Ramos’ breakout series.