Tuesday’s Art Notes

BY Tom LeGro  February 23, 2010 at 11:54 AM EDT

Action Comics No. 1A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman sold for $1 million on Monday, breaking the previous record price for a comic book. The 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1, which originally cost 10 cents, was sold by a private seller to a private buyer, neither of whom released their names.

Now would be a good time to check your garage or attic or closets for your comics (or blame mom for throwing then out). There are only about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 believed to be in existence.

The Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex breaks down how other high-priced comic books have fared at auction.

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The Beatles’ Abbey Road Studios were officially declared a historic building Tuesday. The designation will help preserve the cultural landmark that is already a tourist stop for Beatles fans. The studios have also hosted Pink Floyd and Radiohead and are still popular with orchestras.

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The New York Times’ Patrick Healy writes about how plays and musicals this season are presenting gay characters in love stories, “replacing the direct political messages of 1980s and ’90s shows.”

“[T]he shift from explicit political statements to subtler storytelling reflects the debate in gay political circles about whether to continue fighting at the ballot box and in the courts for gay rights immediately or instead to take a longer view that involves building alliances and giving time for more Americans to come around on issues like gay marriage,” Healy writes.

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Art Beat fave Werner Herzog recently finished up his duties at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival, where the director was back for the first time in 17 years to preside over the International Jury, which awarded the top prize to the Turkish film “Bal” (“Honey”) on Saturday.

Herzog talks to the Wall Street Journal’s A.J. Goldmann about watching movies and confesses, “I’ve never seen ‘Gone With the Wind,’ I’ve never seen ‘Metropolis.’”

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Reality sets in next Monday for fans of Conan O’Brien after NBC’s disastrous late-night experiment. Jay Leno returns to “The Tonight Show” with a guest list including former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Winter Olympic athletes Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White and Apolo Anton Ohno.