Sunday, March 6, 2011
Super-Rare Material Uncovered for The Bill Everett Archives!
Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives v1 is making its debut at the San Diego Comicon this July. It features over 200+ pages of Bill Everett's non-Marvel artwork from 1938-42. Most was done for the Lloyd Jacquet shop, Funnies Inc., which supplied packaged artwork for publishers like Centaur, Eastern Color, Novelty Press and more (not to mention Timely Comics). The original comics are rare and haven't been thoroughly examined like their Marvel and DC Comics counterparts have.
Little did I know when I started this project that I'd uncover artwork by Bill Everett that I'd never seen before, that I never knew existed! To your left is a text illustration that I never knew existed (remember those pesky two-or-three page text stories companies used to throw in to get a cheaper postal rate? They actually now have some value!) and ranks as one of the five oldest published pieces of Bill Everett comic-book artwork known to exist (there's actually two illustrations by Bill in this text story)!
The two illustrations are buried in a text story from an issue of Funny Pages (v2 #11 - Nov '38) that otherwise contains no Everett artwork, so who would have thought to look there? And since it's not exactly a name book, a superhero book, that made the chance of its discovery even more rare. The only challengers for older Everett artwork are his first - the cover to Amazing Mystery Funnies v1 #1 (cover-dated Aug '38), his first interior work in Amazing Mystery Funnies v1 #2 (cover-dated Sep '38), issue #3 of that series (Nov '38), and possibly his cover to Uncle Joe's Funnies, which is only dated "1938".
What we're uncovering (with fellow Everett enthusiasts like Steve Carey, Ryan Heshka, and Robert Weiner) doesn't just end at those two illustrations. We've found nine total text story illustrations to date from this 1938-42 period that likely few have ever seen. I didn't even know that he did the cover to Dickie Dare #1 (1941). Now I do. If you think you have any more super-rare Bill Everett material, please email me so that we can make these two volumes a complete representation of the man's work!