A website devoted to the rediscovery of the works of early 20th century illustrator Henry E. Vallely (1881-1950). Perhaps best known for his chiaroscuro technique employed in Big Little Books, he also produced a large volume of work including fashion illustrations for women's magazines, spot illustrations for food periodicals, magazine covers and children's books. His art is distinctive and timeless and deserves the recognition that has until this time eluded it. Comments and contributions towards the preservation of the H. E. Vallely legacy are most welcome. All images are believed to be in the public domain unless otherwise noted.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Artist Revealed!

For the first time ever, we now know what Henry E. Vallely looked like! Apparently taken while in his 20s, this portrait has been provided courtesy of his granddaughter Pamela Joy McMorrow, to whom I'm very grateful. Mrs. McMorrow has been kind enough offer a few rare photographs of her grandfather as well as some of his never before published sketches from an old family album which I will be posting in the not too distant future. Special thanks must also be given to fellow Vallely collector John Pansmith for his help in bringing these to The Vallely Archives.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Not the Batmobile (Secret Origins of Batman Part 6)

Over at the excellent
Dial B for Blog, Robby Reed recently posted several comparisons of Bob Kane's artwork with Henry Vallely's. While I feel that some of the connections he makes are too different to be fairly labeled as swipes, he does make clear that Kane's drawings were undoubtedly inspired by those of Henry Vallely. One example provided by Reed is of Commissioner Gordon's car from 1939's Detective Comics #27 as compared with a getaway car found on page 365 of 1938's Gang Busters In Action (BLB 1451). The more accurate comparison is found on page 141, which, as displayed above, can legitimately be called a swipe.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Robbers' Roost

As demonstrated in the pages of his numerous western themed Big Little Books, Henry Vallely had an affinity for illustrating horses. The above painting, the frontispiece for Zane Grey's Western Magazine Vol. 1, No. 3 from 1947, was a teaser for the issues' featured novel Robbers' Roost by Zane Grey.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Play Football

Although unsigned, this 1934 box cover for a Play Football board game bears all of the earmarks of a Vallely. In previous years he had illustrated two football themed dust jackets for Elmer A. Dawson's Garry Grayson series, and two years later would provide the cover for William Heyliger's tale of the gridiron, Fighting Blood. This is his first artwork for a board game that I'm aware of.

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