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.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Captain Olson (Secret Origins of Batman Part 4)

In previous posts I examined Henry Vallely's influence on Bob Kane in Detective Comics 1933, but here we see an even earlier influence. From the comic book which featured the first appearance of Batman, the 3rd panel of Detective Comics #27 (cover dated May 1939) gives us our first good look at Commissioner Gordon. Returning once again to 1938's Gang Busters In Action (BLB 1451), we find on page 11 a character in a familiar pose who may well be the prototype for Commissioner Gordon. Coincidentally this character is also a member of the police force, named Captain Olson.
Commissioner Gordon is © DC Comics.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Back to School

While this may seem like an unusual cover for a periodical published by a major automotive company, it was fairly common for The Buick Magazine to not feature their cars on the cover of their monthly journal which was issued to Buick owners by Buick Division of GMC through Buick dealers. On this one from September of 1938 we see an example of Henry Vallely's style which might have found favor at the Saturday Evening Post. This is one of four cover illustrated by Vallely for The Buick Magazine that I'm aware of.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Seeing Spots

Two spot illustrations from the contents page of the April 1931 issue of Everygirls magazine (Volume XVIII, No. 8). Both are reproduced here at approximately 3.5 times their original printed size and represent the development of a simplicity and economy in Vallely's linework. Also note one of the early incarnations of his signature as simply "VAL".

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