Historically significant Golden Age/Pre-Code/SOTI comic discovered!
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I had the pleasure of meeting Dong Kingman--wish I would have known about this at the time so I could have asked him about it.

 

Did he mention anything about his work for Ringling Bros. Circus?

 

 

rbbb.jpg

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That is like freakin incredible!!!!!!!!!!!! That is one of the rarest comics in the world. I have been looking for that forever. Much praise to you!!!!!!!!!

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Thanks Bo! It was fun to find.

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Congrats on the find, sfcityduck. :applause:

 

I hope you're going to post some pics of the interior.

 

Thanks, BZ! As you're one of the posters I've learned the most about comics from on this site, I really appreciate your kudos. I will get back to posting on the book tonite.

 

 

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From one collector of rare and important books to another - congrats on a great find! (thumbs u

Edited by Moondog

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Wow! What an amazing find!

 

I know of two other copies of this book in the world, and one is at the Library of Congress.

 

The photo that I posted at SeductionOfTheInnocent.org is one that I took when I went to examine Wertham's files at the Library of Congress. The areas of the cover that appear to be a pale shade of green in my photo were actually bright white on the comic at LoC. The photo taken by my digital camera without flash under fluorescent lights came out rather greenish at the top & bottom. I can't say now with certainty whether the center part of the cover was red or orange, but it certainly could have been red. What appear to be coloring variations between sfcityduck's copy and the LOC copy are likely due to the limitations of my digital point-and-shoot camera and the ban on flash photography at LOC, rather than two different versions of the book. I'd need another trip to DC to verify that.

 

Regardless of whether there are one or two versions of this book (and if there are two, the theory about Wertham having an advance copy is a reasonable explanation. Wertham definitely had advance information from Once-Upon-A-Time Press including covers to future books they intended to publish), it's still a really exciting find and an amazing book to have. Congrats, sfcityduck!

 

 

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I am pleased to report that right now I am holding in my hands a copy of The Nightingale published by Henry H. Stansbury’s Once-Upon-A-Time Press Inc. in 1948 (10c, 7-1/4x10-1/4”, 14 pgs., 1/2 B&W).

 

Congrats on the find, sfcityduck. :applause:

 

I hope you're going to post some pics of the interior.

+1

 

I'd love to see the inside pages to see if it is truly a "comic book" or more like a "floppy" children's book.

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I am pleased to report that right now I am holding in my hands a copy of The Nightingale published by Henry H. Stansbury’s Once-Upon-A-Time Press Inc. in 1948 (10c, 7-1/4x10-1/4”, 14 pgs., 1/2 B&W).

 

Congrats on the find, sfcityduck. :applause:

 

I hope you're going to post some pics of the interior.

+1

 

I'd love to see the inside pages to see if it is truly a "comic book" or more like a "floppy" children's book.

 

+1 too.

 

I am curious whether the story is faithful to the fairytale, in particular whether it features Death.

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From one collector of rare and important books to another - congrats on a great find! (thumbs u

 

Thanks! Coming from a guy who made the coolest discovery in the history of the hobby (the ashcans) and followed that up with a nice pedigree collection, that means a lot.

 

 

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Wow! What an amazing find!

 

I know of two other copies of this book in the world, and one is at the Library of Congress.

 

 

Thanks! I never would have sought out the book but for your posting of the LoC cover. I really appreciate the clarification about the color scheme of the cover, but I'm a still curious what you meant by the "alternative cover" comment.

 

And thanks also for revealing the existence of a third copy (presumably in the hands of a private collector as I speculated earlier). So now we have three known copies, two in private collections. I guess there's no need to start a The Nightingale club thread quite yet.

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I am pleased to report that right now I am holding in my hands a copy of The Nightingale published by Henry H. Stansbury’s Once-Upon-A-Time Press Inc. in 1948 (10c, 7-1/4x10-1/4”, 14 pgs., 1/2 B&W).

 

Congrats on the find, sfcityduck. :applause:

 

I hope you're going to post some pics of the interior.

+1

 

I'd love to see the inside pages to see if it is truly a "comic book" or more like a "floppy" children's book.

 

To answer your question, let's start with the back cover:

 

DSC04805.jpg

 

The Nightingale was conceived as a "good comic book" which would be an antidote to crime comic books.

 

Per the last sentence of the back cover, the stated intent was to bring a "revival of interest in fine pictures and books as opposed to the trend towards so-called 'Comic Books.'"

 

But, as the NYT and AP stories reveal, the strategy was to execute a bait and switch by giving "first, second, and third grade children" something that looked like a comic book in format and price, and which carried the action with dynamic illustrations, but which featured "fine art" and classic stories.

 

It was conceived, marketed, and publicized as a comic book, but a comic book of a new higher level of class. It clearly is properly viewed as a part of the comic book tradition, albeit a reactionary part of that tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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+1 too.

 

I am curious whether the story is faithful to the fairytale, in particular whether it features Death.

 

Turning to the interior, there is no Death.

 

I'll get some pictures up on another day.

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Wow! What an amazing find!

 

I know of two other copies of this book in the world, and one is at the Library of Congress.

 

 

Thanks! I never would have sought out the book but for your posting of the LoC cover. I really appreciate the clarification about the color scheme of the cover, but I'm a still curious what you meant by the "alternative cover" comment.

 

And thanks also for revealing the existence of a third copy (presumably in the hands of a private collector as I speculated earlier). So now we have three known copies, two in private collections. I guess there's no need to start a The Nightingale club thread quite yet.

 

Very soon I'll go back through my photos from the LOC. Then I'll post pictures and clarification re: the alternate cover.

 

The back cover you posted doesn't look familiar to me at all, so I think it's different from the one at the LOC, My photos will either confirm or refute that. If it is indeed a different back cover, then that would bolster the theory that perhaps Wertham had an advance copy.

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It looks as though Hudson City Books in N.Y. may have sold a copy via the Advanced Book Exchange recently (Inventory # 76421)

 

I wonder who was fortunate enough to pick up that copy? This may confirm that there is yet another copy extant. hm

Edited by eccomic

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It looks as though Hudson City Books in N.Y. may have sold a copy via the Advanced Book Exchange recently (Inventory # 76421) hm

 

I wonder who was fortunate enough to pick up that copy. This may confirm that there is yet another copy extant.

 

^^

 

They are a great little book store with a lot of interesting art books. I had been searching the book and art markets for two years for this thing, including regular internet searches. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw they had a copy.

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All I can say is: MAZEL TOV. :o

 

I absolutely love finds like this. ABE is your best friend....I have found a tremendous amount of rare and elusive books on this site in the past as well. (thumbs u

Edited by eccomic

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ABE is great for Platinum era comics and old comic artist-illustrated books.

 

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Wow! What an amazing find!

 

I know of two other copies of this book in the world, and one is at the Library of Congress.

 

 

Thanks! I never would have sought out the book but for your posting of the LoC cover. I really appreciate the clarification about the color scheme of the cover, but I'm a still curious what you meant by the "alternative cover" comment.

 

And thanks also for revealing the existence of a third copy (presumably in the hands of a private collector as I speculated earlier). So now we have three known copies, two in private collections. I guess there's no need to start a The Nightingale club thread quite yet.

 

Very soon I'll go back through my photos from the LOC. Then I'll post pictures and clarification re: the alternate cover.

 

The back cover you posted doesn't look familiar to me at all, so I think it's different from the one at the LOC, My photos will either confirm or refute that. If it is indeed a different back cover, then that would bolster the theory that perhaps Wertham had an advance copy.

 

Here are some pics of the items in Wertham's files at the Library of Congress.

In addition to an actual copy of The Nightingale, there was this, with full color art on one side of the page and a blank back:

nightingale_alternate_cover.jpg

nightingale_alternate_cover_back.jpg

It would appear that this was an alternate cover, although it could have been intended as promotional material for the book.

 

There were also some pages that appeared to be advance artwork for future planned editions of Once-Upon-A-Time books: The Snow Man, with illustrations by William Palmer, and A Christmas Carol, with art by Mark von Arenburg. The copy on the front of the Snow Man book is the only place I've seen reference to Once-Upon-A-Time Press providing "frames" for their books.

nightingale_snow_man.jpg

nightingale_snow_man_back.jpg

nightingale_Christmas_Carol.jpg

 

These are all full color on one side and blank on the other side.

 

These pages of otherwise unpublished artwork, plus the letter below, show that Wertham was communicating with the publisher of these books. It's certainly conceivable or even likely that Wertham had an advance copy of The Nightingale.

nightingale_stansbury_letter.jpg

 

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Great post!

 

IMHO the first image is of an advertising flyer not an alternative cover because there is no price.

 

For those wanting to see an interior illustration, that flyer is using one. I've been a little swamped on an important case, so my apologies for not posting more images. My hope is to do so by Thursday.

 

That letter to Stansbury is very telling. First, it shows Wertham was not at all opposed to censorship of comics, despite the statements he made in later years. Second, it shows that he was prone to pre-judgment. And, third, it makes me wonder what his WWII experience was because that last line is a very strong anti-war statement for 1948, almost suggesting comic publishers were part of a fascist war machine.

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