Tumblr favorite #890: I hope he gets his patent!

Original post here.

Sourced to here. This illustration provides another example of Bacchus’s image provenance research.

This one was at once very easy and very hard. I knew at a glance (even before I saw the signature) that the artist was Bill Ward, but he was so prolific (and the sort of pulp publications he drew for were so numerous and so poorly cataloged) that I was (rightly) worried that it might be impossible to identify the specific publication where this comic appeared.

Bill Ward background info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Ward_%28comics%29

It is evident that we are looking at a photo of the original art, with the sort of penciled notations on it that were used for newspaper and magazine paste-up back in the days when such was done manually. And the little camera icon embossed in the lower right corner is indicative of a photo used in an eBay auction, where such are embossed by the system on all seller-provided pictures. A quick review of Bill Ward art currently for sale on eBay and still in the system from auctions closed in the last 30-60 days did not reveal the auction, so presumably it closed prior to that.

I was able to find this forum post where this same photographic image appears side by side with a smaller, captioned form of the artwork, presumably as it appeared in one of the many pulp publications where Ward was often published:


Since the forum post is dated 11-06-12, this confirms that the presumed eBay auction took place at least four months ago, which is why the auction (and any provenance that might have been provided by the seller) is no longer in the system.

I also found the captioned version on a Bill Ward fan blog, sadly without further attribution:


As the URL hints, the caption is “How can that be a true or false machine?”

I wondered whether the use of the phrase “vintage funnies” in the title of the forum thread was merely descriptive, or whether it identified a source publication for the Ward images. However the most prominent publication by that name (the 1970s comics by DynaPub, http://www.comicvine.com/superman/29-1807/vintage-funnies/49-52933/) focused on reprints of comic strips, which (so far as I know or can discern) Bill Ward rarely if ever produced. So that seems likely to be a dead end.

Bacchus is actively taking image research commissions, and if you have adult imagery you’re curious to learn more about, I encourage you to visit Bacchus’s introductory post for his image-searching service, where you can find details about how to commission him.