Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bill Everett and The Sub-Mariner

Born May 18, 1917, the late Bill Everett would have been 93 years old today!

Bill Everett kind of lives on the fringe of comic book legend. I don't believe he ever had a passion for the art or was ever a driving force in the field, but he was a major contributor none-the-less.

In the 1930's Bill had tried his hand at breaking into different newspapers and other illustrative jobs, and seems to have been fired from every one for being "too cocky"! While adrift and unemployed a friend suggested he try the newly forming comic book arena.

He went to work for Centaur and did his first page for the whopping sum of $2! That was all Everett needed to hear...a chance at steady pay. While at Centaur he created Aman, The Amazing Man and eventually rose up to the princely sum of $14 dollars a page. Not bad for the heat of the Depression.

While at Centaur, Everett contributed to an aborted project called "Motion Picture Funnies Weekly". This was to be a weekly published black and white comic book given free to movie goers as way of selling advertising as well as promoting other comics. He came up with a character who was to go down in history as one of the greats.

When the project was given up, Bill sold his story to Martin Goodman who was about to try his hand at comic book publishing. Fleshing the story out from 8 pages to 12, history was made and The Sub-Mariner made his debut appearance in the very first Marvel Comic in 1940, Marvel Comics #1!!

Here it is true-believers, enjoy!

Everett continued to work at Timely Comics (Marvel's precursor) through the 1940's in between a stint in World War II and even on some Atlas comics in the 1950's (doing both a tried revival of Sub-Mariner and horror comics) but through necessity also got jobs in the real world.

In the 1970's while in semi-retirement, he came back home to roost at Marvel, where he worked for a while doing some gorgeous work on his old pal Subby.

In 1973 Bill passed away, and in the pages of the book he had created, Marvel paged homage.

Thanks Bill! For creating one of the foundational characters in comic book history!

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