America's Sweetheart Sunny by Al Feldstein, Up for Auction

Al Feldstein is best known for his legendary association with EC Comics, as a writer, artist, and editor on a wide variety of material, and as the editor of Mad from 1956 to 1985.  But before then, he made his mark on a tried and true comics genre staple of a different kind.  In 1947, Fox Features Syndicate was looking to do a knock-off of the incredibly popular Archie Comics concept, and Feldstein obliged with the titles Sunny and Junior — both of which featured slightly racier versions of the now-legendary teenage drama of Riverdale.  An important moment in the career of one of comics history's most important and influential creators, there's a great example of this material in Sunny #12 (Fox, 1948) CGC FN/VF 7.0 Cream to off-white pages featuring both Sunny and Junior content up for auction in this week's 2022 May 8-9 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122219 from Heritage Auctions.

Sunny #12 (Fox, 1948)
Sunny #12 (Fox, 1948)

As related in Feldstein: The Mad Life and Fantastic Art of Al Feldstein, the creator hit exactly the mark that publisher Victor Fox had intended: "Feldstein's cover adorning the first issue of Junior sets the tone for all of the covers that were to follow: cute, well-endowed young women (whose wardrobes reveal a good bit of skin) get poor, hapless Junior's attention, thus causing some mishap or other… Sunny was 'America's Sweetheart' and sort of a backwards version of Junior: she was the cute one on the covers, and she got herself into scrapes either by looking at cute guys, by being a helpless female, or by being lost in love."

Feldstein's work for Fox Features Syndicate soon brought him to the attention of Bill Gaines, but the artistry he employed for Victor Fox remains sought-after to this day. Sunny #12 (Fox, 1948) CGC FN/VF 7.0 Cream to off-white pages features a Junior interior story and a Sunny cover by Feldstein, giving us an example of both of the Fox Features Syndicate characters in one comic book. It's worth a look for any fan of the era in this week's 2022 May 8-9 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122219 from Heritage Auctions.

Sunny #12 (Fox, 1948)
Sunny #12 (Fox, 1948)
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About Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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