This is how it went down.
When the New Jersey artist and antique collector Joseph Getsinger acquired an enormous, 10,000-piece collection of 1930s-era cartoon printing plates, he had no idea what riches it contained — just a hunch that there might be some diamonds in the rough. During his research, he became fascinated with two strips in particular: UNCLE OTTO by one "Carl Heck" and HARRY KARRY, credited to an unknown artist named "Willis B. Rensie."
As Joe began to investigate the provenance of this massive collection, he found that it was linked to Empire Features, a company that provided printing plates to various newspapers for syndication. Eisner & Iger Studios — the partnership between the very young Jerry Iger and Will Eisner to distribute and publish their many fledgling comic books, strips, and magazines — was one of Empire Features' many customers.
One day shortly after becoming aware of this connection, Getsinger was looking at a reverse-printed HARRY KARRY plate and it came to him in a flash: "Rensie" was Eisner spelled backwards. He suddenly knew that what he had here was of extraordinary historical value.
It's been confirmed. These are lost teenage published-then-forgotten work of Will Eisner, master of the comic book form. Somehow these plates were never melted down, made it through WWII, and are still part of an enormous collection of '30s era plates. It was just that no one had any idea that the Eisner work stuff was in there.
The Uncle Otto and Harry Karry strips unearthed are the earliest known comic book work of Will Eiser.
This will be Locust Moon Press' first archival projects in which they "intend to salvage vital pieces of comics and art history from the sands of time."
The UNCLE OTTO and HARRY KARRY strips have been relief printed from their plates and scanned in high resolution. We have a cover design, and a mocked up interior layout. Denis Kitchen, Will Eisner's publisher, friend, and executor of his estate, has signed on to write the introduction. We've priced the book with our printer, and have come up with a budget that covers all elements of printing, shipping, and fulfillment.