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Willie Comics was published by Timely for 15 issues from 1946 through 1949. The series was continued from Ideal Comics and continued as Li’l Willie Comics.

What’s interesting about my favorite (copy #15 from August 1948) is the printing error revealed on the inside cover.

The following explanation is from a GCG boardie: 

“It’s a printing error where the plate printed on the cylinder rather than the sheet.…Paper is coming into the press from the left, exits on right. Those two circles are big metal cylinders that spin. The top cylinder has a plate attached with an inked reverse of the image to be printed. The bottom cylinder is just steel. When printing, the two cylinders press up against each other, with just a sheet of paper that flows between them. The pressure of the two cylinders imprints the ink from the reverse image from the plate on the top cylinder to a positive image on the paper. 

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Willie Comics #5, Marvel Comics September 1946

If there is a paper jam or some other malfunction, when those two cylinders meet with no paper between them, the ink from the reverse image is transferred to the bottom cylinder as a positive. When the next sheet of paper goes through, the image from the top will print correctly on the top of the paper, and the positive image on the bottom cylinder will print (in reverse) on the back. It will continue to print like that until the ink on the bottom cylinder is used up (usually a couple of dozen sheets).

A careful pressman will stop the press and wipe clean the bottom cylinder when this happens. This is the work of the other guy. 

Edited to add: Each color on the press is a separate cylinder, so that process happens 4 times. In this case, the paper jammed or had an error part way through the 4 color passes, so it only happened with the black and magenta.”

I also own a few other Willie’s; #11 (Dec 1947), #12 (Feb 1948), #13, #14 (Feb 1948), #16* (April 1948) #19 and #22.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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* Sold copy