Below is text which I had originally posted next to the cel image on the main page.
It describes my rational for suspecting the cel was not authentic. Following each
of my original points are comments from the buyer of the cel, Joel Elkins. It was
his comments that led me to change my opinion regarding this cel. (Thanks
to Joel for granting permission for his comments to be reproduced here.)
This item contains figures that have been seen quite often in uncolored line-drawings.
It would be rather easy to create a transparency from the separate
B&W images, including the copyright, and paint it as shown.
The image never appeared in a Jonny Quest episode (probably explaining why it was
never "peg-punched"), and so cannot be considered a true cel. It *may* have been
issued as a sericel or similar item by H-B, but whether this ever happened, I cannot
You are correct that this image never appeared in an
episode, and you are also correct that similar B&W images have been seen quite
often. Those types of images are from model cels, which are created as references
for the artists. If it is genuine, then this would be a model cel, not a production
cel, and that's why it wouldn't necessarily be peg-punched. I have seen enough of
those over the years to be confident that this is not unusual in and of itself.
The lines that run across the colored areas in the image are highly suspect, as
they appear more like colored marker artifacts (like someone used a marker on the
B&W image, drawing line after line on the image) than anything else. In any
case, is does not look like the image is painted (or if it is, it's a *really* bad
job). (See original scan; the
better scan seen on the main page was sent by Joel).
The 'lines' you mention in the color areas aren't really
there, it's just a VERY bad scan. The cel is most definitely painted, and in fact
looks much better in person that that scan would make you believe.
Joel also made the following comments, which pretty much sealed the deal for me:
I have also compared the acetate to cels that I KNOW
are genuine HB cels from that era (including the scan you have of Dr. Quest laying
on the walk from Arctic Splashdown, another one I bought from the VanEaton Gallery),
and the thickness seems comparable to those cels.
Having said all that, could this still be a forgery? Yes. Again, I cannot prove
it's authenticity per se, but I can tell you that if I had thought otherwise after
examining it, then I would have returned it to the seller.
Of all the cels I have bought, this is the only one about which I must admit that
I had a serious concern regarding it's authenticity - I usually buy through reputable
galleries, like Van Eaton, for this reason. I exchanged numerous messages with the
seller, and his story seemed believable. In all honesty, I naturally wanted to believe
it, as a cel signed by Wildey is the pretty much the holy grail for a Quest collector
like myself. Like I said, I cannot absolutely prove that this cel is genuine: It
is quite possible that it is a modern re-creation, like the limited-edition cels
I mentioned earlier. If so, they did a good job.
And regardless, it's going to look great on my wall!