All-Flash #4.

E. E. Hibbard was an American comics artist who worked for All-American Comics (nowadays DC Comics) in the 1940s. He was one of the main artists behind 'The Flash' superhero stories by Gardner Fox. He was the first artist to illustrate a 'Justice Society' story and created the recurring villains Winky, Blinky and Noddy (1942) and Thinker (1943) in the 'Flash' franchise. 

Early life and career
Everett Edward Hibbard was born in 1909 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. A graduate from Northeastern College, the young man intended to become a commercial illustrator and headed for Chicago to study at the Chicago Art Institute. He however ended up in Detroit, where he was offered a job playing the saxophone with a big band. He stayed around for a couple of years, but the Great Depression of the 1930s was not a very lucrative period for a touring musician. So Hibbard returned to visual arts, and went to study illustration in Boston. By 1939 he was in New York, where he offered his services to editor Sheldon Mayer of All-American Comics, one of the predecessors of the current DC Comics.


From: All-Flash #10.

The Flash
Hibbard was hired and assigned to replace Harry Lampert as the artist of the superhero feature 'The Flash' by writer Gardner Fox from the third issue of 'Flash Comics' in March 1940. He also drew 'The Flash' for the quarterly titles 'All-Star Comics', which was launched in the Summer of 1940, 'All-Flash', which started a year later, and 'Comic Cavalcade' from the Winter of 1942. With a more professional background than many of the other early comic book artists, Hibbard upgraded the feature's look with more detailed panels, effective use of shadows and more experimental page lay-outs. He was furthermore the co-creator of the villainous trio Winky, Blinky and Noddy, who debuted in 'All-Flash' (issue #5, Summer 1942). Created as foils for The Flash, their names were inspired by Eugene Field's classic poem 'Wynken, Blynken, and Nod' (1889). Their personalities, however, were basically ripped off from the popular film comedy trio the Three Stooges. Just like them they were just a bunch of bumbling fools and as such never a genuine threat to "the fastest man alive". They were retired from the franchise by the mid-1940s, but revived as more menacing characters from the 1960s on. Within the 'Flash' franchise Hibbard also created Thinker, a genius lawyer who collaborates with more simple-minded villains to hatch criminal schemes. 


'The Phantom Detective', from Thrilling Comics #54.

Other comic book work
Hibbard is furthermore historically important as the first artist to draw the 'Justice Society of America' during framing sequences in 'All Star Comics'. This cross-over between various superhero characters owned by All-American Comics and National Allied Publications was thought up by Gardner Fox and debuted in 'All Star Comics' issue #3 (Winter 1940). Two decades later it would evolve into Fox' similar concept: the 'Justice League'. Hibbard additionally drew a 'Green Lantern' story for 'All-American Comics' #32 (November 1941), and some 'Perfect Crime Mystery' stories for the early issues of 'Gang Busters' (1947) and 'Mr. District Attorney' (1947). Outside of DC Comics, the artist drew a couple of 'Phantom Detective' stories for 'Thrilling Comics' by Better Publications (1946-1948), and ghosted the 'Secret Agent X-9' newspaper strip for Mel Graff from 9 November through 26 December 1942.

Importance for The Flash
Hibbard remained mainly associated with 'The Flash' until retiring from the comic book industry in 1947. His final 'Flash' stories appeared in 'Flash Comics' #80 (February 1947) and 'Comics Cavalcade' #27 (Summer 1948). His contributions to the character were obviously appreciated, as the comic already got a "Gardner F. Fox and E.E. Hibbard" byline as early as 1941, even if the stories were illustrated by Hal Sharp.


'Adirondack Bobcat', by E.E. Hibbard (1979).

Post-comics activities
In 1947 Hibbard retired from the comics industry to work as studio and sketch artist for J. Walter Thompson (TV and print media). He became a well-known wildlife painter, whose work has been widely exhibited in New York and New Jersey during the 1970s. He also created animal sculptures and was a member of the Society of Animal Artists. E.E. Hibbard passed away in 1998 at the age of 89. 

The Flash, by E.E. Hibbard

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