Ed Vebell

With "Singing Serpent" a new artist entered the world of the Three Investigators. Ed Vebell drew the cover and internal illustrations for "Singing Serpent" and also drew the covers for the next two entries in the series. However, it should be pointed out that Ed Vebell also drew the covers for "Terror Castle" and "Stuttering Parrot," as discussed in the page on Harry Kane. So he was not really a new artist, since he had been with the series since its inception.

Vebell stayed true to Kane's illustrative concept of the boys (even after the change in Bob's appearance in "Whispering Mummy"), but as he had his own style, the overall feel was decidedly different than the earlier books. Whereas Kane would draw Pete with his hair tousled and Jupiter with his hair a little mussed, Vebell had a more contemporary style and generally drew Pete and Jupiter with well-kept hair.

The clothing of the boys changed as well. Jupiter no longer sported his Hawaiian shirt that was prominent in Kane's illustrations, and Bob no longer wore his red pullover sweater and white long-sleeved shirt.

Vebell also had the habit of drawing the boys in dramatic poses with arms raised and mouth open in horror, particularly on the cover illustrations, to emphasize the sometimes frightening aspects of the Three Investigators stories. Vebell was a talented artist, and the series is certainly better for having had him as one of its illustrators.

In the spring of 2001, I got curious about the original authors and illustrators associated with the series and tried to locate those with whom no contact had been established. Through some detective work (Jupe, Pete, and Bob would have been proud!), I was able to find Ed Vebell. After writing him a letter, I received a nice reply back along with an invitation to give him a phone call. That led to a series of conversations between me and Mr. Vebell, and he agreed to let me write up some information about his life and his association with The Three Investigators, which I have placed on the pages listed below. Mr. Vebell is a cordial gentleman who loves to share stories of his past experiences in the illustrating field, and he took the time to tell me about how he illustrated books. Although he no longer has any of his original artwork that he drew for the series, Mr. Vebell did have a few photos left in his collection that he used to draw some of the covers. I obtained these from him, and they (along with a couple of letters from him) are now in my personal T3I collection.

Read a brief summary of the life of Ed Vebell, the illustrator
Read about Ed Vebell's association with The Three Investigators Mystery Series
Look at some of the photos used by Mr. Vebell to draw some of his covers

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