Rediscovering Tim Sale's legacy in a new color edition of "BILLI 99"

In the world of comic book artistry, few names shine as brightly as Tim Sale. Sale, along with writer Jeph Loeb, worked on iconic titles like Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man and left an indelible mark on the industry. However, before these blockbusters, there was BILLI 99, Sale's first full-length comic, created alongside writer Sarah Byam. Clover Press is now bringing this seminal work back to life in a hardcover, full-color edition, crowdfunded on Kickstarter, featuring the vibrant coloring work of José Villarrubia.

Originally published by Dark Horse in 1991, BILLI 99 is a narrative woven with themes of corporate greed and corrupt governance, centered around a teen vigilante, Billi Chadam. Inheriting her father's sword, Billi battles to dismantle the oppressive powers that be, aiming to restore liberty to her city's residents.

The journey to this definitive edition has been fraught with challenges. Sarah Byam recounts efforts made alongside Sale (who died in 2022) and editor Patty Jeres to bring a hardcover, color version of BILLI 99 to life, an endeavor met with repeated obstacles. Despite these setbacks, the vision for a final, true-to-vision edition persisted, underscoring the importance of BILLI 99 to both its creators and fans.

Tim Sale's widow, Susan Bailey, offers insights into Sale's connection with BILLI 99 in her essay included in the new edition, highlighting its unique take on the comic book hero and its enduring relevance. José Villarrubia, tasked with coloring this edition, expresses gratitude for the opportunity to pay homage to Sale's legacy and anticipates the audience's surprise at the depth of this work.

The Clover Press edition of BILLI 99 is not just a reprint, but a tribute to Tim Sale's early work, enriched with extras like a portrait by Bill Sienkiewicz and essays that deepen the reader's understanding of Sale's distinct duo-shade art style. This edition ensures that Sale's legacy will continue, offering both longtime fans and new readers a chance to experience BILLI 99 in its fullest, most vibrant form.

Here are a few exclusive images from the book, shared with Boing Boing.