We’ve reported a few times on the unusual tale of a handyman who stole Joe Quesada’s art colletion from his house while was was supposedly repairing it. But now Quesada himself has posted a lengthy account of the crime and it’s even more bizarre…and sad.
It seems the thief, Francesco Bove, had actually been working for the Quesadas for nearly 15 years, and they had even helped him through a rough patch…and trusted him with the security codes to their house. However, a few years ago it emerged that the man was living in their house without their knowledge….and the theft of the art was revealed only when someone spotted a piece he knew Quesada owned was up for sale.
In case you can’t follow that here’s the sad end. It seems hundreds of pages have been sold, some of them of great personal value to Quesada and his family, and he’d like the public’s help to get the pages back if possible, especially the Archie cover posted above – which has been sold twice already since it was stolen:
And here’s the thing that keeps me up at night. These were pieces that I was never intending to sell, art that had deep personal meaning to every member of my family. There was an enormous collection of Archie art from various artists like Stan Goldberg, Harry Lucey, Sam Schwartz but the majority of it by Dan DeCarlo. There were also Laugh Comics pages by Bill Woggon, The Adventures Of Pipsqueak by Walt Lardner as well as Pat The Brat and Shrimpy by Joe Harold and a huge assortment of other artists from the 50s and 60s to today. I lost pages of my own professional art as well as art I purchased from dear and talented friends. But what stings the most is that Mr. Bove took artwork that I had discovered many years ago stored in my father’s home after he had passed away. Drawings and paintings I did in elementary school, high school and college. Practice sample pages I had done before ever seriously thinking I could be in comics. This was art I was leaving behind for my daughter just as my father had left it for me. It kills me to think that I’ll never get this stuff back now that it’s been scattered to the four winds perhaps bought and sold more times than I care to imagine… or possibly even destroyed. So yes, heartbreak after heartbreak. Not only was the thief someone who I trusted, allowed into my home and helped during rough times, but the items he stole in order to keep himself afloat once he realized he irreversibly burned his bridge with me were the ones most irreplaceable and of personal importance.
Now here’s the part where I could use your help.
While I’m hopeful that now in custody Mr. Bove may lead the Detectives to the people and locations where he sold the art, perhaps some of you reading this might be able to point the Sparta New Jersey Police Department in the right direction. If you’ve purchased any art from Mr. Francesco Bove and have it in your possession or know someone who does please contact
You can also reach out to me here on FB as well. Please know that I understand completely that this was sold under false pretenses and I fault no one for not knowing that. All I want is to retrieve as much of the art as I possibly can especially the attached Dan DeCarlo cover for Archie #322 which means the world to me and my family. Unfortunately it has been sold at least twice over that I’m aware of but if you know where I can find it I will gladly purchase it back.
Perhaps the great power of the internet can be harnessed for good this time!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.