A recent 'Terry & the Pirates' original art auction on eBay had a unique twist. Offered for sale was the strip that was published on January 14, 1942, as well as a heretofore unseen unpublished version! [click to enlarge pictures]
Above is the published version.
Above is the unpublished version. This was drawn first. Apparently there was some objection to the fourth panel and Caniff was asked to redo it. I'm sure Caniff being asked to redraw a panel was a rarity in itself, particularly at the peak of his career. It's not really a key strip and it has none of the main characters. It only has Sammy the Tapper, a minor villain who was getting his kicks blackmailing Terry's love interest, April Kane.
This was written at the bottom of the unpublished version. My best guess is "Kill this out for Herman", and then initialed EM. Perhaps some other Caniff scholars can give me a hand here? Another big curiosity is the date - 1/6/42. Was Caniff asked to make the change just eight days before press time?!? It seems like an unbelievable turnaround.
Of the first three panels, I think this one is improved by the contrast of white paper against the waiter's suit.
Kudos to Caniff for obtaining what was likely an authentic New York rap sheet of its day. The real improvements in the new panel are (1) the use of Sam's mugshot in favor of all that type and (2) the cigarette now falling out of his mouth in shock.