Sunday, March 24, 2013

Strong Resemblance.

Sunday Special.

The Digital Comics Museum has become an indispensable part of collecting and identifying comics these days. The free site that collects copy rigth free comic books in digital form, is a treasure of unseen comic book. Even the most obscure ones, that no one in his right min would be other than in a job lot, end up there. I pick and browse whenever I can and this week I came across what consider an unrecorded appearance by a well known and important comic artist.

As an art spotter I have a rule: if it looks like it 'could be' a certain artist, it probably isn't. In this case I am pretty sure these two stories have been done by Bill Elder. If this is indeed the case, it was done at the beginning of his career as a comic book artist. `most of his work was done as an inker for John Severin, although I do have a solo story he did earlier that year for Prize Comics as well. Jack Armstong was published by Parents Magazine, which was run by Al Capp's brother. He also ran Varsity magazine, which would use early satirical material by Harvey Kurtzman in 1949 and 1950. Harvey Kurtzman had a studio with Bill Elder and Charles Stern.

I am not sure if Elder pencilled this story. The other solo sample I have is a lot less realistic. It is certainly not drawn by John Severin and also not by Harvey Kurtzman (although one of the panel in the second story uses the Kurtzman trick of lighting from below). But if Elder did not draw this, on some figure he certainly overpowered the penciller, most notable on the cover which was also used as the second story splash.

I hope other Kurtzman and Elder fans will weigh in with their opinion.

1 comment:

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Kurtzman Index author Glenn Bray had a look and said he does not find any sign of Bill Elder. So unless two commenters of equal stature disagree, I am probably wrong here.