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Kenneth Bruce Bald (born August 1, 1920) is an Americanmarker illustrator and comic book artist best known for the Judd Saxon, Dr. Kildare and Dark Shadows newspaper comic strips. Due to contractual obligations, he is credited as "K. Bruce" on the Dark Shadows strip.

Biography

Early life and career

Ken Bald was born in New York Citymarker, New Yorkmarker and raised in suburban Mount Vernon, New Yorkmarker. He attended Pratt Institutemarker in Brooklynmarker for three years, then joined the Englewood, New Jerseymarker studio of Jack Binder, one of the early comic-book "packagers" who would supply complete comics on demand for publishers entering the new medium. Beginning in 1942, during the 1940s period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books, Bald, via Binder, began drawing backup features for the prominent Fawcett Comics.

Creator credits were not routinely given during this era, and while historians have tentatively identified Bald as both penciler and inker of the 14-page Bulletman story "The Terror of the Iceberg" in Fawcett's Master Comics #26 (May 1942), his earliest confirmed credit is penciling the 16-page Captain America story "Ali Baba and His Forty Nazis" in Captain America Comics #32 (Nov. 1943), published by Marvel Comics precursor Timely Comics.

Detail from Dark Shadows newspaper comic strip.
Art by Bald.
Going on staff at Timely, Bald drew stories of such superheroes as Captain America, the Sub-Mariner, the Blonde Phantom, the Destroyer, and Miss America variously through comics cover-dated July 1949. He both wrote and drew a number of Millie the Model humor stories in the comics Georgie and Patsy Walker, and at least drew the teen-humor character Cindy in Georgie and Judy Comics and Junior Miss.
Bald penciled the first appearance of the Sub-Mariner spin-off character Namora, in "The Coming of Namora" in Marvel Mystery Comics #82 (May 1947), but it is unclear if he helped create the character; the cover, which was sometimes created first, featured Namora draw by Bob Powell. Similarly, Bald drew Timely's single issue of The Witness (Sept. 1948), starring a character co-created by writer-editor Stan Lee, but the cover for which was drawn by Charles Nicholas. Bald, with an unidentified writer, co-created Timely the superhero Sun Girl, who starred in a three-issue series cover-dated August to December 1948.

His other comic-book work included the character Crime Smasher in Fawcett's Whiz Comics in the 1940s, and many anthological horror/suspense stories in American Comics Group's Adventures into the Unknown, The Clutching Hand, Forbidden Worlds and Out of the Night from 1949 through late 1954. Also for ACG, he co-created the adventure feature Time Travelers in Operation: Peril #1 (Nov. 1950)

Personal

Bald and his wife, Kaye, have five children.

Footnotes

  1. Bald, Kenneth Bruce, foreword, Dark Shadows: The Comic Strip Book, edited by Kathryn Leigh Scott, Pomegranate Press, 1996. ISBN 0938817396. p. vii
  2. "The Look of Love: The Rise and Fall of The Photo-Realistic Newspaper Strip — The Art of Ken Bald: Truth, Beauty, and Photography", by Prof. A. E. Mendez, citing The Steranko History of Comics 2


References




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