Reed Crandall

Reed Leonard Crandall (February 22, 1917 – September 13, 1982)[1][2] was an American illustrator and penciller of comic books and magazines. He was best known for the 1940s Quality Comics' Blackhawk and for stories in EC Comics during the 1950s. Crandall was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2009.

Reed Crandall
Reedleonardcrandall
Reed Crandall as a youth
BornReed Leonard Crandall
February 22, 1917
Winslow, Indiana
DiedSeptember 13, 1982 (aged 65)
NationalityAmerican
Area(s)Penciller, Inker
Pseudonym(s)E. Lectron
Notable works
Blackhawk, EC Comics
AwardsWill Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame

Biography

Early life and career

Reed Crandall was born in Winslow, Indiana,[3] the son of Rayburn Crandall and wife.[4] One cousin was reportedly official Grand Teton National Park resident artist and photographer Harrison Crandall.(There is no verification that Reed is related to Harrison Crandall)[5][6] Crandall graduated from Newton High School in Newton, Kansas, in 1935,[7] and then attended the Cleveland School of Art in Cleveland, Ohio,[8] on a scholarship.[9] He graduated in 1939.[7] His father died in the spring of Crandall's freshman year at art school, which Crandall left temporarily to return to Kansas.[10] His mother and sister moved to Cleveland during Crandall's junior year.[10] With his schoolmate Frank Borth, Crandall found work painting signs on storefront windows.[10] Crandall's art influences included the painters and commercial illustrators N.C. Wyeth, Howard Pyle and James Montgomery Flagg.[8]

Another classmate, the son of the president of the Cleveland-based Newspaper Enterprise Association syndicate, recommended Crandall for a job at NEA as a general art assistant, where Crandall drew maps and other supporting material.[11] Following his desire to be a magazine illustrator, Crandall unsuccessfully made the rounds of glossy magazines in New York City and Philadelphia,[11] and at some point did a small amount of work for a children's book publisher.[3] Moving to New York with his mother and sister, Crandall found work in the fledgling medium of comic books, joining the Eisner and Iger Studio, an early comic-book packager that supplied complete, outsourced comics for publishers.[3]

Quality Comics

HitComics18
Hit Comics #18 (Dec. 1941), featuring Stormy Foster. Cover art by Crandall.

Crandall drew for comic books from 1939 until 1973. His first work appears in comics from publisher Quality Comics, for which he drew stories starring such superheroes as the Ray (in Smash Comics, beginning in 1941 and initially under the playful pseudonym E. Lectron)[12] and Doll Man (first in Feature Comics in 1941, then in the character's own solo title). His earliest confirmed cover art is for Fiction House's Fight Comics #12 (April 1941) at the Grand Comics Database.[13] Other early work includes inking the pencil art of future industry legend Jack Kirby on two of the earliest Captain America stories, "The Ageless Orientals That Wouldn't Die", in Captain America Comics #2 (April 1941),[14] and "The Queer Case of the Murdering Butterfly and the Ancient Mummies" in #3 (May 1941).[15]

With S.M. "Jerry" Iger credited as writer, Crandall co-created the superhero the Firebrand in Quality's Police Comics #1 (Aug. 1941) and began his long run as artist of his signature series, the World War II aviator-team strip "Blackhawk", in Military Comics #12-22 (Oct. 1942 - Sept. 1943) and, after his WWII service in the Army Air Force,[8] in Blackhawk and in Modern Comics. During this time he also drew the adventures of Captain Triumph in Quality's Crack Comics. His final "Blackhawk" work was a seven-page story, plus the cover, for Blackhawk #67 (Aug. 1953).

EC Comics and afterward

Crandall went on to become a mainstay of EC Comics, whose line of hit horror and science fiction titles would become as influential to future generations of comics creators as they were controversial in their own time due to their often graphic nature and mature themes. Joining a group that included artists Johnny Craig, Jack Davis, Will Elder, Frank Frazetta, Graham Ingels, Jack Kamen, Bernard Krigstein and Wally Wood, Crandall made his debut there with the six-page story "Bloody Sure", written by Al Feldstein, in The Haunt of Fear #20 (August 1953).

He drew dozens of stories across a variety of genres for the EC anthologies Crime SuspenStories, Shock SuspenStories, Tales from the Crypt, Two-Fisted Tales, The Vault of Horror, Extra!, Impact, Piracy, and Weird Fantasy and its sequel series, Weird Science-Fantasy.

Following the demise of EC in the wake of the 1954 U.S. Senate hearings on juvenile delinquency and a wave of anti-comics sentiment,[16] Reed freelanced for Atlas Comics, the 1950s iteration of Marvel Comics, as well as for the Gilberton Company's Classics Illustrated. Crandall's work for Classics Illustrated consisted of joint projects with EC veteran George Evans on four titles: No. 18, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Fall 1960); No. 23, Oliver Twist (Fall 1961); No. 68, Julius Caesar (1962); No. 168, In Freedom's Cause (completed 1962; published UK 1963; published US 1969).[17]

In 1960, he went under contract with the publisher of Treasure Chest, a comic book distributed exclusively through parochial schools. Crandall illustrated many covers and countless stories for Treasure Chest through 1972. In 1964, he illustrated books by Edgar Rice Burroughs for Canaveral Press. The following year, he began contributing to Warren Publishing's black-and-white war-comics magazine Blazing Combat, and soon went on to contribute to the company's line of black-and-white horror publications, including Creepy and Eerie. In the mid-to-late 1960s, he illustrated superhero-espionage stories for Tower Comics,[18] and space opera science fiction in King Features Syndicate's King Comics comic-book version of the syndicate's long-running hero Flash Gordon.[19]

In June 1970, Crandall and Buster Crabbe were guests at the Multicon-70 convention in Oklahoma City.[20]

Final years

Crandall, who had left New York City in the 1960s in order to care for his ailing mother in Wichita, Kansas, had developed alcoholism.[8][21] Recovering by the time of his mother's death, he nonetheless suffered debilitated health and left art in 1974 to work as a night watchman and janitor for the Pizza Hut general headquarters in Wichita.[8] After suffering a stroke that year, he spent his remaining life in a nursing home and died in 1982 of a heart attack.[8] One of his last published stories, "This Graveyard Is Not Deserted", appeared in Creepy #54 (July 1973).[8] Creepy #58 contained "Soul and Shadow", possibly his last published comic book work.[22]

Family

Crandall married artist Martha Hamilton, and they had two children.[11] Their daughter, artist Cathy Crandall, had three children. Their son, Navy veteran Reed L. "Spike" Crandall (Sept. 8, 1945-July 2, 2005), an artist who owned and operated Crandall's Creations (Clarkesville, Georgia), had a daughter, Samantha Pledger, and three grandchildren.[23]

Awards and tributes

Crandall was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2009.[24]

He is referenced in Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. The fictional character Joe Kavalier refers to Crandall as the "top" comic-book artist of his era.[25]

References

  1. ^ Reed Crandall at the Social Security Death Index, via GenealogyBank.com; and via FamilySearch.org, citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing. Retrieved on 22 February 2013. Neither gives specific day of death. First cite archived from the original on 22 February 2013; second cite archived from the original on 22 February 2013.
  2. ^ Reed Leonard Crandall gravestone (photo) at FindAGrave.com. Archived from the original on May 1, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Reed Crandall at the Lambiek Comiclopedia
  4. ^ Root, Vincent C. (1933). "Exceptional Newton, Kan., Art Student Wins High Honors in National Art Department Contest". The Santa Fe Magazine. Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company. 28–29. Full article reprinted at Jay, Alex (February 20, 2012). "Creator: Reed Crandall".
  5. ^ Root, p. 36.
  6. ^ "Grand Teton National Park to Present Artwork from Harrison Crandall Private Archive". National Park Service press release. July 15, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Cooke, Jon, ed. (2005). The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Companion. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 65. ISBN 1-893905-43-8.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Stiles, Steve (n.d.). "A Look at EC Great Reed Crandall". SteveStiles.com. Archived from the original on May 13, 2005.
  9. ^ Root, pp. 35, 58.
  10. ^ a b c Interview with art-school classmate and lifelong friend Frank Borth, in Cooke, p. 66
  11. ^ a b c Borth, in Cooke, p. 67
  12. ^ Smash Comics #24 (July 1941) at the Grand Comics Database.
  13. ^ Fight Comics #12 (April 1941) at the Grand Comics Database.
  14. ^ Captain America Comics #2 (April 1941) at the Grand Comics Database.
  15. ^ Captain America Comics #3 (May 1941) at the Grand Comics Database.
  16. ^ Hajdu, David. The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008) ISBN 0-374-18767-3, ISBN 978-0-374-18767-5
  17. ^ Jones, William B., Jr., Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, Second Edition(McFarland, 2011), pp. 320, 321, 326, 334.
  18. ^ Bails, Jerry; Ware, Hames. "Crandall, Reed". Who's Who of American Comic Books 1928-1999. Archived from the original on November 24, 2007. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  19. ^ Benton, Mike (1989). The Comic Book in America. Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing. pp. 68, 129. ISBN 0-87833-659-1.
  20. ^ "Convention Features Old Films", Amarillo Globe-Times, June 16, 1970.
  21. ^ Borth, in Cooke, p. 68
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ The Times, Gainesville, Georgia. July 4, 2005.
  24. ^ Comic-Con.org: 2009 Eisner Award winners Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Chabon, Michael (2000). The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Random House. p. ???. ISBN 0-679-45004-1.

External links

Canaveral Press

Canaveral Press was a New York-based publisher of fantasy, science fiction and related material, active from the early 1960s through the mid-1970s. Richard A. Lupoff was the editor for publishers Jack Biblo and Jack Tannen.

After many years of operating their lower Manhattan bookstore, Biblo and Tannen Booksellers, at 63 Fourth Avenue, the two began a publishing subsidiary, named Biblo and Tannen, to republish out-of-print historical novels that were purchased mainly by school libraries. They also reprinted books on archaeology, including Arthur Evans's The Palace of Minos at Knossos.

Confessions Illustrated

Confessions Illustrated was a black-and-white magazine published by EC Comics in early 1956. Part of EC's Picto-Fiction line, each magazine featured three to five stories. The format alternated blocks of text with several illustrations per page.

The first issue had a cover date of January–February 1956, but the second issue was the last. A third issue existed but was not printed by EC. The Picto-Fiction magazines lost money from the start, and the line was canceled when EC's distributor went bankrupt.

Confessions Illustrated was edited by Al Feldstein. The stories were written by Daniel Keyes. Artists featured include Bud Parke, Jack Kamen, Joe Orlando, Wally Wood, Johnny Craig, Rudy Nappi and Reed Crandall.

In 2006 Confessions Illustrated was reprinted along with the other Picto-Fiction magazines by publisher Russ Cochran (and Gemstone Publishing) in hardbound volumes as the final part of his Complete EC Library. The reprint volume included the previously unpublished third issue of Confessions Illustrated.

Crime Illustrated

Crime Illustrated was a black-and-white magazine published by EC Comics in late 1955 and early 1956. Part of EC's Picto-Fiction line, each magazine featured three to five stories. The format alternated panels of typography with panels of illustrations. Thus, it was arranged in tiers like a comic book but eliminated hand-lettering, balloons and panel borders.

The first issue appeared with a cover date of November–December 1955. Crime Illustrated ran for a total of two issues. The Picto-Fiction magazines lost money from the start, and when EC's distributor went bankrupt, they had no choice but to cancel them.

Extra! (comics)

Extra! was a short-lived American comic book magazine published by EC Comics in 1955 as the third title in its New Direction line. The bi-monthly comic was published by Bill Gaines and edited by Johnny Craig. It lasted a total of five issues before being cancelled, along with EC's other New Direction comics. Extra! was dedicated to stories about the adventures of various journalists, who alternated as protagonists: Keith Michaels, Steve Rampart and Geri Hamilton. The rotational use was similar to the Ghoulunatics in EC's three horror comics. The contributors to this title include Craig, John Severin, and Reed Crandall. Craig was responsible for the art on the Keith Michaels stories. Severin handled the Steve Rampart stories while Crandall covered the Geri Hamilton ones. Craig was responsible for the art for all five covers.

Extra! was reprinted as part of publisher Russ Cochran's Complete EC Library in 1988. Between January and May 2000, Cochran (in association with Gemstone Publishing) reprinted all five individual issues. This complete run was later rebound, with covers included, in a single softcover EC Annual.

Impact (EC Comics)

Impact was a short-lived comic book series published by EC Comics in 1955 as the first title in its New Direction line. The bi-monthly comic, published by Bill Gaines and edited by Al Feldstein, began with an issue cover-dated March–April, 1955. It ran for five issues, ending with the November–December, 1955 issue. The sub-title "Tales Designed to Carry an" ran above the title Impact. The book was dedicated to stories with shock endings, and was seen as a toned down, Comics Code era version of EC's earlier Shock SuspenStories. Front covers were by Jack Davis, and the stories were illustrated by Davis, George Evans, Jack Kamen, Graham Ingels, Joe Orlando, Reed Crandall and Bernard Krigstein.

There are two versions of the cover to Impact # 1. One logo is yellow and the other is white.

Impact was reprinted as part of publisher Russ Cochran's Complete EC Library in 1988. Between April and August 1999, Cochran (in association with Gemstone Publishing) reprinted all five individual issues. This complete run was later rebound, with covers included, in a single softcover EC Annual.

Jigsaw (Harvey Comics)

Jigsaw was a Joe Simon-created character and two-issue comic series published by Harvey Comics from September to December 1966.

Developed for Harvey's short-lived superhero line, Harvey Thriller, Jigsaw was the disconnectable "Man of a Thousand Parts". The feature was drawn by Tony Tallarico, with the writing generally, if unconfirmably, credited to Otto Binder. The backup features were "Super Luck" in issue #1 (artist unknown) and "The Man From SRAM" (art by Golden Age veteran Carl Pfeufer) in #2. The first issue also featured an anthological science fiction story drawn by EC Comics great Reed Crandall. Work for a third issue may exist.

Journey into Unknown Worlds

Journey into Unknown Worlds was a science-fiction/horror/fantasy title from Atlas (pre-Marvel) Comics published during the 1950s.

The series continued from Timely Comics' teen-humor series Teen Comics and ran from Sept. 1950 - Aug. 1957.

It featured artists such as Joe Kubert, Steve Ditko, Al Williamson, Reed Crandall and Sid Check.

List of Entertaining Comics publications

Entertaining Comics, commonly known as EC Comics, was a major publisher of comic books in the 1940s and 1950s. The letters EC originally stood for Educational Comics. EC's Pre-Trend titles are those published by Max Gaines and his son William M. Gaines, who took over the family business after his father's death in 1947.

In 1950, with the addition of writer and artist Al Feldstein, EC found success with their New Trend line, including their horror titles Tales From the Crypt The Haunt of Fear and The Vault of Horror. A line of science fiction titles soon followed, Weird Science and Weird Fantasy, illustrated by the best artists in the business, such as Wallace Wood, Reed Crandall, Johnny Craig, George Evans, Graham Ingels, Jack Davis, Bill Elder, Joe Orlando, Al Williamson and Frank Frazetta. In addition to original stories, the books also featured adaptations of Ray Bradbury's short stories.

The New Direction group was a response to the Comics Code Authority. Picto-Fiction was a short-lived line of heavily illustrated short story magazines. Beginning in 1958, EC published annual and special editions of Mad.

M.D. (comics)

M.D. was a short lived comic book published by EC Comics in 1955, the sixth title in its New Direction line. The bi-monthly comic was published by Bill Gaines and edited by Al Feldstein. It lasted a total of five issues before being cancelled along with EC's other New Direction comics.

National Comics (series)

National Comics was an anthology comic book series published by Quality Comics, from July, 1940 until November, 1949. It ran for 75 issues.

National Comics #1 introduced Will Eisner's Uncle Sam, a superhero version of the national personification of the United States. Other running features in the title included Wonder Boy, The Barker, and Quicksilver (later revamped by DC Comics as Max Mercury). In addition to Eisner, other comic artists and writers who contributed to National Comics included Jack Cole, Lou Fine, and Reed Crandall.

National Comics #18 (Dec, 1941), which hit the stands on November 1941, notably depicted a German attack on Pearl Harbor, a month before the actual Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base.

Piracy (comics)

Piracy is an EC Comics title published in the early 1950s. The bi-monthly comic book, published by Bill Gaines and edited by Al Feldstein, began with an issue cover-dated October–November, 1954. It ran for seven issues, ending with the October–November, 1955 issue.

Front covers were by Wally Wood, Reed Crandall, Bernard Krigstein and George Evans. The stories of adventure on the high seas were illustrated by Wood, Crandall, Krigstein, Jack Davis, Al Williamson, Graham Ingels and Angelo Torres.

Piracy was reprinted (in black and white) as part of publisher Russ Cochran's The Complete EC Library. Between March and September 1998, Cochran (in association with Gemstone Publishing) reprinted all seven individual issues. This complete run was later rebound, with covers included, in a pair of softcover EC Annuals.

Quality Comics

Quality Comics was an American comic book publishing company which operated from 1937 to 1956 and was a creative, influential force in what historians and fans call the Golden Age of Comic Books.

Notable, long-running titles published by Quality include Blackhawk, Feature Comics, G.I. Combat, Heart Throbs, Military Comics, Modern Comics, Plastic Man, Police Comics, Smash Comics, and The Spirit. While most of their titles were published by a company named Comic Magazines, from 1940 onwards all publications bore a logo that included the word "Quality". Notable creators associated with the company included Jack Cole, Reed Crandall, Will Eisner, Lou Fine, Gill Fox, Paul Gustavson, Bob Powell, and Wally Wood.

Shock SuspenStories

Shock SuspenStories was part of the EC Comics line in the early 1950s. The bi-monthly comic, published by Bill Gaines and edited by Al Feldstein, began with issue 1 in February/March 1952. Over a four-year span, it ran for 18 issues, ending with the December/January 1955 issue.

Terror Illustrated

Terror Illustrated was a black-and-white magazine published by EC Comics in late 1955 and early 1956. Part of EC's Picto-Fiction line, each magazine featured three to five stories. The format alternated blocks of text with several illustrations per page.

The first issue appeared with a cover date of November–December 1955, but the second issue was the last. A third issue existed but was not printed by EC. The Picto-Fiction magazines lost money from the start, and the line was cancelled when EC's distributor went bankrupt.

Terror Illustrated was edited by Al Feldstein. As with EC's comics, Feldstein was the most prolific writer of the title, and generally wrote up to three stories per issue. In addition to the stories credited to him, Feldstein also wrote under the pseudonyms Maxwell Williams and Alfred E. Neuman. Feldstein included multiple retellings of previous stories, a move suggested by publisher William Gaines. This included "The Basket" and "The Gorilla's Paw" in the first issue and "Horror in the Freak Tent" and "Reflection of Death" in #2. Other contributing writers included Jack Oleck (who had worked as a writer on EC's earlier publications) and John Larner.Featured illustrators included Reed Crandall, Joe Orlando, George Evans, Graham Ingels, Johnny Craig, Charles Sultan and Jack Davis.

In 2006 Terror Illustrated was reprinted along with the other Picto-Fiction magazines by publisher Russ Cochran (with Gemstone Publishing) in hardbound volumes as the final part of his Complete EC Library. The reprint volume included the previously unpublished third issue of Terror Illustrated.

Treasure Chest (comics)

Treasure Chest (full name for most of its run: Treasure Chest of Fun & Fact) was a Catholic-oriented comic book series created by Dayton, Ohio publisher George A. Pflaum and distributed in parochial schools from 1946 to 1972.

Its inspirational stories of sports and folk heroes, saints, school kids, Catholic living, history, science and similar topics were drawn by artists that included such prominent figures as EC's Reed Crandall, Graham Ingels and Joe Orlando, Marvel Comics' Joe Sinnott, and DC Comics' Murphy Anderson and Jim Mooney. Other features included literary adaptations and such typical comics fare as funny animal humor strips.

Valor (EC Comics)

This article is about the EC Comics title. For the DC Comics character, see Lar Gand.Valor was a short-lived comic book published by EC Comics in 1955 as the second title in its New Direction line. The bi-monthly comic was published by Bill Gaines and edited by Al Feldstein. It lasted a total of five issues before being cancelled, along with EC's other New Direction comics.

Valor was dedicated to tales of action and adventure in various period settings, including Ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Crusades, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic era. It was similar in vein to the historical stories that previously appeared in EC's Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat from 1950 through 1954.

Artists included Reed Crandall, George Evans, Gardner Fox, Graham Ingels, Bernard Krigstein, Joe Orlando, Angelo Torres, Al Williamson and Wally Wood.

Valor was reprinted as part of publisher Russ Cochran's Complete EC Library in 1988. Between October 1998 and February 1999, Cochran (in association with Gemstone Publishing) reprinted all five individual issues. This complete run was later rebound, with covers included, in a single softcover EC Annual.

Weird Science-Fantasy

Weird Science-Fantasy was an American science fiction-fantasy anthology comic, that was part of the EC Comics line in the early 1950s. Over a 14-month span, the comic ran for seven issues, starting in March 1954 with issue #23 and ending with issue #29 in May/June 1955.

Western Gunfighters

Western Gunfighters is the name of two American Western-anthology comic book series published by Marvel Comics and its 1950s forerunner, Atlas Comics.

That initial Atlas series ran eight issues, from 1956 to 1957, and featured artists including Gene Colan, Reed Crandall, Joe Maneely, John Severin, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, and Wally Wood, with many stories written by Stan Lee.

Volume two, published by Marvel from 1970 to 1975, consisted mostly of Western reprints but also featured new material, including stories of the masked Old West hero Ghost Rider and the introductions of such short-lived Western features as "Gunhawk" and "Renegades", by writers including Gary Friedrich and Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, and artists including Dick Ayers and Tom Sutton.

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