Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Art of Reed Crandall

   Reed Crandall is another one of those golden age (and silver age) comic book artists who has fallen into obscurity. The general public doesn't know from Reed Crandall. And even among those who are familiar with him, many remember him primarily as the artist on Quality Comics' Blackhawk. Blackhawk was great, but Crandall had a long run on another Quality hero, Captain Triumph.
   Blackhawk was a fairly realistic strip, featuring character with no super powers, but  Captain Triumph shows what Crandall could do on a more standard superhero comic. I've included some shots of the good Captain flying, bending steel in his bare hands and such. I can only imagine how amazing a Superman story by Crandall might have been.
   As an artist, one of the things that interests me about Crandall is that his human figures are realistically proportioned. Most comic book artists draw their characters taller than real life humans because it looks more impressive. Bigger than life and all that. Crandall drew figures who were more along the lines of real people. This may be because he used a lot of photographic reference.
   Still his figure work is fluid, his facial expressions excellent, and his ability to draw drapery (how cloth hangs on a figure) unsurpassed.
   In later years Crandall would do some beautiful pen and ink illustrations for the Canaveral Press editions of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
   If you do a little Internet research you can find plenty of examples of the brilliant work of Reed Crandall. Well worth your time.


Howard Andrew Jones said...

Hey, I had a torn up comic I'd gotten as a hand-me-down with a Captain Triumph story at the back. I always thought it was pretty interesting as a kid and wondered what the back story was. I'd completely forgotten about that issue until I saw your post.

Wonder if I still have it in a box in the basement?

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Howard, Captain Triumph as a very cool character. You can read a bunch of his stories for free online at a site called Comicbook Plus.