Obituaries : Death of Ken Bald , American illustrator and comic book artist best known for the Dr. Kildare and Dark Shadows newspaper comic strips .
In Loving Memory of Beloved Ken Bald who recently passed away.
Vanguard Productions announced the passing of Ken Bald on their Facebook page with the following statements.
Sad to hear of the passing of the great comic artist, KEN BALD, Sunday March 17th at 98 years old. He worked at Timely Marvel in the 40s & reached acclaim with the DARK SHADOWS newspaper strip, ’71-’72. KEN held 2 GUINNESS WORLD RECORD TITLES:
“Oldest Comic Artist”
“Oldest Artist to Illustrate a Comic Book Cover”
Born in 1920 in New York City, and after graduating from Pratt Institute, Ken Bald quickly rose to Art Director at The Jack Binder Studio in 1941. During this time, known as the Golden Age of Comics, Bald illustrated and inked the following Fawcett Comics’ superheroes: Captain Marvel, Captain Midnight, Bulletman, Bulletgirl, and Spy Smasher. He also rendered meticulous work for Street & Smith on both Mandrake the Magician and Doc Savage.
Returning from WWII as a decorated Captain in 1946, Bald met Stan Lee, who recruited his art talents to Timely Comics. Timely would eventually become the world-renowned Marvel Comics. Bald’s illustration credits include Captain America, The Human Torch, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Blonde Phantom, Sun Girl, Miss America, Millie the Model, and Namora, which he co-created with Lee. During this time, he also worked for the American Comics Group, where his list of credits include Adventures into the Unknown, The Clutching Hand, Forbidden Worlds, Out of the Night, Romantic Adventures, Lovelorn, and Spy-Hunters, and he co-created Volume #1 of Operation Peril.
In 1957, Bald transitioned to syndicated comic strips, illustrating King Features’ Judd Saxon. In 1961, Bald began illustrating Dr. Kildare, another King Feature strip, which enjoyed an international readership for over 25 years. While still continuing to draw the Dr. Kildare strip, Bald also simultaneously illustrated the Dark Shadows comic strip from 1971 to 1972. Due to contractual obligations, Bald is credited as “K. Bruce” on this strip.
From 1981 to 2004, Bald was Creative Director of Gem Studios, a Manhattan art studio that created TV storyboards for ad agencies. His work included the Miller Lite and Right Guard celebrity campaigns, as well as the first AFLAC spot that introduced its now famous duck in December 1999.
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Rest in Peace