Just received an email from Roger Hill on the Atlas list, discussing his spotting of Reed Crandall as artist in the Ageless Orientals story from Captain America #2. Since I’m currently having Photoshop issues, I figured I’d do a bit of a retrospective on what I believed to be Crandall’s work throughout this issue.
Roger mentioned first that Crandall was most likely a penciller on these stories rather than merely an inker. Over the last several weeks I have come around to this belief as well, except I still see an inker’s hand that seems as though it must be his or someone else with nearly comparable skills.
The first page that really jumps out at me is page five, because although I see Crandall’s drawing in several earlier pages, this is the one that has the really distinct and exquisite pen or brushwork.
Roger insists that at this point, if Crandall were inking, he would have been using a pen, since he did not become proficient with a brush. Panel seven is the real knockout for me, particularly in the etching lines in Cap’s body legs and Bucky’s face and body.
I also see touches of what appears to be Crandall in the following story, such as the drawing in the splash panel of Trapped in the Nazi Stronghold, but it looks to be inked by a lesser hand, or perhaps Crandall rushing.
I again see him possibly in page six of that story and again in page eight as penciller.
I don’t spot him convincingly again until the second and third panels of the first page of The Wax Statue story, and I’ve also mentioned that the surgical glove of the sculptor in panel two almost looks to be the work of Will Eisner, whom Crandall was working with as well .
Crandall really seems to shine both as penciller and inker in page ten of that story.
This is surely one of the most beautifully drawn pages in the run of Cap 1-10. The etched ink lines throughout the page are stunning and illustrative in a way that I’ve compared to Lou Fine and Will Eisner emulating the sculpture-like artistry of Illustrator JC Leyendecker.
I’d love some feedback on commentary from Roger or anyone else that would like to pitch in.
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