Sando & Omar II by Norris Burroughs   6 comments

Closing in on the end of the Sando and Omar story, we find a page that for some reason, has stayed with me since the first time I saw it as a 13 year old back in 1965. It was really the bottom tier panels of Cap and Bucky and the collapsing bridge that said “Golden Age” to the young teenager that I was then. Again, this looks like loose Kirby pencils tightened up by Liederman and Simon and/or perhaps another hand. The floating heads thing in panel one is interesting, and one has to wonder who was the first in comics to do it. Omar’s figure in panel two is very crudely drawn, but the running Cap figure in panel four has a nice Kirby-esque flow to it. As I said, I particularly like the shocked three-quarter faces of Cap and Bucky, which are nicely if simply inked, and the bridge collapse also does a good deal with very little, giving us the rudiments of a deep space composition  simply with the tilted angle of the bridge and the tumbling cars.

I’ve omitted the first tier of panels in the next page, again for two reasons. The ink line reproduction is very poor, so it is a good choice to leave out in order to avoid copyright infringement issues.

I’m still imagining that there is a fourth inker on this book. Of the team, Liederman’s style appears to me to be the least accomplished, as depicted in such instances as the crowd faces on page 2 of this story. Simon’s look, unless I’m mistaken is more like what we see on page three and areas of page five where he seems to be focusing a good deal of attention on faces. These strike me as somewhat over-rendered and not quite on target.  There is a pecular quality to the structure of noses and mouths, as I observe in Cap’s profile in panel 4 of page five above, which in my abridged presentation is panel 2. I also attribute to Simon the drawing of Cap slugging Sando in my panel four. It has a stiff and posed look that doesn’t say Kirby to me.

 

 

I continue to stress the possibility that there are multiple hands working here. The Cap faces on page three that I attribute to Simon don’t look remotely like Liederman’s crude crowd faces. They don’t resemble Kirby’s distinctive shaded faces either, nor for that matter do they look like the face of Reinstein in panel 2 of page 5 in the origin story. We will discuss more of this dizzying variety of looks in the following story, of which I will post only very selective bits, because it is quite long and full of some very strange and bad artwork, most of it seemingly not done by either Simon or Kirby. Simon’s artwork, while not up to the level of Kirby’s, has a degree of journeyman professionalism about it that is lacking in much of the finished drawing in this comic book.

The following page is one of the nicer ones in this story, with the bizarre exception of the final panel, which is so small and cramped that it has to be seen in order to be believed. One has to ask sometimes, what were these guys thinking, but I guess the rushed conditions are a reasonable explanation for this.

The page design up until that point is quite nice, with strong spacially arranged Kirby compositions in panels one and two. Kirby’s layouts, generally with liberal use of figure and background elements as well as some limted perspective cues always stands out when compared to some of the less accomplished panels.

 

Sando’s face in panel three looks like Kirby inking to me, because of the precision etched linework. I see quite a lot of this style jumping out at me fairly regularly, and if it isn’t Kirby, I must then ask who else it could be, as I have mentioned that Simon’s facial rendering is not generally this sharp.

Although most of these men will not appear until later issues, the list of artist attributions in the Golden Age Cap Masterworks Volume, which covers issues 1-4 reads as follows, Reed Crandall, Bernie Klein, Al Avison, Al Gabriele, Al Liederman, Syd Shores, Alex Schomberg, Ed Herron, Martin A. Burnstein, Howard Furguson, William Clayton King.

The main point that I’m making is that I, and apparently most other people are somewhat unfamiliar with the styles of several of these gentlemen, and the sooner we can find other clear samples of their work, the sooner they can be identified in the tangled tapestry that is Captain America 1-10. I see Crandall in issue two and three, Roussos in three,  Avison in issues four and fve, Shores in five, and Schomberg clearly on the cover of issue three, but some of the other names are not so familar to me.  I make a plea to anyone reading this to contact me if you have any early samples of the men listed, for the sake of comparison.

The final page again appears to have little unadulterated Kirby in the mix. I don’t see much more than his rough layout, finished by others. I have cropped this page for the stated reason, but the bottom right panel of Cap shaking Betty Ross’ hand looks like Simon inking, while the remainder looks like Liederman and/or someone possibly on the aforementioned list.

 

We will continue our inquiry with the Chessboard of Death story in the following post.

NWB

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Posted January 19, 2012 by norris burroughs in Uncategorized

6 responses to “Sando & Omar II by Norris Burroughs

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  1. Reed Crandall inside Captain America 2 and 3 ? I did a search inside your blog for “Crandall” and did not see anything pop up other than your mention here. Perhaps I did something not quite up to snuff on it, and had never heard of RC inside CA, and am not a doubting thomas on any level, but sure sounds ultra cool to me

  2. Crandall’s work in Cap #2 can be seen most prominently on page five of the Ageless Oriental story. Also on page ten of the Waxman story. Hs presence in the studio has been fairly well documented, but you can see his style pretty clearly on these pages.

    • Oh, while most of us on the Timely Atlas list are quite knowledgeable on all kines comics, no one can retain all the myriad data. I guess what I was actually asking is what you provided, namely the stories wherein Crandall jumps out as being in any sais story. I have the two volume set of reprints of CA 1-10 done some time back. Good excuse to pull em off the shelf they live on, re-read some wonderful comics I have always enjoyed since Fantasy Masterpieces #3 jumped in to my consciousness when it was brand new. Outside of picking up Marvel Mystery #92 for a nickel back when I was 13 in 1965 at a local used magazine store, then getting MM #24 from Howard Rogofsky for $10 later that year, FM and MSH #1 was the main source to read this stuff back then. I had forgotten Crandall was involved inside Timely and/or the S&K ring back in the day. Love the guy’s work

  3. Also a fair ammount of Crandall in the Murdering Butterfly story in issue three. Pages four through seven. Look at the JC Leyendecker folds in clothing and the feathering lines therein.
    I’ll post these stories in order. Just wish I had a better copy than Masterworks Volume.

  4. Hi, Norris, please remember to give us the page numbers. It’s easier to refer to them if you do.

    The first page you show here is primarily Simon layouts and pencils. The leaping Cap and Bucky figures are okay for Simon, but a bit lame for Kirby. I, too, like that first panel and it may simply be a sample of Kirby’s inks amounting to his pencils as well. Panel five doesn’t strike me as anything Kirby would construct and definitely he wouldn’t ink it that way.

    I also see no Kirby in the next page. (#?) He could never draw panel three which extends into the wrong panel for any logical continuity. And the crouching Cap in the last panel is laughable.

    Now the next page (#?) is pure Kirby layouts and pencils. Everything flows. The eyes of the characters in the panels all lead you easily to the next one and, despite the anomaly of the tiny last panel (odd, but still functional) it just highlights the difference between the two creators at this stage of their careers and abilities. THIS is Kirby unfettered. Is he inking some of this? Probably.

    I’d disagree with you on the final page. I think it’s Kirby layouts. I see it especially in the punch in the first panel, Bucky’s pose when the grenade goes off, and Cap and the woman in the last panel. That’s a Kirby woman without a doubt. It’s possible, though, that he merely inked her, instilling his style with the brush instead of the pencil. However, I think he drew her and someone else inked her.

    Now if you can just entice Michael Vassallo and Greg Theakston to contribute their 2¢ worths…

    Peace, Jim (|:{>

  5. Quite right! A spirited debate, with contrasting opinions is what is needed. Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis!
    How could those guys possibly have anything better to do with their time.
    :0)

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