Ageless Orientals, part three, by Norris Burroughs   5 comments

So now we move on to page twelve of the Ageless Orientals story, and we notice very little Crandall here. Perhaps the drawing of Cap hanging between panels three and five is his, because there is a certain grace and symmetry in its delineation. Other than that singular figure, this is a poorly drawn page that I doubt anyone would want to take credit for. The poses of Cap and Bucky in panels four and five are pretty lame.


What we do see is possibly the first hint of Al Avison’s inking in the faces of Finley and Benson in panel two.  The facial features that lead me to believe this are the pendulous lower lips and prominent noses of the two men. These are both marked Avison traits.

Panel one of page thirteen looks to have been drawn by Crandall and possibly panel two is  as well. Benson’s head and lower limbs are a tip off.  Panel three looks like Kirby. The remainder of the page looks like Kirby’s loose pencils possibly combined with Crandall’s, and inked by ??? There is possibly some Avison in the prone figure in panel seven.  Again, I would love to see a positive ID of Al Gabriele’s inking at some point.



The next page, possibly by Kirby and Crandall is better drawn, and again, the inking is peculiar and fairly unremarkable. The action poses are reasonably strong. The first panel is nice, but the inking on this page basically ranges from fair to weak. The last panel, a head shot of Captain America is so atrociously inked that it is painful to look at.


The final page is no better, with what looks like sloppily inked Joe Simon art. What we have here is yet another story that begins promisingly and ends pathetically. One has to wonder at the thought process going on during the work on this succession of pages. Kirby, Crandall and Simon work out the first five pages beautifully and then somehow begin to run out of steam. in my opinion, Crandall does some inking as well as drawing early on, but is absent for most of the second half of the story. It is then completed hurriedly by Kirby, Simon, Avison and Gabrielle, in time to meet the deadline.



Fortunately, there would not be many more such stories in the run of issues one through ten.  Seemingly, the team viewed the final results of this story and resolved for the most part to not allow this to happen again. The series would be remarkable for its variety of drawing and inking styles, but for the most part, from this point on there would be  more consistent quality displayed.



Posted February 14, 2012 by norris burroughs in Uncategorized

5 responses to “Ageless Orientals, part three, by Norris Burroughs

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  1. None of this is good. Page 12 is the worst. I only see traces of Kirby pencils or inks in any of it. I’d say Kirby inked the woman’s head in panel five of of page 15, but that’s the extent of my confidence. Panel two of page 12 is what I think of as Simon pencils and inks.
    I know some of the later stuff is much better than these first couple issues. and am looking ahead.

  2. Thanks for your input, Patrick. It’s good to have another set of eyes here. I’d also like to clarify that the point of this blog is to try to recognize the myriad styles of inkers here. I know most of this stuff is pretty awful, but I’m really trying to encourage some detective work by isolating some small bits of individuality amid the Simon and scant Kirby.

  3. Norris, I think Jim made a very important point when he mentioned the task is complicated by the fact it isn’t just different hand inking, there are different hands penciling.

  4. Yeah, well I’ve been making inquiries on this matter for a while and so I decided to amuse myself and just go ahead and start babbling about the issue. So far only Jim and yourself and a few other stragglers have weighed in, but I’m having fun and that’s enough for me to keep going. Even if I get a positive ID on one or two other hands like Al Gabriele it’s probably sufficient. I’d still like to get an opinion on Crandall. If he’s just penciling, then who is inking him so beautifully?

  5. Norris you might try and find examples of Crandall inking Crandall from this era.
    Jim alone is worth a hundred or more other opinions so you ought to feel great about his contributions.
    Every time I think about Jim I think about Roy Krenkel and there are few things on Earth which please me more than looking at Krenkel.

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