Friday, August 13, 2010

"...DRAWN BY REED CRANDALL"

I was looking for interesting videos on Youtube last week when I stumbled across the trailer for the 1952 BLACKHAWK movie serial. Given the shifting fortunes of the Blackhawks since the 1950s, it's easy to forget that Blackhawk was one of the most popular books of the Golden Age of Comics. In fact, it's sort of surprising it was well after WWII and the decline of the movie serial that the Blackhawks made the jump to film. It sure seems as though they would have been a natural for a high-flying, patriotic wartime chapter play.

I haven't seen the BLACKHAWK serial, but it is reportedly not one of the better examples of the form. I will say, they get the suits down, and it sounds as though they have many of the familiar characters from the comic, too. Kirk Alyn, the first screen Superman, looks the part of Blackhawk, and it's an interesting footnote that his adversary is Carol Forman - also the baddie in that first SUPERMAN serial!

There is one aspect of the trailer that puzzled me. Have a look at it :



(Hawk-a-a-a-a!)

Yes, it's the blurb that is the title of this entry. The name of the publishing company (Quality) is omitted in favor of the artist Reed Crandall. I knew Crandall was revered in comics circles, but this is an amazing show of respect for a man who wasn't the creator of Blackhawk and wound up leaving the title the next year.

Here is a page on the movie serial from The Unofficial Blackhawk Comics Website.

2 comments:

Xenorama said...

that is pretty astounding. Reed deserves most all the acclaim he gets for his art, though you rarely hear his name any more.
I liked the serial just fine, but then perhaps I'm less picky.

C. Elam said...

Yeah, Crandall's stuff is on a different level than many of the people working in the industry at the time.