Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dark Shadows artist picks up second Guinness distinction

The artist of the classic DARK SHADOWS newspaper strip has been named the "oldest artist to illustrate a comic book cover" by Guinness World Records.

Ken Bald illustrated DARK SHADOWS in 1971 and 1972, while simultaneously drawing the DR. KILDARE syndicated strip. But it was his 2015 cover contribution to Marvel's CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS series that earned him his Guinness distinction. Bald, 96, illustrated a cover featuring many of Marvel's golden age heroes in battle with their 21st century counterparts.

This is Bald's second Guinness honor, having already been named "oldest comic book artist."

“At 96 years old, you’d never think you’d be setting any world records, let alone setting two," Bald said. "Both records have been a great thrill for me.”

Bald sought out the job of illustrating the DARK SHADOWS newspaper strip in 1971 after hearing that producer Dan Curtis was considering the concept.

"(Curtis) interviewed me, he saw my art and thought it would be a good idea," Bald told in 2012. "We presented the idea and some drawings to King Features — who were happy with me — but they didn't think the 'Bible Belt' or so many other Southern cities would go for the idea of 'Dark Shadows.'"

Bald had been a comics illustrator since the gold age, contributing to such books as CAPTAIN AMERICA as early as 1943. His DARK SHADOWS newspaper strips were collected into a single volume in 1996 by Pomegranate Press.

“It’s never too late to accomplish anything in life. Just look at me," Bald said. "I can’t believe at 96 years old, I’m still doing commissioned drawings for fans and still going to comic-cons!”


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