Sunday, December 06, 2020

Reed Crandall at DC in 1953!


Secret Hearts #13 was published by DC Comics with a cover date of December 1952-January 1953. The Golden Age! The Grand Comics Database at correctly reports that the first story in the issue is drawn by Bob Oksner and proposes that the third story is drawn by Carmine Infantino, but it does not identify or propose an artist for the second story, the story entitled "My Husband's Secret." 

I am here to present evidence today that the penciller of "My Husband's Secret" is Reed Crandall. I am unable to identify the inker of the story but it's someone whose style is considerably incongruous with Mr. Crandall's pencilling style. The GCD claims that a story in 1971's Weird War Tales #2 is the first work by Reed Crandall for DC, but I aim herein to drive a Mack truck through that claim.

Looking at just page 1 would not be conclusive by any standard. Looking back at this page after noticing the Crandallisms on later pages though, the shaking-hands posture of the man in the brown suit is thoroughly Crandallesque.

The stand-out Crandallism on page 2 is the posture of the lady in the last panel.

On page 3. the lady's face in panel 2 is a maybe-Crandall tip-off but the same lady's face in panel 4 is 100% Crandall staging.

The unsympathetic inker totally obscured Crandall on page 4. Thanks, buddy.

There's not too much to latch onto on page 5 either, although both heads in panel 2 exude strong scents of Crandall.

Panel 5 on page 6 is the most obviously Crandall but all of the panels on this page have the feel of Crandall, sadly obscured by ham-handed inking.

Panel 3 on page 7 is the dead give-away that first got me thinking about Reed Crandall regarding the artwork in this story. If there were more hours in the day I would scour through other Crandall comics and find multiple instances of the frazzled-character posing used in this panel. The end.

Have I convinced you? Do you accept my evidence? If you are a Reed Crandall aficionado (as all comics fans truly should be) then please post a comment to this article as to whether you say Yay or Nay to my thesis. If I hear some agreement (or at least no disagreement) then I will write to GCD and encourage them to update their database with this new information.


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