William Shakespeare (c. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, renowned by many as the world's greatest writer in the English Language. Among his plays are "Romeo and Juliet", "Hamlet", "Macbeth" to name but a few.
REED CRANDALL was born in Winslow, Indiana. After graduating, he moved to New York at the invitation of a publisher of children's books, but after illustrating just one cover, Reed left the company. He then went to work for the NEA Syndicate as an editorial cartoonist before finally landing a job at the Eisner-Iger shop on Manhattan's east side. At this time he worked alongside such greats as Will Eisner, Lou Fine, Paul Gustafson, Alex Kotzky, Jerry Iger and Fred Guardineer. Almost all of Crandall's output at this time went to the Quality Comics Group which published such titles as Hit Comics, Crack Comics, Smash Comics, Military Comics and Uncle Sam which later became Blackhawk Comics.
In the beginning, one of Reed's chores was inking Lou Fine's wonderful Military Comics covers. Shortly afterwards, Quality's publisher Everett M. Arnold saw his beautiful fine-lined renderings, he reportedly hired him exclusively. Some of the features he drew included 'The Ray', 'Firebrand', 'Hercules', 'Uncle Sam', 'Dollman' and 'The Blackhawks'. Before long Reed was illustrating all of the 'Blackhawk' and 'Dollman' stories, which he continued to draw for almost fifteen years.
When Quality scaled down their line, Reed Crandall began doing work for EC. Crandall drew stories for EC's SF, Suspenstory and Horror, as well as nearly all the New Direction and Picto-Fiction titles. When EC & Quality both folded comic production in 1955/56, Reed did occasional work for Atlas/Marvel.
By 1960 he landed a contract with Treasure Chest Comics and drew stories for this educational Catholic comic for twelve years. He also drew the giveaway comic 'Buster Brown' for the Buster Brown Shoe Stores for several years. He teamed up with George Evans in the early 1960s to do work on the Gold Key titles The Twilight Zone and Gilberton's Classics Illustrated.
In the mid 1960s he worked with Wallace Wood on 'Thunder Agents' and 'Dynamo' at Tower Comics, and also drew stories for King Comics's 'Flash Gordon' book. He contributed to James Warren's horror titles Eerie and Creepy, and did book illustration for the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Following a strok in 1974, Crandall had to stop his drawing activities. He passed away in Wichita, Kansas in 1982.
GEORGE EVANS, an artist from Harwood, Pennsylvania, debuted in the illustration field, and attended the Scranton Art School afterwards. After spending three years in the US airforces, he began his career in comics at Fiction House until 1950. There, he worked on among others 'Lost World', 'Senorita Rio', 'Air Heroes' and 'Tigerman'. He was also present at Fawcett, where he worked on 'Captain Marvel', 'Captain Video', 'Bob Colt' and a comic adaptation of the film 'When Worlds Collide'. During this period, he also took courses at the Art Students League in New York.
When Fawcett folded, he was brought over to EC Comics by Al Williamson, where he was hired immediately in 1953. Thanks to his technical knowledge of airplanes and machinery, Evans quickly became Kurtzman's favorite on 'Two Fisted Tales' and 'Frontline Combat', yet Evans preferred the freedom of working with Feldstein on the EC horror and SF titles 'The Haunt of Fear' and 'Weird Science'.
He also provided striking covers and stories for 'Crime SuspenStories' and 'Shock SupenStories'. In 1955, he drew covers and stories for the "New Direction" aviation title 'Aces High'.
When EC collapsed in 1956, he was brought over to Gilberton's 'Classics Illustrated' line. He adapted among others 'Romeo and Juliet', 'The Little Savage', 'Lord Jim', 'The Hunchback of the Notre Dame', and 'The Three Musketeers' to comics. He also did 'Space Conquerors' for Boy's Life magazine.
He began collaborations with DC Comics ('Blackhawk') and Gold Key ('Twilight Zone', 'Hercules Unchained') in the early 1960s. He also became George Wunder's assistant on the daily 'Terry and the Pirates', a capacity he held from 1960 to 1973.
In 1964 and 1965, he was back in horror comics, with contributions to Warren's Eerie and Creepy. From 1968, he produced various stories about the supernatural for DC Comics. In 1980, he succeeded Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson on 'Secret Agent Corrigan', a series he continued until 1996.
During the 1980s and 1990s, he also drew for publishers like Pacific ('Vanguard Illustrated'), Eclipse ('Airboy'), Marvel ('The Nam') and Dark Horse ('Classic Star Wars'), while also illustrating advertising campaigns. He retired in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, where his final work was doing the 'Flash Gordon' Sunday page on 21 January 2001.
LEONARD BRANDT COLE had worked as art director for a lithography outfit, before entering the comic book field during the Golden Age in the early 1940's. He was mainly a cover illustrator for titles like Suspense Comics and Contact Comics. In his early work, he always used basic, flat colors and produced what he called "poster color covers". Illustrating over 1500 covers, Cole drew everything from funny animals to superheroes to jungle girls and sci-fi. A science fiction fan, Cole would often slip rocket ships and ray guns onto books such as 'Captain Flight' and 'Contact Comics' which were supposed to be devoted to contemporary aviation.
As for interior artwork, Cole did pencils and/or inks on several features for Holyoke Publications, Gilberton and Farrell. Cole also published comic books through Star Publications, producing various crime, terror, jungle and romance titles in the late 1940s and 1950s. He was art director and editor at Dell Publishing in the early 1960s. He has mainly done commercial art and design from the mid 1960s onwards, working among others on audio-visuals for University Films.