The War Art of Sydney Shores
Syd Shores may be the most influential Pre-Marvel artist that you have never heard of. Initially getting into comics at an early age in the studio of Howard Chessler (who in the 1930’s and 40’s, also employed Mac Raboy, George Tuska, Joe Kubert, Carmine infantino and Otto Binder.) Thought to be the 3rd employee hired by Timely behind Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and just prior to Stan Lee coming onboard. With his first job inking the cover for Captain America Comics #1, his fledgling career jumped to a dead sprint quickly.
Just after Kirby and Simon left Timely after Captain America Comics #10, Syd was named the unofficial Art Director and Associate Editor by Stan Lee. It was at this time, in late 1942, that Syd joined the Army and served in Europe until being wounded in 1944. He was awarded a Purple Heart and returned to civilian life in 1946, and ultimately returning to Timely Comics.
Shores proved to be a workhorse of the Golden Age after returning to comics until 1948, when all staff jobs were cut at Timely. In a testament to his dexterity, Shores had provided art and assisted in almost every genre in comics. After losing his position, Syd started free-lancing for Atlas, Avon, Orbit. This was the time when Shores produced The Blonde Phantom for Atlas.
In yet another sad twist of fate, Syd Shores was displaced by the assumed collapse of comics in 1957 , thanks to the infamous fallout created by the Seduction of the Innocent. Syd then departed comics and worked in magazine illustration until 1967, when he returned to Marvel, with his first job, inking the Cover to Captain America #100.
In a fitting turn of fate Syd Shores once more became a workhorse for Marvel until his untimely death in 1973. Known for his humbleness and his realism, Syd Shores may be one of the great unsung heros of the comic industry and with that I will leave you with some of the works he contributed to the War Genre. (these are his covers not inked worked.)
Finally, a couple of the more adult oriented pieces created for Magazine Covers by Syd. There are lots more if that is the kind of thing you like. Definitely more adult-oriented. (Maybe in response of the new freedom in Magazine vs comics.)
As always, thanks for tuning in….