Black Condor by Lou Fine
Black Condor (Crack Comics #14, July 1941)

Louis Kenneth Fine was born in New York. He studied at the Grand Central Art School and Pratt Institute. He was partially crippled by childhood polio and longed to be an illustrator. Among his major influences were Dean Cornwell, J.C. Leyendecker, and Heinrich Kley.

The Flame, by Louis Fine

Louis Fine joined the Eisner-Iger comic shop in 1938 and soon was drawing for the Fiction House and Fox lines on such features as 'Wilton of the West', 'The Count of Monte Cristo', and 'The Flame'. Within a short time he became one of their best artists. He drew parts of the 'Jumbo' and 'Sheena' comics, and he also produced several adventure comics. Between 1939 and 1943, he worked for the Arnold's Quality Comics group. He produced 'Black Condor', 'Stormy Foster' and several issues of 'Uncle Sam'. From early on, Fine's specialty was covers, and he turned out dozens of them.

Fantastic Comics cover by Lou Fine 1940Wonderworld Comics cover by Lou Fine, 1940

Lou Fine left the comic book industry in 1944 and moved into drawing Sunday advertising strips for the funnies. On his advertising work, he cooperated extensively with Don Komisarow. Together, they created characters like 'Charlie McCarthy' and 'Mr. Coffee Nerves' for Chase and Sanborn Coffee, and 'Sam Spade' for Wildroot Cream Oil. They also made 'The Thropp Family' for Liberty magazine, using the combined signature of Donlou (scripts by Lawrence Lariar). Next, Fine drew two newspaper strips, 'Adam Ames', and 'Peter Scratch', about a tough private eye who lived with his mother. Fine died in 1971 and according to Will Eisner, he was one of the greatest draftsmen ever.

Hit Comics cover by Lou Fine 1940

Last updated: 2009-03-13

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