Dr. Kildare by Kenneth Bald
'Dr. Kildare'

Kenneth Bald was an American comic artist who has had a long career, stretching all the way from the 1940s to the late 2010s. He drew superhero, crime, horror  and humor comics for companies like Fawcett and Timely (nowadays Marvel). Bald is credited with creating 'Namora' (1947), a spin-off of 'Sub-Mariner'. Apart from comic books he also endeavoured in newspaper comics, such as the detective series 'Judd Saxon' (1957-1963) and adaptations of TV series, like 'Dr. Kildare' (1962-1984) and 'Dark Shadows' (1971-1972). In 2015 and again in 2017 Bald broke a record for being the oldest active comic artist, for which he received an official Guinness Book of Records plaque. 

He was born in 1920 in New York. After attending the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, he got a job at Jack Binder's studio, doing features for Fawcett comic books, starring characters like 'Captain Marvel', 'Bullet Man', 'Captain Midnight', 'Mr. Scarlet' and 'Spy Smasher'. He also drew for Better Publications on titles like 'Doc Strange' and 'Fighting Yank', sometimes under the pseudonym K. Bruce.

Red Norton, by Ken Bald (De Telegraaf, 1963)

In 1943, Kenneth Bald served in the War. After his return, he continued his comics and advertising work. He was present at Timely/Atlas with features starring superheroes like 'Captain America', 'Sub-Mariner', 'Blonde Phantom', 'Destroyer' and 'Miss America', 'Cindy Smith' and 'Willie', as well as humorous girl features like 'Millie the Model', 'Georgie', 'Patsy Walker' and 'Cindy Smith'. He also worked on ACG's line of romance comic books until the mid-1950s.

By 1957, Bald switched from comic books to newspaper comics when he drew 'Judd Saxon' for King Features. In 1963 he took the 'Dr. Kildare' newspaper strip for the same syndicate, which he continued until his retirement in 1984. In 1971-72, Bald additionally drew a newspaper comic version of the popular TV show 'Dark Shadows'.

On 4 March 2015 Bald received an official plaque from the Guinness Book of Records for being the oldest known active cartoonist in the world. On 18 April 2016 his record was broken by Al Jaffee (1921), who is one year younger than him. But when Bald created another comic book the year after the Guinness jury handed him the record title again, on 8 May 2017. On 18 December 2017 the title for oldest known active female comic artist went to Geneviève Gautier (1922), who is still younger than both of them. Ken Bald passed away on 17 March 2019, at the age of 98.

Dark Shadows, by Kenneth Bald

Dark Shadows comic

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