Thursday, May 8, 2014

Groovy Age Gold: "The Black Condor" and "Music Hath Charm" by Lou Fine

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Ya know, before Superman #252 came out in March, 1972, my knowledge of the Golden Age of Comics came in dribs and drabs (aka back-ups in the 52 pagers). With Superman 252, I was introduced to artists John Sikela, Sheldon Moldoff, and Lou Fine. I had never seen anything like Lou Fine's work up to that time. It was the most amazing thing I'd seen yet. Yeah, man, it blew my mind (as blown as an eight year old's mind can get..) Here are both of Fine's titanic tales from that fateful ish...a title-less Black Condor (originally from Crack Comics #18, November 1941) and The Ray in "Music Hath Charm" from Smash Comics #17 (December 1940). I dunno if these two classics will blow your mind--but I bet they'll at least make your day!


  1. Yep, these definitely make my day. Lou Fine was truly one of the early (and unjustly forgotten, I think) masters.

  2. This very issue was my introduction to Lou Fine's work (still have it, too---great Neal Adams wraparound cover also). Subsequently I found some very low priced (30 years ago, that is) copies of FEATURE COMICS and some other Quality Comics titles at a local shop, and my Fine collection began to grow. He had a strange tendency to elongate his hero's waists, but otherwise his anatomy was a joy to behold, no matter how tongue-in-cheek the exaggerations. Fine was highly influenced by the work of illustrator J. C. Leyendecker, but after WWII Fine shifted gears and started using photo reference in his comic strip work. By the '60s his style had so shifted that one can say that Lou Fine was even more of a direct predecessor to Neal Adams than Stan Drake was. Adams even ghosted Fine's "Peter Scratch" comic strip for a few weeks in the mid-'60s, and one can hardly tell the difference.

    Chris A.



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