Sunday, March 6, 2011

Buried Treasure: Dark Shadows

With its first appearance on March 14, 1971, Dark Shadows, had a daily and Sunday feature based on the popular Dan Curtis ABC television soap opera. Created by the Newspaper Enterprise Association, it was written by Elliot Caplin and drawn by artist Ken Bald, under the pen name K. Bruce due to conflict with other strips he illustrated at the same time. Unfortunately, the TV show ended just a few weeks after the feature saw print, but they finished out their one year contract over the next fifty weeks with six separate story lines lasting two months each. Not following the continuity of the show, it also didn't include all the main characters, but concentrated on Barnabas Collins and some of the lovely ladies of the story. Bald already being a fan of the show, was the perfect choice, producing his moody Gothic scenes filled with warlocks, werewolves, gods and goddesses, all rendered in his slick illustrative style. With a collection of Jonathan Frid stills, the artist always got a good likeness of America's favorite vampire, but rather used his wife as model for Elizabeth Stoddard and the other female characters. Superior to the stories and artwork of the Gold Key comic book published concurrently, the last Dark Shadows newspaper strip appeared on March 11, 1972.

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