Syd Shores

Syd Shores entered the comics industry in 1940 via the Chesler studio, and some of his earliest work appeared in Timely’s Mystic #5 (March 1941) on “The Terror,” with his brother-in-law Phil Sturm scripting. Part of the loose group of artists that helped produce Simon & Kirby’s Captain America #1 in addition to U.S.A. Comics’ “Major Liberty” in issues #1-4, Syd eventually supplanted Al Avison on Captain America, becoming the primary Cap artist for much of the 1940s, inked usually by staff inker Vince Alascia. A “senior” artist at Timely for much of the decade, Syd was the unofficial art director and mentored many artists who came through the company, including a young Gene Colan, who relates Syd as his main early Timely artistic influence.

As the decade progressed, Syd freelanced in Goodman’s crime magazines and pulps, drawing the Blonde Phantom and other Timely hero features, before branching out in 1947-48 into the new genres of crime and western comics, including the book-length, Stan Lee-scripted, 25-page Complete Mystery #2 (Oct. 1948), and kicking off the Two-Gun Kid in most of the Kid’s early 10-issue 1948-49 run.

The years leading into the termination of Timely’s staff had Syd everywhere. He drew early issues of Black Rider and a concurrent voluminous amount of romance stories. Going freelance in mid-1950 and dabbling at Avon, National, and Orbit (in Wanted), Syd’s main account was Atlas, and he formed a studio in 1952 with fellow artists Norman Steinberg and Mort Lawrence, all while continuing to draw everything under the sun for Stan Lee: “Battle Brady,” “Battleship Burke,” “Black Rider” (again) inked by Christopher Rule, “Sailor Sweeney,” jungle fillers, horror, war, westerns, romance, and even the last issue of Black Knight (#5), again inked by Christopher Rule.

When Atlas imploded, Syd worked for Cracked in 1958 and went into commercial art, before returning to Marvel in 1967, inking Jack Kirby on Captain America. He also penciled and/or inked a slew of features including Captain Savage, Black Panther, Kid Colt, “The Watcher,” Red Wolf, Marvel’s black-& white horror magazines and others, and then branched out to Skywald, Warren and Major’s Web of Horror, before passing away in 1973. [source: Dr. Michael J. Vassallo]

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