- Fred Kida
Fred Kida (born
December 12, 1920, New York City, New York) is an American comic bookand comic strip artistbest known for the characters Airboyand Valkyrie.
Early life and career
Born and raised in
Manhattan, Kida attended New York City's American School of Design, where Bill Fraccioand Bob Fujitaniwere classmates. Like many young artists in the Golden Age of comic books, he then broke into the field at the Jerry Iger Studio, formerly Eisner & Iger, one of the earliest "packagers" that produced outsourced comic book content for publishersentering the new medium. Starting as an inkerand background artist in 1941, Kida moved on to a staff position at Iger client Quality Comics. There he both penciled and inked his first known credited work, the feature "Phantom Clipper" in "Military Comics" #9 (April 1942).
Airboy and afterward
In 1942, he joined
Hillman Periodicals, where he drew such features as "Iron Ace" (from its premiere in "Air Fighters Comics" vol. 1, #2, Nov. 1942), "Boy King" and "Gunmaster", and the following year began work on his most prominent Golden Age character, Airboy. That aviation hero, created by writer Charles Birowith scripter Dick Woodand artist Al Camy, appeared initially in "Air Fighters Comics", later renamed "Airboy Comics". Aside from Airboy himself, the feature was known for the sexy antagonist the Valkyrie, a cleavage-baring Axis aviatrix who soon defected and became his ally. Kida remained on the feature through 1948, afterward working with writer Biro on such Hillman crime comics as the seminal "Crime Does Not Pay". In 1953, he left to freelance for Atlas Comics, the 1950s forerunner of Marvel Comics. There he worked on characters including the Western gunslingers the Ringo Kidand the Two-Gun Kidand the medieval hero the Black Knight, and anthologicalhorror, war and Bible stories.
After leaving comics to concentrate on comic strips (see below), Kida returned to Marvel in the 1970s, primarily as an inker, working on such characters as
Iron Man, Godzilla, Ka-Zar, Luke Cage, Man-Wolf, and (for Marvel UK) Captain Britain. His final known full comic-book credit is the superhero-team title "The Defenders" #72 (June 1979) — featuring Marvel's own character called Valkyrie. His last known published comic-book work was in the 1980s Eclipse Comicsrevamp of Airboy, to which he contributed a full-page pinup featuring both Airboy and Valkyrie.
In addition to his comic-book work, Kida in 1941 was one of writer-artist
Will Eisner's assistants on the newspaperSunday-supplement comic-book " The Spirit"; and from 1946-47 assisted artist Bob Fujitani (also known as "Bob Wells") on the comic strip "Judge Wright". He also briefly assisted Milt Caniffon the strip " Steve Canyon".
Most notably, however, Kida assisted
artistDan Barry on the long-running strip " Flash Gordon" from 1958-61 and then again from 1968-71; and, under his own byline, drew the comic strip "The Amazing Spider-Man" from 1981-86.
* "Fred Kida's Valkyrie!" (Ken Pierce, Inc., 1982):Black-and-white reprints of selected stories from "Air Fighters Comics" vol. 2, #2 & 7; and "Airboy Comics" vol. 2, #12, and vol. 3, #6 & 12. Introduction by
* [http://www.lambiek.net/artists/k/kida_fred.htm Lambiek Comiclopedia: Fred Kida]
* [http://hometown.aol.com/comicsproj/credits.html The Comic Strip Project]
* [http://www.comics.org The Grand Comics Database]
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