CRUSADERS [THE]

THE CRUSADERS

The “Crusaders” initially appeared in Grand Slam Comics and were created by Les Gilpin. In the beginning the serial was cartooned by him. Then followed a period approximately from the beginning till the latter part of 1943 when it was co-cartooned by Gilpin and Ed Furness. The “Crusaders” were transferred from Grand Slam Comics to Three Aces Comics. According to Ed Furness, Priscilla Hutchings did the finished art.

The Crusaders are Bob Crawford and Paul Leighton, two inventors who fight the Nazis, but who operate outside any allied organization. Their sign is a cross in the sky to link them to the crusaders of old. Their adventures take them through the Middle East, France, Russia etc. The notable features of this serial are the advanced equipment principally a rocket plane that looks very much like a space ship.

In Grand Slam issue 2-4 Mach 1943, the serial takes a detour from combating Nazis and the Crusaders invent a stainless steel sphere through which they descend to the Atlantic Ocean floor which, in special pressure suits they explore. An undersea disturbance causes the sphere to plunge through a cavity in the ocean floor into a realm of people who are the descendants of the passengers of an English ship swallowed by a great whirlpool. After more adventures they return to the surface of the earth to fight Nazi in Grand Slam 2-7, June 1943.

From this adventure and the type of equipment the Crusaders used, one can see a strong tendency toward science fiction. This drift is completed in an issue before Three Aces, 3-11, December 1944. A race, the “Jappani” of Sirius Beta under “King Krool” assemble a vast armada to come to earth to help the Japanese defeat the Allies. The “Crusaders” travel through space to Sirius Beta to defeat this armada, and a whole new series of sci-fi adventures begin. Meanwhile Louis, Paul Leighton’s sister who previously made casual appearances in the serial now becomes a regular.

MEDIUM:

PERIODICAL GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:

All published by Anglo-American Publishing Co. Ltd.

Content serial:

Grand Slam Comics…: “The Crusaders…” Car., Les Gilpin. Black & white.
1-4, March 1942: “… In Libya”: 2-27. 1-5, April 1942: “…”: 3-22. 1-6, May 1942: “…”: 3-22.
Grand Slam Comics…: “The Crusaders…” Co-car., Les Gilpin & Ed Furness. Ltd. Black & white.
2-3, February 1943: “…”:32-41.

2-4, March 1943: “…”:31-40.

2-5, April 1943: “…”: 31-40.

2-7, June 1943: “…”: 32-41.

2-8, July 1943: “… and the Dream Of Baron Todt!”: 31-40.

3-1, December 1943: No story.

3-2, January 1944: No story.

3-11, December 1944: Reappeared in Three Aces Comics,

 

Three Aces …: “The Crusaders …” Contributors unidentified. Black & white.
3-11, December 1944: “… The Armada of Doom”: 3-16. Sci-fi.

4-1, February 1945: “… and the Pygmy People”: 3-16. Sci-fi.

4-2, March 1945: “… on the Planet of Old Age”: 11-19. Sci-fi.

4-2, March 1945: “… The Robot World”: 29-38. Sci-fi.

4-5, June 1945: “… and the Feudal Furies”: Sci-fi.

Apparently no issue for July.

Grand Slam/Three Aces Comics …: “The Crusaders ….” Contributors unidentified. Colour.
IV-45, August 1945: No story.

IV-46, September 1945: No story

IV-48, November 1945: “ … And The Volcano Demons”: 23-32. Sci-fi.

IV-49, December 1945: “…”: 12-22. Sci-fi.

V-50 January 1946: “… And The Hawkmen”: 1-10. Sci-fi.

Three Aces …: “The Crusaders…” Contributors unidentified. Colour.
V-51, February. 1946: No story.

V-52, May/June 1946: “… Land Of The Lotus Death:”: 16-28. Sci-fi.

V-53, July August 1946: “… The Holiday Of Terror”: 19-32. Sci-fi.

Cover front:

Grand Slam Comics …: Illus., Unidentified.Anglo-American Publishing Co. Ltd.
1-4, March 1942: …

1-5, April 1942: …

1-6, May 1942: … 1-8, July, 1942: …

Grand Slam/ Three Aces, V-50, January 1946: Illus., unidentified. Anglo-American Publishing Co. Ltd.

SOURCE:

Interview:

Ed Furness 27 Nov.1985.

GALLERY:

C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION ANIMATION\IMAGE CARTOON\IMAGE CARTOON C\THE CRUSADERS, Grand Slam Comics, 1-4, March 1942, fc.jpgGrand Slam Comics, 1-4,March 1942: Front cover. The Crusaders in their Rocket Suits.

C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION ANIMATION\IMAGE CARTOON\IMAGE CARTOON C\THE CRUSADERS, Grand Slam Comics, 2-2, Jan 1943, 31.jpgGrand Slam Comics, 2-2, January 1943: 31.

C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION ANIMATION\IMAGE CARTOON\IMAGE CARTOON C\THE CRUSADERS, Grand Slam Comics,2-4, March 1943, 39.jpgGrand Slam Comics, 2-4, March 1943: 39.The Metal Sphere falls through the fissure.

C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION ANIMATION\IMAGE CARTOON\IMAGE CARTOON C\THE CRUSADERS, Grand Slam Comics, 2-7, June 1943, 32.jpgGrand Slam Comics, 2-7, June 1943: 32. The Crusaders signature of the Cross.

C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION ANIMATION\IMAGE CARTOON\IMAGE CARTOON C\CRUSADERS [THE] Three Aces Comics, 4-5, June 1945, 17.jpgThree Aces, 4-5, June 1945: 17

C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION ANIMATION\IMAGE CARTOON\IMAGE CARTOON C\CRUSADERS Grand Slam 3 Aces V-50 Jan 1946 fc.jpgGrand Slam/ Three Aces, V-50, January 1946: Front cover.

These next two pages are likely Priscilla Hutchings work.

C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION ANIMATION\IMAGE CARTOON\IMAGE CARTOON C\THE CRUSADERS, Three Aces Comics, V-52, J-J 1946, 16.jpgThree Aces Comics, V-52, June/July 1946: 16.

C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION ANIMATION\IMAGE CARTOON\IMAGE CARTOON C\THE CRUSADERS, Three Aces Comics, V-52, J-J, 1946, 23.jpgThree Aces Comics, V-52, June/July 1946: 23.