From 1962 to 1965, 'Dell Comics' published a Dr. Kildare comic book based on the 1960s Dr. Kildare television series. The first issue was released April 2, 1962, as No. 1337 in 'Dell's Four Color Comics line, and featured a story involving a gambler checking into Dr. Kildare's hospital to hide from a hit man. 'Dell' subsequently continued the comic book for a total of nine issues, with the final issue appearing in April 1965. All issues had photo covers featuring Richard Chamberlain, the star of the TV series.
A Dr. Kildare daily comic strip based on the 1960s television series and drawn by Ken Bald also premiered on October 15, 1962. Bald was required to base his drawing of Dr. Kildare on photos of Richard Chamberlain, but made up his own drawings of other characters, including Dr. Gillespie. The daily strip, drawn by Bald, ran for over two decades until April 21, 1984, outlasting the television series (which was cancelled in 1966) by nearly 18 years. A Sunday strip also ran from April 19, 1964 to April 3, 1983. Bald retired after the cancellation of the daily strip.
Kenneth Bruce Bald was born August 1st. 1920 in New York City, New York and raised in suburban Mount Vernon, New York. He attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for three years through 1941.
After Pratt, Bald joined the Englewood, New Jersey studio of Jack Binder, one of the early comic-book 'packagers' who would supply complete comics on demand for publishers entering the new medium. Beginning in 1942, during the 1940s period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books, Bald, via Binder, began drawing backup features for the prominent 'Fawcett Comics'.
On December 7, 1942, Bald enlisted in the Marine Corps, serving with the 5th Marine Regiment-1st Marine Division and seeing combat in Camp Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa, rising to the rank of Captain.
Creator credits were not routinely given during this era, and while historians have tentatively identified Bald as both penciler and inker of the 14-page Bulletman story The Terror of the Iceberg in Fawcett's #26 (May 1942), his earliest confirmed credit is penciling the 16-page Captain America story Ali Baba and His Forty Nazis in Captain America Comics #32 (Nov. 1943), published by 'Marvel Comics' precursor 'Timely Comics'.
Going on staff at 'Timely', Bald drew stories of such superheroes as Captain America, the Sub-Mariner, the Blonde Phantom, the Destroyer, and Miss America variously through comics cover-dated July 1949. He both wrote and drew a number of Millie the Model humor stories in the comics Georgie and at least drew the teen-humor character Cindy in Georgie and Judy Comics and Junior Miss.
Bald penciled the first appearance of the Sub-Mariner spin-off character Namora, in The Coming of Namora in Marvel Mystery Comics #82 (May 1947), but it is unclear if he helped create the character; the cover, which was sometimes created first, featured Namora drawn by Bob Powell. Similarly, Bald drew 'Timely's single issue of The Witness (Sept. 1948), starring a character co-created by writer-editor Stan Lee, but the cover for which was drawn by Charles Nicholas. Bald, with an unidentified writer, co-created Timely the superhero Sun Girl, who starred in a three-issue series cover-dated August to December 1948.
His other comic book work included the character Crime Smasher in Fawcett's Whiz Comics in the 1940s, and many anthological horror/suspense stories in 'American Comics Group's Adventures into the Unknown, The Clutching Hand, Forbidden Worlds and Out of the Night from 1949 through late 1954. Also for 'ACG', he co-created the adventure feature Time Travelers in Operation: Peril #1 (Nov. 1950).
In 1957, Bald transitioned to comic strips, beginning with Judd Saxon — about 'an up-and-coming young executive', or 'an executive turned detective' written by Jerry Brondfield, for 'King Features Syndicate'. Judd Saxon ended in 1963.
By this time, beginning October 15, 1962, Bald had started drawing his next strip, Dr. Kildare. Bald and writer Elliot Caplin produced the daily strip Dr. Kildare, based on the television show of that name.
In 1971, Bald (credited as K. Bruce) created the comic strip Dark Shadows based on the Dark Shadows TV series, a soap opera featuring Jonathan Frid as vampire Barnabas Collins. That strip ended the following year. In addition to drawing comics, Bald also worked as a commercial artist.