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Ken Bald Papers

A description of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: DW
Date: May 1980

Biographical History

Kenneth "Ken" Bald (1920- ) is an American comic book and comic strip artist.

Ken Bald was born August 1, 1920 in New York City. Bald attended the Pratt Institute and landed a job at Jack Binder’s studio. After serving with the Marines during World War II, Bald went to work for Timely Comics. Bald worked on comic book characters including, Captain America, Bulletman, the Sub-Mariner and Miss America. Some of his work appeared under the pen name, K. Bruce.

In the 1950s, Bald switched from working on comic books to comic strips and Bald began drawing Judd Saxon for King Features Syndicate. In 1962, Bald started the Dr. Kildare strip, based on the popular television series starring Richard Chamberlain. Bald dropped Judd Saxon in 1963. Bald also created another television inspired comic strip, Dark Shadows, based on the gothic soap opera of the same name. That strip appeared from 1971 to 1972. In addition to comic art, Bald also worked as a commercial artist.

Ken Bald retired with the end of the Dr. Kildare strip in the 1980s.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ken Bald Papers consists of one main series and four series with additional material about Bald's career as well as limited material about Bald's personal life.

Artwork (1957-1970) comprises the majority of the collection. Included are approximately 2,968 original comic strips for Judd Saxon (748 items) and Dr. Kildare (1,990 dailies, 230 Sundays). There are also two Dr. Kildare sketches: a portrait of Kildare and an operating room. The Judd Saxon strip features an xecutive turned detective Dr. Kildare strip is based on the television series.

Judd Saxon artwork measures 6 1/4" x 21". Dr. Kildare daily strips measure approximately 5 3/4" x 19" with some smaller at 5 ½" x 17 ½". Sunday Dr. Kildare strips measure 16 1/4" x 23 ½". Daily strips do not have a logo with the name of either strip. Bald worked in pen and ink on illustration board. Zipatone screening was also used and some traces of blue pencil and watercolor are also visible. Corrections and notations appear on the strips in pencil. Some daily strips have engraver's date stamps on the back. Bald also pasted on some elements as many portions of the completed panels were drawn separately and pasted on to the completed panel.

Correspondence (1960-1966) consists of one folder of incoming correspondence. Correspondents include: Coulton Waugh, Cincinnati Enquirer employees and fans. Subjects include requests for cartoons and comments on the Dr. Sky Healer character (1964) from the Dr. Kildare strip.

Photos (1962-1964) contains one dozen snapshots of Bald, his wife and their daughter acting. There are also two Bald family photo Christmas cards.

Proofs (1964-1966) contains eighteen proof sheets for Dr. Kildare. Included are both color Sunday proofs and daily proof sheets.

Published and printed material (1962-1965) contains examples of Bald's commercial art, newspaper clippings, and promotional material for Dr. Kildare.

Arrangement of the Collection

Daily Judd Saxon strips are arranged chronologically. Dr. Kildare is divided into daily and Sunday strips and arranged chronologically. Correspondence is arranged chronologically.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Bald, Kenneth.

Corporate Bodies

King Features Syndicate.

Associated Titles

Dr. Kildare (comic strip)
Judd Saxon (comic strip)


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Comic books, strips, etc. -- United States.
Detective and mystery comic books, strips, etc.
Kildare, Doctor (Fictitious character) -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Proofs (printed matter)
Cartoons (humorous images)
Comic strips.


Commercial artists.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Ken Bald Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ken Bald, 1966, 1969-1971.

Table of Contents





Published and printed material