Gus Ricca pencils and inks; 1942; matted 15" x 19.75"; Part of the Harry Chesler Collection
Jon Berk CollectionGus Ricca, an illustrator and commercial artist during the Golden Age, worked on Ibis the Invincible, Dynamic Man, and Captain Battle, who made his first appearance in Silver Streak #10 in 1941. Ricca did interior art for various early publishers as well as cover art for Scoop, Punch, and Dynamic comics, including this cover for Captain Battle #3. Many of his pieces evoke a chaotic Schomburg feel as exciting covers bolstered readership, and this Captain Battle cover has just that, excitement! The high-octane scene depicts our heroes lunging toward the bad guys to save the damsel in distress in this drama-filled composition.
After being injured in WWI, Captain Battle donned his jetpack, the "luceflyer" to combat Nazis in the hopes of preventing WWII. In 2013 an exceptionally low budget Captain Battle film was made, likely intending to capitalize on the success of Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).
The beautiful Gus Ricca inks are a hallmark of their time, and this piece would make an excellent addition to any comic art collection.
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Gasparo "Gus" Ricca went to work for the Harry "A" Chesler shop about 1940. Gus Ricca did interior art for comics published by Timely ('Dale of the FBI', 'Dynamic Man'), St. John (horror and crime features), ACG (various features), Street & Smith ('The Whisperer') and Fawcett ('Diamond Jack', 'Ibis', 'Jim Dolan'). From 1944 to 1946, he served as an art director for Chesler's new Dynamic Comics line. Ricca created a series of strange and often morbid covers for titles such as 'Scoop', 'Punch', and 'Dynamic'. Gus Ricca's comics work was last seen in the early 1950s.