The Hidden Artist

Infinity53_cvr
Infinity53_cvr

Recently read Infinity, Inc. #53, the final issue of the series that featured the children and protégés of the Justice Society of America. Art for the issue is credited to penciler Michael Bair, known for his unique page layouts and supermodel posing of female characters. Published in 1998, Infinity 53 is a prime example of Bair's work in this period, exhibiting his . . .

Wait a minute. What's up with page 10?!?

No way page 10 of this book was drawn by the same guy. See for yourself. This is from page 6, illustrated by Bair:

Infinity53_pg06
Infinity53_pg06

And below is a section from page 10:

Infinity53_pg10a
Infinity53_pg10a

See what I'm saying? The shot of Pat Dugan, a.k.a. Stripsey (seriously, that's his codename) in the last panel is clearly based on the similar panel from page 6, and just as clearly NOT drawn by the same hand. So, who's the uncredited mystery artist? Next to certain that it's Tom Grindberg.

Grindberg is a versatile artist from the Neal Adams school of rendering, particularly noteworthy for his work on Batman: Bride of the Demon.

I can prove nothing, but the evidence speaks for itself. Maybe Bair and Grindberg shared the same studio, and Grindberg was pitching in to help with a deadline. Who knows? In an attempt to satisfy my curiosity, I've reached out to both artists. If I hear back from either, I'll post an update.

UPDATE, 6/12/11:

I received a response from Michael Bair, who says that it's quite possible that Roy Thomas, the writer/editor of Infinity, Inc., asked Tom Grindberg to pitch in on those pages, but he can't remember for certain. However, Bair did verify that he and Grindberg never shared a studio; he believes Tom was working with Neal Adams in that period. Thanks for the info, Michael!

posted by Jeff