Wes CrumPosted: September 4, 2012 Filed under: art, comics, publishing 3 Comments
If you are a fan of the old Judge’s Guild products like I am, you may have noticed that some of the art on those early products was by Wes Crum. Crum was my favorite artist of the Judge’s Guild newsprint era, and, I think, probably the most talented of the people to illustrate for Judge’s Guild. His pictureas have a real ‘pulp-horror-comics’ flair that I like (and that I think Sembieda, who also worked for JG at this time, lacks). Take a look at this typical Crum cover:
That art just looks straight out of the pre-code days of comics. Crude, and Wes was capable of better work, but I love it).
Crum went on to do some pornographic comics (which I won’t link here because I am not on my own computer — search “B.J. Betty” and “Anal Intruders from Uranus” published by, I think, Last Gasp Comix if you are interested). He was/is also involved in some conspiracy/UFO stuff (you can try to buy his art here if interested; I’m not sure how old that page is). I’m interested in the UFO/Conspiracy theory stuff, but strictly as a tourist — I am not a believer but don’t want to wind up or bullshit people who are serious about it in order to gain their confidence simply because I think that’s a douchebag thing to do. For the same reason, I’m curious about what goes on inside a Mormon church, but I’m not going to lie to them to get in there.
I don’t know what the extent of his (Crum’s) work with RPG or Fantasy stuff was or if he worked for any of the old D&D/RPG publishers other than Judge’s Guild. I used to trade emails with Bob Bledsaw years ago (a really nice guy, but an erratic correspondent; I think his health was failing at the time — he stopped responding and later I heard he had died). When we were corresponding, I asked him about Crum but never got an answer. I also, stupidly, asked him about Sembieda, not realizing, at the time, that there might have been some bad blood between Bledsaw and Sembieda. Unfortunately, I had no idea that Sembieda had gone on to form his own game company and apparently made a lot of enemies in the process. So, Bob, if you are reading this from wherever you are, I was just being clueless; I wasn’t trying to get you to dish on things you didn’t want to talk about.
Yeah, he has a vivid pulp style that's perfect for Judges Guild's product releases. Actually, sometimes the art is better than the actual contents.
Yeah, I dig his stuff. I wasn't around much JG stuff growing up so his work didn't have an impact on my early style but I do dig it quite a bit and am trying to play catch up now days.
As a close friend of Mr. Crum, I am saddened to say that his health currently prevents him from any more artwork. My hope is that soon he will again be able to work as he once had and return to his understated brilliance of work.