I must do more digging in my files to provide detailed and accurate information on this artist of fame.
Gene Bilbrew also signed thousands of pieces of art as “Eneg” (Gene spelled backwards). I don’t know when his art was first published. Probably in the 1940’s. The earliest dated artwork I have goes back to 1953 in association with Irving Klaw.
I’ve seen so much of his art for 40+ years, but I do not remember details of where he worked, who he worked with, etc. I’ve also seen art by a “J. Bondo” – only a dozen pieces or so, but the art style is nearly identical to Bilbrew. I’ve often wondered if this was another chop that he used on his art.
As I obtain more information I will include it – and if any of you have any specifics, please let me know. The history of these great artists must be maintained and shared.
I’ve discovered more info about Bilbrew! Gene Bilbrew (1923-1971) produced a tremendous quantity of work for Irving Klaw and later publishers, such as Leonard Burtman. Bilbrew, an African-American, met Eric Stanton while both were students at The School of Visual Arts in NYC. Here Bilbrew studied under Burne Hogarth, creator of the famous Tarzan comic strip. It was via Stanton that Bilbrew met and came to work for Klaw in 1951.