Crusty Bunker, or the Crusty Bunkers, was the collective pseudonym of group of comic book inkers clustered around Neal Adams' and Dick Giordano's New York City-based art and design agency Continuity Studios from 1972-1977. The group was also occasionally credited as Ilya Hunch, Chuck Bunker, or The Goon Squad. Many of the Crusty Bunkers went on to individual careers in the industry.
According to former member Alan Weiss, the name "Crusty Bunker" was first coined by Continuity Studios co-principal Neal Adams in relation to his children. "It was like calling someone a name that wasn't really dirty. . . . It didn't really mean anything, it just sounded good."
There were over 60 artists who at one time or another were Crusty Bunker members. The core group consisted of artists who rented space at Continuity or worked up front in the advertising studio itself. Continuity would get the assignment, someone with experience (usually Adams or Giordano) would ink the faces and main figures, then pass it around for everyone to work on it, until the whole thing was completed. Comic book titles that the collective worked on included Marvel's Red Sonja and Marvel Premiere, the Marvel black-and-white magazine titles Dracula Lives!, Tales of the Zombie, and Monsters Unleashed; and DC's Sword of Sorcery.
Former Crusty Bunker Larry Hama recounted, "If a job was incredibly late, then the Crusty Bunkers would gather together half-a-dozen to a dozen inkers and... turn out a whole book in a day or two, all under the supervision of Neal [Adams]. It was a whirl. Guys would be passing pages back and forth. Guys would be standing over boards filling in blacks upside down while somebody was rendering a face at the bottom of the page."
This period was one of transition in the comics industry, as DC Comics had been toppled from comics dominance by Marvel Comics. In an attempt to revitalize its brand, DC made a concerted effort to entice young artists, including from this talent pool. As many of the Crusty Bunkers began getting regular comics work, they discontinued working in the group's collaborative fashion. The collective was effectively disbanded in 1977, although Adams resurrected the name for some of the comics put out by his own publishing company, Continuity Comics, from 1985-1993.
Although directed (and often worked on directly) by Adams, the Crusty Bunkers inking style was not a clone of Adams' individual work. Their early published work showed a herky-jerky, jumble of styles that revealed the work of multiple hands. Within about a year, however (in response to the demand from publishers for a homogenous look), the Crusty Bunkers had developed a true "house style," with only hints of the individual styles that the respective artists later became known for. This house style was more rough-hewn than similar work by Adams.
- Conan The Barbarian #44-45, Annual #3 (1974–77)
- Crazy Magazine #2 (1974)
- Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu Special Album #1 (1974)
- Doctor Strange #4 (1974) - uncredited
- Dracula Lives #3, 10, Annual #1 (Curtis/Marvel, 1973–1975)
- Haunt of Horror #4 (1974)
- Iron Man #91 (1976)
- Ka-Zar (1974–75)
- Marvel Premiere #10, 12-13 (1973–74)
- Marvel Preview #1 (1975)
- Marvel Treasury Edition #6 (1975)
- Monsters Unleashed #3, Annual #1 (1973–75)
- Power Man #31 (1976)
- Savage Sword of Conan #2–3 (1974)
- Savage Tales #7, 10 (1974–75)
- Emergency! (Charlton, 1976)
- Six Million Dollar Man (Charlton, 1976)
- Mr. Miracle (DC, 1977)
- Sword of Sorcery #1-2 (DC, 1973)
- Weird Worlds #2-3 (DC, 1972–73), credited as "C. Bunker"
- Wulf the Barbarian #2 (Atlas/Seaboard, 1975)
1980s & 1990s
- Armor #1 (1985)
- The Basics (1985)
- Hybrids: The Origin #4-5 (1993)
- Ms. Mystic #5 (1990)
- Ms. Mystic (vol. 2) #1, 3 (1993)
- Revengers featuring Armor and Silver Streak #1 (1985)
- Urth 4 (1989–1993)
- Theakston, Greg and Nowlan, Kevin, et al., at Bails, Jerry; Ware, Hames. "Crusty Bunkers". Who's Who of American Comic Books 1928-1999. Archived from the original on May 11, 2007. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
- Alan Weiss in Cooke, Jon B., ed. (2000). Comic Book Artist Collection One. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 184.
- Netzer, Michael. "The Lives and Time of Crusty Bunker," Michael Netzer Online, September 17, 2007 Archived June 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved July 5, 2008.
- Salicrup, Jim; Zimmerman, Dwight Jon (September 1986). "Larry Hama (part 2)". Comics Interview (38). Fictioneer Books. pp. 36–45.
- Bob Layton in Cassell, Dewey, with Aaron Sultan and Mike Gartland (2005). The Art of George Tuska. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-893905-40-5.
- Source notes: "Dougherty, Karin [spelling?]"
- Included in source, which notes her as writer rather than artist
- Crusty Bunkers at the Grand Comics Database
- Doctor Strange #4 (Oct. 1974) at the Grand Comics Database. Retrieved September 1, 2008.