17 June, 2008

Fletcher Hanks Mystery Man of the Golden Age

Little is known about Golden Age comics artist Fletcher Hanks, but that he made some very weird comics. Hanks is probably known for the unintentional humour in his exclamatory captions and impassive, sociopathic heroes, but that tells only half the story.

Hanks allied
his crude storytelling to powerful, eerie images, with a strong graphic sense in titles such as...
"'Tabu, Wizard of the Jungle', 'Fantomah Mystery Woman of the Jungle', the lumberjack hero 'Big Red McLane', and the cosmic superheroes 'Stardust, The Super Wizard' and 'Space Smith', which appeared in Fantastic Comics from Fox Publications in 1940. Little is known about the artist's fate since he left the comics field in the early 1940s."
Hanks's stories litter the internet (such as the six Stardust strips here), but Fantagraphics recently published a collection of Hanks's comics, edited by Paul Karasik, entitled I shall destroy all the civilised planets. There's an interesting review at Lady, That's My Skull.