Posts Tagged ‘Fletcher Hanks’

Word Balloons in Visual Space


Monday, March 22, 2010

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Clowes' "Wilson", from The New Yorker

Joe’s excellent post on thought balloons got me thinking about comics balloons (or text frames) in general: not just thought balloons but also word balloons, narrative boxes, and labels (like the famous arrows in Dick Tracy which diagrammatically call attention to two-way-radio-watches and other items of interest). It would be great to have a history of text frames in comics. There have been stabs here and there by scholars. Thierry Smolderen’s “Of Labels, Loops, and Bubbles” in Comic Art #8 is a good start.

About thought balloons: When did they emerge? I know Harold Gray was very chary of using them: he only used thought balloons a handful of times in his 44 year run on Little Orphan Annie. I think this was deliberate. While his characters where gabby they were also secretive – this is true not just of Warbucks but even Annie, who never says all she knows. Gray wanted to keep his characters mysterious, hence he avoided thought balloons.


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Fletcher Hanks! Live! (Sort of!) Thursday!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

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It’s my honor to grill Karasik at the event below!

Come out to celebrate the release of “You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!” by Fletcher Hanks, edited by Paul Karasik.

Thursday, July 23, 2009
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Discussion at 7:30 with signing by Paul Karasik to follow
Desert Island
540 Metropolitan Ave btwn Union and Lorimer
Brooklyn, NY

Karasik will speak with comics historian and publisher Dan Nadel about Hanks’s legacy, and both will take questions.

Fletcher Hanks, who worked under pseudonyms such as Henry Fletcher, Barclay Flagg or Hank Christy, is one of the more mysterious comic book artists active in the late 1930s and early 1940s. His work stood out for its weirdness and themes of brutal vengence, but little is known about the artist himself. Among his comic book heroes are ‘Tabu, Wizard of the Jungle’, the lumberjack hero ‘Big Red McLane’, and the cosmic superheroes ‘Stardust, The Super Wizard’ and ‘Space Smith’. ‘Fantomah Mystery Woman of the Jungle’, is often called the First Female Superhero. Hanks’ work appeared in Fox, Fiction House and Timely Publications for three years (1939-1941) before he abruptly stopped making comics. What little is known about the artist’s fate is outlined in two collections of his work both edited by cartoonist, Paul Karasik. ‘I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets’ won an Eisner Award and the second volume, ‘You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!’, when combined with the first, comprises the Complete Fletcher Hanks.

also: Fletcher Hanks coloring books (with Charles Burns cover!) FREE with purchase of the new book at the event.

plus: a limited edition Hanks screenprint will be available at the event and is now available for preorder.

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A Poll


Monday, February 25, 2008

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Frank’s love letter to Ogden Whitney (I could almost see the tear stains on my monitor) revived my dream (shared by Frank, as well as Bill Boichel) of releasing a “best of Ogden Whitney” book through PictureBox. Yes, it is a grand fantasy. And, in this day and age of newfound celebrity for Fletcher Hanks, perhaps it’s possible. Maybe. So, I put it to you, dear readers, would you buy a $25, 144 page full color collection of the best of Ogden? 50 pages or Romance, 30 pages of Sci-Fi, 50 pages of Herbie and maybe some super hero and crime stuff thrown in for good measure? Hmm? Take this poll and let us know. Why, this could be a Comics Comics brand book for all we know! Imagine that!

Also, an original art dealer recently told me that he heard from Ogden Whitney’s son. He has since lost the contact info. Now, as far as I know Whitney didn’t have any children. But, if you know different, or, if you’re related to him, please email me: dan (at)

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Then I Saw His Mask


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

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Via Alvin Buenaventura, Brian Chippendale is pictured on the cover of the new June/July issue of the Believer.

After Lauren last month, that makes two PictureBox artists immortalized by Charles Burns in a row.

And if Eric Reynolds is right about Fletcher Hanks in August (who you may remember was included in Art Out of Time), we may be looking at something like a hat trick!

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A Fine Day for Comics


Monday, June 11, 2007

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Well, I’m a lucky fan boy today. In my inbox this morning was a lengthy email about a massive, 464 page reprint of Winsor McCay’s Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. I’m quite excited about this, and hopefully the print quality will be as good as Pete Maresca’s groundbreaking McCay volume.

So, that’s cool. Plus, the mailman brought my review copies of Paul Karasik’s indispensable I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets. Ol’ man Karasik really did it this time, bringing all his obsessive zeal to bear on Fletcher Hanks, who I hope will soon be recognized (along with demented brethren Milt Gross, Ogden Whitney and Ernie Bushmiller) as one of the great cartoonists of the 20th century. His ability to make indelible images in comic book panels is nearly unparalleled. What can I say? It’s a brilliant book. Paul was my very first serious interview back in 1999, and his section of the Ganzfeld 1 helped make that book, my maiden voyage in publishing, really special.

Annnyyyyhoooowwww, I also received Drew Friedman’s The Fun Never Stops, an excellent overview of the last 15 years of his comics and illustrations. A perfect book for toilet reading! He remains hilarious and just awesome to hang out with (in book form).

Comics. It’s fun.

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