Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Can't Believe It's Not The Chaotic World of Fletcher Hanks!

Today's stories are:
Tabu from Jungle Comics # 2 (February 1940)
Stardust from Fantastic Comics # 6 (May 1940)
Space Smith & Stardust from Fantastic Comics # 9 (August 1940)
Fantomah from Jungle Comics # 16 (April 1941)

None of today's tales are drawn by Fletcher Hanks. He worked on the first Tabu story, but I haven't seen any other stories of that character that appear to be drawn by Hanks. Stardust is one of the characters most associated with the artist, but today I'm presenting the only two stories Hanks mostly likely had nothing to do with. Space Smith was another feature that Hanks drew the early adventures for, but after about a half-dozen stories, he was no longer working on that feature. Fantomah is another character most fans associate with the artist, but she is the only one to have continued after Hanks had left the comic industry.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who's been following my blog that I am a fan of the work of Fletcher Hanks. I don't think "he's so bad he's good", I simply think his style of art is unique, and his stories are straight-forward battles between good & evil, where the punishment handed-out by the heroes fit the crimes of the villains. There's an obvious decline in his work later into his comics career. I assume, based on his very short comic career, that he only got into drawing comics as a way to supplement his income (it is said that he painted murals and drew for magazines), so possibly, when his preferred career picked-up, he spent less effort on his comic stories, eventually leaving comics altogether.

Anyway, I'm presenting today's stories (taken from scans available at the Digital Comics Museum) for the Fletcher Hanks fans out there, so you can see for yourself what his characters were like when he wasn't drawing them. Personally, these stories seem bland by comparison, but that's just a matter of opinion.

1 comment:

  1. What I think most note-worthy here is that, whether one regards these efforts as bland or otherwise, they are an attempt to continue the sort of story-telling in which Hanks engaged.

    These may have been some sort of in-joke amongst those producing the comics, but it seems instead that his work was taken to have a real following, as opposed merely to being filler.


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