|Fletcher Hanks, Sr.|
|Born||December 1, 1887|
|Died||February 1976 (aged 88–89)|
|Area(s)||Cartoonist, Writer, Artist|
|Notable works||Stardust the Super Wizard
Fletcher Hanks, Sr. (1 December 1887, in New Jersey, United States – February 1976, in New York) was a cartoonist from the Golden Age of Comic Books, who wrote and drew stories detailing the adventures of all-powerful, supernatural heroes and their elaborate punishments of transgressors. In addition to his birth name, Hanks worked under a number of pen names, including "Henry Fletcher", "Barclay Flagg", "Bob Jordan", and "Hank Christy".
Hanks was active in comics from a period of 1939 to 1941 (though as early as 1911 he described himself as a cartoonist), writing and drawing stories for Fiction House and Fox Features Syndicate. His creations include Stardust the Super Wizard, Tabu the Wizard of the Jungle, and Fantomah (one of the first female superheroes, predating Wonder Woman).
A cult following has developed around Hanks' work in recent years. His stories and art have been reprinted in the magazine Raw and several comics anthologies, and archival material of his work has been the subject of two books by Fantagraphics Books.
Hanks was the son of William Hanks, a minister, and Alice Fletcher Hanks, the daughter of English immigrants — his parents married c.1885. Fletcher himself married Margaret c.1912. Little is known of Hanks's life outside comics; the main source being an interview by Paul Karasik with Fletcher Hanks Junior c.2006. According to his son, Hanks was an abusive father and spouse, as well as being an alcoholic. Hanks earned some income by drawing murals in the homes of the rich and allegedly abandoned his family around 1930 (the U.S. census return for that year shows him described as an artist, living with his wife, Margaret, widowed father, William, and his children Douglas, Alma, Fletcher Jr, and William). He died in February 1976; his frozen body was found by police on a park bench in New York City.
- Social Security Death Index entry no. 051-22-1426 New York from FamilySearch.org
- Manifest of Passengers for S.S. Oceana, arriving New York May 1st 1911 from FamilySearch.org, with detailed manifest available at www.ellisisland.org
- "Paul Karasik Announces Second Fletcher Hanks Collection Following Eisner Win". The Comics Reporter. July 28, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
- 1900 U.S census return for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania from FamilySearch.org
- 1930 U.S census return for Trappe District, Talbot County, Maryland from FamilySearch.org
- I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets!, pp.107-122
- I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets!, p.119
Work appearing elsewhere
- Jones, Gerard (2005). Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book. New York, NY: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-03657-8. (appearing on the dust jacket only)
- Nadel, Dan (2006). Art Out Of Time. New York, NY: Abrams Books. ISBN 0-8109-5838-4.
- Sadowski, Greg (2009). Supermen!: The First Wave Of Comic Book Heroes 1939-1941. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics Books. ISBN 1-56097-971-2.
- Website devoted to Fletcher Hanks
- Lambiek.net biography with links to Tabu, Stardust, and Space Smith stories
- Fantomah vs. giant spiders[dead link]
- Fantomah vs. hopped up gorillas
- World's best supervillain origin
- Profile of his son, Fletcher Hanks Jr, who talks about childhood with his father
- News article about his son, Fletcher Hanks Jr[dead link]
- Leopard Women of Venus, a role-playing game inspired by the works of Fletcher Hanks