Jack Sparling

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Jack Sparling
BornJohn Edmond Sparling
(1916-06-21)June 21, 1916
Winnipeg, Manitoba
DiedFebruary 15, 1997(1997-02-15) (aged 80)
Notable works
Claire Voyant
Hap Hopper
Tiger Girl

John Edmond Sparling[1] (June 21, 1916 – February 15, 1997),[1][2] better known as Jack Sparling, was a Canadian comics artist.


Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Sparling moved to the United States as a child.[3] He received his early arts training at the Arts and Crafts Club in New Orleans and later attended the Corcoran School of Art.[1] He worked briefly as a gag cartoonist for the New Orleans Item-Tribune.[1] In 1941, Sparling, along with writer William Laas, created the United Feature Syndicate comic strip Hap Hopper, Washington Correspondent, for which real-life newspaper columnists Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen were listed as editors.[4] One source lists it as having launched January 29, 1939, but comics historian Don Markstein, noting that that day was a Sunday, says January 29, 1940, is better supported and more likely.[4] Sparling was the artist until 1943, when he was succeeded by Al Plastino.[1]

Sparling's next comic strip was Claire Voyant, which premiered May 10, 1943, in the New York PM. and ran until 1948.[1]

Jack Sparling's Claire Voyant (1948)

From the 1950s through the 1970s, Sparling provided art for a variety of publishers, including Harvey Comics (the Pirana) and Charlton Comics' adaptations of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.[5] Sparling also worked for Classics Illustrated, drawing adaptations of Robin Hood and Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.[6] Sparling drew biographic comic books featuring Adlai Stevenson II,[7] Lyndon B. Johnson, and Barry Goldwater for Dell Comics.[8] At DC Comics, Sparling drew Secret Six,[6] the "Eclipso" feature in House of Secrets,[9] and the "Unknown Soldier" feature in Star Spangled War Stories.[10] Editor Joe Orlando began a new direction for DC's House of Mystery series with issue #175 (July–August 1968) and the series' host Cain was created by Sparling and Orlando with writer Bob Haney.[11][12] Sparling worked with writer Dennis O'Neil on The Witching Hour[13] and the Challengers of the Unknown.[14] For Western Publishing's Gold Key Comics, he co-created the superhero Tiger Girl with Jerry Siegel in 1968,[15] drew the toyline tie-in Microbots one-shot,[16] and illustrated comic book adaptations of the television series Family Affair, The Outer Limits, and Adam-12.[6][17] In 1976, he drew a licensed Welcome Back, Kotter comic book series for DC.[18] For Charlton Comics' satire magazine Sick, he wrote and drew the nudie-cutie feature "Cher D'Flower!"[19]


DC Comics[edit]

Dell Comics[edit]

Gold Key Comics[edit]

Marvel Comics[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Jack Sparling". Lambiek Comiclopedia. 2014. Archived from the original on April 20, 2014.
  2. ^ Frankenhoff, Brent (February 15, 2012). "Today's Comics Guide: February 15, 2012". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on June 9, 2014.
  3. ^ "Scott's Classic Comics Corner: Classic Canadian Creators". Comic Book Resources. June 30, 2009. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Hap Hopper at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived 2015-03-08 at WebCite from the original on March 8, 2015.
  5. ^ Ambrose, Michael (May 2016). "Charlton Magazines of the 1970s". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (88): 49–52.
  6. ^ a b c Jack Sparling at the Grand Comics Database
  7. ^ Evanier, Mark (January 2, 2006). "Bio Comix". News From ME. Archived from the original on June 9, 2014.
  8. ^ Evanier, Mark (January 1, 2006). "Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Heart of Presidential Candidates…?". News From ME. Archived from the original on June 9, 2014.
  9. ^ Markstein, Don (2010). "Eclipso". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on June 9, 2014.
  10. ^ Markstein, Don (2008). "The Unknown Soldier". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on June 9, 2014.
  11. ^ Waid, Mark (w). "House of Mystery #1 DC Publishes Its First Horror Comic" Millennium Edition: House of Mystery 1 (September 2000)
  12. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1960s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Editor Joe Orlando decided that The House of Mystery was in need of renovation...The House of Mystery reopens its doors to supernatural tales with 'The House of Gargoyles' by scribe Bob Haney and artist Jack Sparling.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  13. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 132
  14. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 135
  15. ^ Markstein, Don (2010). "Tiger Girl". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on June 9, 2014. Tiger Girl's comic was drawn by Jack Sparling...The writer was no less a personage than Jerry Siegel, who co-created Superman himself.
  16. ^ Friedt, Stephan (October 2014). "Here Come the Microbots". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (76): 11–13.
  17. ^ Evanier, Mark (October 3, 2013). "Webb of Intrigue". News From ME. Archived from the original on June 9, 2014. [Adam-12] was shifted to the New York office where it was written by Paul S. Newman and John David Warner, and drawn by Jack Sparling and Mike Roy.
  18. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 171: The first issue [was] written by Elliot S! Maggin with spot-on likenesses rendered by Jack Sparling."
  19. ^ For example, in Sick #117 (Oct. 1977) at the Grand Comics Database.

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