Thursday, June 28, 2007

I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets!

I saw this over on boingboing.com and I'm fascinated. I Shall Destroy All Civilized Planets is an anthology of World War II era comics by an obscure artist named Fletcher Hanks. "These strips were beyond terrible," according to the Boing Boing post, "filled with a kind of idiotic energy. Each panel tops the previous panel for freakish goofiness, each strip surpasses the previous strip for mind-croggling ham-fistedness." Hanks wrote and drew the adventures of Fantomah: Mystery Woman of the Jungle and Stardust the Super Wizard, the latter obviously being from a time when the concept of a superhero was so new that some people obviously didn't get it.

The samples of Hanks' work that I've found online are fascinatingly surreal and remind me a bit of Basil Wolverton's work, particularly in his rendering of neanderthalish villains. Stardust actually bears a resemblance to the British comic book character Marvelman (changed to Miracleman when he came stateside in the 80s), though Marvelman didn't appear until 1954. Since Marvelman was a blatant knock off of Captain Marvel I suppose it's conceivable that the character's look might have been cribbed from Stardust.

Anyway, if you go to the listing for
I Shall Destroy All Civilized Planets on Amazon you can check out a few pages of Hanks' work by using the "Search Inside" function. You can also read a couple full length stories at lambiek.net's Fletcher Hanks page.

2 comments:

Paul said...

Thanks for the kind words about my book.

Readers can also get a look on the BONUS page of my website at a full-length Fantomah story that does NOT appear in the book:

www.fletcherhanks.com

If you like what you see and are considering purchasing the book, may I humbly suggest that you hop to it. Fantagraphics did not print a lot of these and right now it is climbing the Amazon charts with a bullet!

-Paul Karasik

Catnap40 said...

I love Space Smith!

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