Robot 6

‘New’ Fletcher Hanks story discovered

Panel from Hanks' 'Moe M. Down'

Panel from Hanks' 'Moe M. Down'

It was assumed that the two Fantagraphics collections — I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets and You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation — contained all existing stories by Fletcher Hanks, the obscure and eccentric Golden Age artist whose work has been rediscovered thanks to the efforts of editor Paul Karasik and others. Now, Seattle-based comics writer Frank Young has found two previously lost tales by Hanks from two issues of Great Comics, circa 1941. And no less an authority than Karasik has come forward (in the comments section) to confirm that yes, they are indeed by Hanks:

Not that anyone cares but me…BUT….I spent a looong time looking at these pages again today and have come to the conclusion that they are, in fact by Hanks.

The second story is taken directly from the final Big Red McLane tale with the captions rewritten and the faces re-rendered (possibly by another hand).

But the first story really had me stumped, so many of the compositions are un-Hanksian but ultimately tiny details such as hair-rendering, crowd-rendering , and big details like, yes, anatomy have made me change my mind.

I knew that sooner or later it would happen: the undiscovered Fletcher Hanks has been discovered.




“Pipe that beef trust, slick!”

A million times, yes to Fletcher Hanks.

What a Christmas gift, huh?

And speaking of gifts (and pardon the shameless plug) there are still a handful of 100% cotton American Apparel Fantomah t-shirts still available at:

Mr. Karasik, in one of the Daring Mystery Marvel Masterworks there is credit to a “Henry Fletcher”. I do not own that volume and haven’t even seen it yet, but I recall it was one of the names Fletcher Hanks usually signed. Do you know if that’s his work or someone else’s?

The book in question:

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Yup, “Henry Fletcher” is Fletcher Hanks and the guy who drew the two Whirlwind Carter stories for Daring Mystery #4 & 5 (both of which are reprinted in my Hanks collections).

Interestingly enough, back 25 years ago when I was Associate Editor of RAW and we chose to reprint a Hanks story none of us could believe that the guy’s name was really Fletcher Hanks. He had used so many pseudonyms each weirder than the last. So we simply chose the “realest” sounding of all of the names and credited the Stardust story to Henry Fletcher.

I see, they are on “You shall die…”. Both top Fletcher Hanks!

I was worried about spending 50 bucks to buy that Masterworks just for those stories…

By the way, would that first “Moe M. Down” be a refurbished Big Red McLane story? On the last Big Red story (which became the second Moe) it says that we would see more of his “ring career” on the next issue. I bet that story was effectively produced and was the source for the first Moe story! Who knows? It might even have been published somewhere!

Which makes me wonder if Hanks had noticed the obvious creative limitations of his lumberjack and decided to turn him into a Joe Palooka-like character.

The third Moe story (if it does exist) may have some answers.

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

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