Comic Creator

William H. D. Koerner

(19 November 1878, Germany - 1938, USA)  United States

William H. D.  Koerner

Hugo Hercules, by W.H.D. Koerner (1902)

J. Koerner is the author of what is said to be the first actual superhero comic: 'Hugo Hercules'. The strip appeared in the early 20th century in the Chicago Tribune, a newspaper of which Koerner was a staff artist. Koerner was born in Lunden, Germany and emigrated to Clinton, Iowa in 1880. He moved to Chicago in 1898, where he began his collaboration with the newspaper. Koerner didn't feel the potential of a superhero at the time, and ended his collaboration with the Tribune to study fine art under Howard Pyle. In his later years, he became an accomplished painter and western illustrator, among others for the Evening Post's series 'Traveling the Old Trails' and 'The Covered Wagon'.

Images and text derived from an article by Peter Maresca in Comic Art #7
Last updated: 2008-05-09

Series and books by William H. D. Koerner in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


Since 1999, Lambiek presents the Comiclopedia as a free service to comic fans from all over the world. The database has expanded to over 12,000 biographies of international comic artists, and also has an extensive Dutch section about comics in the Netherlands.
For 15 years, the site was funded from the resources of our Amsterdam-based shop. However, the current economical circumstances make it difficult for us to maintain this service. At the moment the Comiclopedia's sole editor works for us free of charge, aided by a couple of (international) volunteers.

If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.