The Phantom by George Olesen
The Phantom (1998)

New York-artist George Olesen had been drawing since he was at Manual Training High School in Brooklyn, doing art for school yearbooks, art magazines and murals. While being a pilot during World War II, he drew a daily cartoon for the Officer's Mess. After the war, Olesen studied at both the American Art School and the Pratt Institute, where he majored in illustration. He then divided his time between drawing for comics and for advertisements. He made comic book artwork for publishers like Hillman, St. John, Street and Smith, Toby and Ziff–Davis, and by 1949 he was drawing stories starring Fred Harman's 'Little Beaver' for Dell's Four Color Comics line. In the 1950s he worked for comic book companies like Atlas and Toby Press.

Tales of Horror by George Olesen
He walks by night (Tales of Horror #10, 1952)

He has been mainly active as an artist for syndicated comics, however. He became a ghost artist on the newspaper Sunday page 'Ozark Ike' for Ray Gotto in 1952, and later also assisted the 'Red Ryder' comic by Fred Harman. Olesen went on to draw broadcast graphics for NBC TV-news for five year and became the only daily Metropolitan News artist, while also drawing for pulp magazines like Fantastic Adventures.

Olesen started as a penciler for Sy Barry on the 'Phantom' Sundays in May 1962. He worked on these Sundays for several periods, first on and off until 1974, then again in 1979-1986 and finally from 1988-2000. On the dailies, Olesen came on board as a penciler in 1980/81, with Barry inking, and continued after Barry retired in 1994, by now credited for his artwork. Olesen additionally worked on stories for the Scandinavia Phantom magazine. He retired in 2005, leaving the syndicated strip to Paul Ryan.

The Phantom by George Olesen
The Phantom (2001)

Blog about Olesen on stevenbrowerwritings.wordpress.com

Last updated: 2013-11-12

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