Alias the Spider by Paul Gustafson
Alias The Spider (Crack Comics #14, July 1941)

Paul Gustavson was born as Karl Paul Gustafson in Åland, Finland. He and his family emigrated to the USA when Gustafson was 5 years old. There, he studied civil engineering at Manhattan's Cooper Union. From the age of 17, he worked as the apprentice of cartoonist Frank Owen, whom he assisted on 'Filbert'. He eventually joined the Harry "A" Chesler Shop for a period of 2 years. There, he commenced his career as a comic book artist, working in a studio with Jack Cole, Mort Meskin, Gill Fox, Fred Guardineer, Charles Biro and Bob Wood. Afterwards, he went to work through Funnies Inc.

The Angel by Paul Gustafson
The Angel (Marvel Mystery Comics #4, February 1940)

Using the pen names "Paul Carroll" or "Paul Gustavson", he drew many features for Centaur Publications, such as 'A-Man', 'The Arrow' (1938-1941), 'Fantom of the Fair', and 'Man of War'. He created and drew 'The Angel' for Timely Comics in 1939, and he helped create the 'Twister' character for Novelty Press in 1941. He contributed humor features in the early DC Action Comics.

Fantastic Comics cover, by Paul Gustavson (1941)

Gustavson produced his best material working for "Busy" Arnold's Quality comics. Working alongside Lou Fine, Jack Cole, and Reed Crandall, Gustafson drew 'Quicksilver' (1941-1942), 'Magno' (Smash Comics, 1941), 'The Spider' (Crack Comics, 1940), 'Midnight' (1942-1946), 'Black Panther', 'Rusty Ryan' (Feature Comics) and, most notably, The Human Bomb' (Police Comics, 1941-1946) and 'The Jester' (Smash Comics). He also contributed to the crime titles.

Will Bragg, by Paul Gustavson
Will Bragg

After his World War II military service in the Air Tech Training Command, Gustafson concentrated on Quality's humor feature 'Will Bragg'. He remained with Quality Comics until it was sold to National in 1956. And after a short stay with the ACG group, Gustafson started a career as a surveyor and civil engineer for the New York State. He died in 1977 in upstate New York.

The Arrow cover, by Paul Gustavson (1941)

Series and books by Paul Gustafson you can order today:


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