Fletcher Hanks, who worked under pseudonyms such as Henry Fletcher, Barclay Flagg or Hank Christy, was one of the more mysterious comic book artists active in the late 1930s and early 1940s. His work stood out for its weirdness and themes of brutal vengeance, but for many years little was known about the artist himself. It wasn't until recent years that more info about cult hero Hanks became public, when Paul Karasik edited two books collecting all of his comic book work published by Fantagraphics: 'I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets' (2007) and 'You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!' (2009).
Fletcher Hanks Sr. was born in New Jersey in 1887 as the son of a minister and the daughter of English immigrants, and was active as a cartoonist since 1911. Although only active between 1939 and 1941, Hanks was one of the first allround comic book artists, doing scripts, pencils and inks. Among his comic book heroes are 'Tabu, Wizard of the Jungle', the lumberjack hero 'Big Red McLane', and the cosmic superheroes 'Stardust, The Super Wizard' and 'Space Smith', that he created for comic book published by Fiction House and Fox Features. 'Fantomah Mystery Woman of the Jungle', is often called the First Female Superhero.
By 1941 he abruptly stopped making comics. According to an interview Karasik had with one of his sons, Hanks was an abusive father and an alcoholic, who left his family around 1930. He earned some income by drawing murals and died in New York City in February 1976, when his frozen body was found on a park bench.