Tarawa by John-W Mayo
Comic strip adaptation of 'Tarawa' from the French-Canadian newspaper Le Petit Journal, 18 March 1945

John Mayo, or John-W. Mayo, was an obscure artist for newspaper comics, who was mainly active in the 1940s and 1950s. He was probably a staff artist at King Features Syndicate during the 1940s. In 1944 he illustrated the comic strip adaptation of 'Tarawa', the eyewitness account of US war correspondant Robert Sherrod of one of the toughest battles of the US Marines in the Pacific (the first six strips were illustrated by William Reusswig). It was part of the syndicate's "Book-of-the-Month" feature (1942-1947), in which a book was serialized in newspapers in comic strip format. When cartoonist Alex Raymond joined the Marines in 1944, Mayo was one the artists who assisted Austin Briggs on the continuation of 'Flash Gordon' and 'Jungle Jim'. According to comics historian Alberto Beccatini, Mayo inked the 'Flash Gordon' daily strip from 17 April through 13 May, and pencilled the feature between 15 and 29 May of that year. He ghosted the 'Jungle Jim' Sunday comic from 1 April 1945 until 15 August 1948, after which Paul Norris took over.

Flash Gordon daily strip of 22 May 1944, possibly by John Mayo

On 10 October 1949 he took over the artwork of the western comic strip 'Tex Austin' (1949-1950), which had been launched by artist Tom Fanning and writer Sam Robins for the New York Post Syndicate a few months earlier. Mayo continued the strip with writer Robins until the end of its run in early 1950. John Mayo allegedly worked with Jerry Siegel on a comic strip called 'Future Eye' (1953) for the McClure Syndicate, but it is unknown if that strip was ever published anywhere. Mayo furthermore illustrated a short comic story about American athlete Jim Thorpe in the first issue of the Ziff-Davis comic book 'Football Thrills' (October 1951). It is unknown if he was related to comic book artist Ralph Mayo.

Tarawa by John-W Mayo
Tex Austin (23 December 1949)

Series and books by John Mayo in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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