Bosco by Harry Paschall
'Bosco' (Strength & Health magazine, December 1956)

Harry B. Paschall was an American bodybuilder and advertising agent. He was acquainted with the physical strength monthly Strength and Health, for which he wrote articles. In the same publication he created a long-running comic strip, 'Bosco' (1936-1957), about a German bodybuilder. 

Life and career
Harry Barton Paschall was born on 27 November 1896 (according to his World War I draft card, but as Alex Jay from the Stripper's Guide blog noticed, Paschall's notification on the 1900 U.S. Federal Census claims he was born on 27 November 1897) in Ashley, Ohio. He was the son of a machine salesman who lived in Marion, Ohio. In high school he made cartoons for the Marion High School paper. After graduation Paschall moved to Dayton, Ohio and was drafted during World War I. He worked as an artist at the Pyramid Film company in Dayton and published his first newspaper comic 'Everything's Up to Ma', which ran from 19 December 1921 on in the women's section of The Daily Star, a paper published in the Long Island City region of New York City. It was syndicated through World Color Printing until at least 1933. By 1923 Paschall had moved to Marion, Ohio, where he worked for the advertising company Jay H. Maish, making commercial drawings. He rose up to become the company's manager, advertising agent and manufacturer's agent.


From: The Record (Hackensack, New Jersey), 13 April 1927

Bosco
In between he still found time for his lifelong hobby: body building. As a child he was very impressed to see legendary bodybuilder Arthur Saxon perform his strongman act. Paschall started training as a teenager and, as an adult, regularly kept working out in the gym. On 25 August 1926 he set a new record in the national weight lifting championship, lifting 185 pounds with his total being 595 pounds. Paschall was also a writer and cartoonist for the monthly Strength and Health magazine. He wrote the popular column 'Behind the Scenes', in which he explained to readers how the real champions trained and demystified many urban legends about the profession. He also answered letters from readers. For the same magazine he drew the comic strip 'Bosco' (1936-1957).

Muscle Moulding by Harry PaschallHarry Paschall

Bosco was a strongman with a curly moustache and German accent who usually confronted some bullies, hecklers or other unpleasant people about their behaviour. Sometimes he beat them up, but he could also intimidate them into obedience. Paschall always saw the character as a kind of alter ego. He used him as a mascot in his own, self-written instruction manuals about body building and physical training: 'Muscle Moulding' (1950), 'Bosco System of Progressive Physical Training' (1950), 'Development of Strength' (1951) and 'Bosco's Strength Note Book' (1951-1952). These books - which use Bosco in their drawings to explain certain techniques - are still reprinted today. Paschall's cartoons also appeared in the British magazine Vigour. 


From: Bosco's Strength Note Book

Death and legacy
Harry Paschall passed away in 1957, in Delaware, Ohio. He was driving to deliver galleys to the printer when he suffered a heart attack which instantly killed him. About half a century later, one of Strength and Health's current columnists, Brooks Kubik, wrote a series of articles about notable people in the history of physical training and bodybuilding. When he went to visit Paschall's grave he was shocked to see it was unmarked, particularly since his other family members did have a marker. He decided to start a fundraiser to buy Paschall a personalized grave maker. In 2011 the goal was achieved.

Series and books by Harry Paschall in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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