Newsman Balks Scheme to Kill Key Witness (Authentic Police Cases #8, St. John Publishing, 1948)
Born in Hartford, Connecticut into a family of Russian immigrants, George Tuska finished his studies at the National Academy of Design in New York City at age 21. His first art job was designing women's jewelry, and in 1939, he became assistant on the 'Scorchy Smith' strip. During the 1940s he worked as a comic book artist through studios like Eisner/Iger the Chesler Shop.
He did extensive work for Fiction House, including 'Shark Brodie' (as George Aksut) and 'Hooks Devlin' in Fight Comics, 'Glory Forbes' in Ranger Comics and 'Jane Martin' in Wing Comics. In addition, he was present at other companies, such as Harvey Comics (Speed Comics) and Fox Comics (Science Comics, Mystery Men Comics). In the 1940s, Tuska created the character 'Hercule' for Quality Comics and, as a member of Studio Chesler, he drew several episodes of 'Captain Marvel', 'Golden Arrow', 'Uncle Sam' and 'El Carim'. He later also returned to Eisner to work on some 'Spirit' and 'Uncle Sam' stories.
Battle Fatigue (War Adventures #1, Atlast, 1952)
Tuska was mobilized at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, during World War II, and he had to postpone his comic activities, but did draw for some army magazines. After the war, he was back at Fiction House, drawing stories with 'Reef Ryan', 'Rip Carson, 'Golden Arrow' and 'Camilla, Queen of the Jungle'. By 1947, he became one of the top artists of crime comics in Lev Gleason's 'Crime Does Not Pay'.
Buck Rogers (1960)
In 1949 he began an association with Timely/Atlas and contributed to a great number of their crime titles, but he also did mystery and war stories. He was a regular on western titles like 'Black Rider', 'Gunsmoke Western', 'Kid Colt Outlaw', 'Texas Kid' and 'Two-Gun Kid' until 1957, while also drawing for St. John Publications.
In addition to his comic book work, Tuska became the main illustrator on 'Scorchy Smith' from 1954 to 1959. In 1959, he took over the daily and Sunday 'Buck Rogers' pages, which he continued until 1965 (daily) and 1967 (Sunday).
Buck Rogers (1966)
In the late 1960s, Tuska started working for Marvel, where he contributed to the series 'Ghost Rider', 'Planet of the Apes', 'X-Men', 'Daredevil' and most notably, 'Iron Man'. He continued drawing superhero comics for DC, including 'Superman', 'Superboy' and 'Challengers of the Unknown'. In 1978, along with José Delbo, Paul Kupperberg and Martin Pasko, Tuska started a new version of the daily 'Superman' comic. Tuska worked on this series until 1993. He passed away in October 2009.
An image from Tuska's 'Buck Rogers' inspired Roy Lichtenstein's pop-art painting 'One Thing's Sure... He's Still Got Those Emeralds' (1961).