Powerhouse Pepper, by Basil Wolverton

With no formal art training, Basil Wolverton sold his first cartoon to America's Humor magazine in 1926. He was long established as a newspaper artist by the time he started contributing to comic books in 1938. His first regular feature was 'Spacehawk' in 'Target' comics in the mid-1940s. His most famous cartoon appeared on the cover of Life in 1946, when he won a contest for drawing the best depiction of a character alluded to, but never seen, in Al Capp's Li'l Abner strip - 'Lena the Hyena'.

Marvel, by Basil Wolverton 1951

The Lena drawing established Wolverton as a master of comics, and he contributed to Mad magazine in the 1950s, and to the short-lived 'Plop' in the 1970s. Another Wolverton creation, 'Powerhouse Pepper', began in 1942. Powerhouse Pepper was conceived as a character along the lines of Popeye or Alley Oop, an innocent comic hero who could out-punch anyone who pushed him too far. The feature lasted nearly a decade in Joker Comics, and there were five intermittent issues of Powerhouse Pepper comic books produced as well. Wolverton died in 1978.

Powerhouse Pepper, by Basil WolvertonTarget Comics cover, by Basil Wolverton (1940)

comic art by Basil Wolverton

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