I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets

The Comics of Fletcher Hanks

By Paul Karasik (Editor)
(Fantagraphics Books, Paperback, 9781560978398, 122pp.)

Publication Date: June 2007

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Description
Welcome to the bizarre world of Fletcher Hanks, Super Wizard of the Inkwell. Fletcher Hanks worked for only a few years in the earliest days of the comic book industry (1939-1941). Because he worked in a gutter medium for second-rate publishers on third-rate characters, his work has been largely forgotten. But among aficionados he is legendary. At the time, comic books were in their infancy. The rules governing their form and content had not been established. In this Anything Goes era, Hanks' work stands out for its thrilling experimentation. At once both crude and visionary, cold and hot as hell, Hanks' work is hard to pigeon hole. One thing is for certain: the stuff is bent. Hanks drew in a variety of genres depicting science-fiction saviors, white women of the jungle, and he-man loggers. Whether he signed these various stories "Henry Fletcher" or "Hank Christy" or "Barclay Flagg" there is no mistaking the unique outsider style of Fletcher Hanks. Cartoonist Paul Karasik (co-adapter of Paul Auster's City of Glass, and co-author of The Ride Together: A Memoir of Autism in the Family) has spent years tracking down these obscure and hard to find stories buried in the back of long-forgotten comic book titles. Karasik has also uncovered a dark secret: why Hanks disappeared from the comics scene. This book collects 15 of his best stories in one volume followed by an afterword which solves the mystery of "Whatever Happened to Fletcher Hanks," the mysterious cartoonist who created a hailstorm of tales of brutal retribution...and then mysteriously vanished. 2008 Eisner Award WINNER: Best Archival Collection/Project Comic Books 2008 Eisner Award Nominee: Best Short Story, "Whatever Happened to Fletcher Hanks?" by Paul Karasik"
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