I’ve recently become obsessed – more accurately, haunted – by the comics of Fletcher Hanks. His surreal, paranoid, racist, and xenophobic comics have literally been giving me nightmares. Even R. Crumb says “Fletcher Hanks was a twisted dude.”
After reading several comics online, I bought the collection I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets, mostly for the comic the editor, Paul Karasik, drew about his search for biographic information about Hanks. Little is known about his personal life other than that he was good looking, athletic, an alcoholic, and an abusive parent and father. His son didn’t even know he drew comic books. After he abandoned his family, nothing is known about him except that he froze to death on a New York City park bench in 1970, around the age of 90.
I don’t know Hanks was mentally ill, but I’m reminded of Louis Wain and Daniel Johnston when reading his stuff.
Monster Brains has links to several Fletcher Hanks comics online.
Fantnomah vs. the Giant Spiders is probably my favorite so far.
Official site for the collection.
(Thanks to Bill Whitcomb for turning me on to the guy).
February 7, 2008 at 10:06 pm
As seen in my del.icio.us links on June 27 2007.