The very first books I can remember purchasing with my hard earned cash were Take A Bow B.C. and The Wizard’s Back. Even as a kid these books made laugh and ruminate. The ideas, jokes, and gags were at times hilarious and at other times thought provoking. The genius behind the lovable caveman characters of B.C. and the medieval capers of The Wizard of Id was Johnny Hart. On April 7, 2007 the cartoon, publishing, and entertainment industries and fans around the world mourned the loss of Johnny.
“Johnny stands out as one of the kindest, most generous, patient and all-round decent people I have ever known,” said Rick Newcombe, President and Founder of Creators Syndicate, Inc.
Born in Endicott, New York, John Lewis Hart graduated from Endicott High School in 1949. He served his military time in Korea, and during this period, he published his first drawing in Stars and Stripes. Demobilized in 1953, he began collaborations with the Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s and Bluebook. Hart is best known for his comic strip B.C., about life in the stone age which started its run in newspapers on February 17, 1958.
In 1960, Hart developed a new strip idea, which he worked out together with the cartoonist Brant Parker: The Wizard of Id, a strip about a forsaken kingdom ruled by a cruel and nasty king who was flanked by his knight, Brandolph and the Wizard. It was distributed for the first time in 1964 by Publishers-Hall Syndicate. Hart eventually hired Jack Caprio and Dick Boland to assist him on his comics projects.
Johnny Hart was an author who mixes dazzling humor and hilarious originality. In 1981, Johnny Hart received the NCS’s Elzie Segar Award for his work. In the later years of his life and career, Hart was conversed to Christianity, which led to more controversial cartoons and criticism. Johnny Hart worked on his B.C. comic strip until the day he died. (Lambiek.net)
Johnny was a friend and inspiration to many. He will be missed.
In Memory Of…