Ad Code: 4
from Auction House Records.
Johnny Hart B.C. Sunday Comic Strip Original Art dated 5-24-70
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Johnny Hart was a pioneer of the contemporary, hip, and freewheeling
cartoon. Hart has been a favorite with young adults since he
introduced his witty caveman strip, B.C., in 1958.|
study of art never progressed beyond high school classes in his
hometown of Endicott, New York. Hart then spent three years in
the Air Force, stationed in Korea. He did cartoons for Stars and Stripes,
and on his release made a serious, if not particularly successful
assault on the cartoon market. He lived precariously from
occasional sales to the Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, and Bluebook. In 1957, he accepted a job in the art department of Western Electric.
concept of a gag strip about cave dwellers was not easy to sell, and
five syndicates rejected B.C. before the New York Herald Tribune
Syndicate accepted it in February 1958. It was an immediate
success and has remained widely popular.
Sensing that a Stone
Age setting limited his range of social satire ("Theres no society to
deal with in B.C.," Hart explained), he evolved an idea for another
strip set in the middle ages. The Wizard of Id, drawn by Hart's
old friend and mentor Brant Parker, was accepted by Publishers Hall
Syndicate, which had taken over B.C. when the Herald Tribune Syndicate
folded. The new strip debuted on November 9, 1964. Wizard then
moved on to the North America Syndicate, and B.C. went from Publishers
Hall, to Field, to Creators Syndicate; each running in about 400
papers.) Hart shared the scripting of Wizard with Jack Caprio and Dick
The loose, breezy style of his art and the often mordant
wit of his gags have earned Hart many honors in the industry: The
National Cartoonists Society voted him Outstanding Cartoonist of the
Year (1968) and B.C. Best Humor Strip (1968, 1971). In 1967, Hart won
the NCSs Reuben award, and in 1970 the Yellow kid award from the
International Congress of Comics. Hart created several B.C.
television specials and provided art for TV commercials and NASA decals
and posters. His two strips have been collected and published in
numerous volumes and have been translated into many languages,
including Swedish, Finnish, and Japanese.
Johnny Hart died from a stroke in April, 2007 at his home in Endicott, New York.
Ron Goulart, The Encyclopedia of American Comics, edited by Ron Goulart
Scottsdale Tribune, April 9, 2007, p. A11
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