Adventure Jeff Comics now has 23 subscribers!
Let's talk about Fletcher Hanks.
I was marginally aware of the cartoonist Fletcher Hanks for some years, but it wasn't until a couple of years ago when Leighton Connor let me borrow his copy of I Shall Destroy all the Civilized Planets,\ that I really gained a solid interest and appreciation for Hanks and his bizarre creations. Fletcher Hanks is the Ed Wood of Golden Age comics. It's not that he was a bad artist or writer, his imagination and creativity just far exceeded his talent. Stardust, Fantomah, and Space Smith are weird relics of the Golden Age, when the comics medium was still in its larval form, unsure of how it would develop. I love this kind of stuff.
Hank's stuff is weird, crazy, and unique. His art style is ugly and weird, and his stories are bizarre little morality plays. Villains aren't just defeated, they are punished with brutal creativity--tossed into volcanos, torn apart by giant spiders, placed into permanent orbit around the sun, etc. Stardust (arguabley his most famous creation) is a Superman analog. As Leighton says, Stardust isn't so so much a superhero as he is an angry Old Testament God.
All of his works are now in the Public Domain. Anyone can write new stories featuring Stardust or Fantomah; several have, and so have I. His influence on me (good or bad) should be obvious. (I liked him so much, in fact,that I co-created an RPG inspired by his works).
My Stardust story will be posted soon, page by page. I hope you all enjoy it and the spirit it celebrates.
Adventure Jeff was created one crazy weekend in the fall of 2009 in Columbus, Ohio. A group of my friends and I were playing a game where we had to create ideas for cool old toys, and I came up with a "Big Jim" sort of "Boy's Adventure" toy. Adventure Jeff was a bold and brassy mountain man--a little bit of Paul Bunyan, a little Popeye, and a hefty dose of Fletcher Hanks madness. (Fletcher Hanks was also introduced to me that weekend. More on him later.) Jeff was fun, and I spent a good chunk of that weekend doodling him punching bears, rasslin' snakes, and other wacky hijinks.
Once I got back home, I started drawing some Adventure Jeff comics. They were quick, simple little things, done sporadically just to share with a few of my friends. But my friends really enjoyed them, and they showed their friends, and so on. People kept insisting I draw more strips, and more regularly. At the same time, i was experimenting with other whimsical adventure strips. I've shared these strips over the different social network and blog sites I've used in the past. Now I've decided to cobble them all together here at Comic Fury with the hope and intent to share them with a larger audience. I'll start with the older strips, but we'll quickly get to new material.
I hope you'll enjoy it.
-Josh Burnett (July, 2011)