Harold Gray created Little Orphan Annie in 1924 and continued to write and draw the strip for 44 years. In addition to spawning popular songs and catchphrases (“Leaping Lizards!”) and a hit Broadway musical, one of the innovations of the popular strip was that it was told in “real time”: the events in the strip unfolded one day at a time.
Matt Groening, creator and executive producer of The Simpsons, the longest running primetime animated series in television history, started out as a cartoonist, producing the syndicated weekly strip Life in Hell beginning in 1978; he continued the strip until 2012. In 1985 he was asked to come up with an animated short to be part of Fox’s Tracey Ullman Show; the rest is history. Groening's other award-winning animated series, Futurama, launched 1999 and ran for five seasons. In 1993, he formed Bongo Comics Group, where he serves as publisher of Simpsons Comics, Futurama Comics, and dozens of other titles.
Milton Gross began his cartooning career in 1915, producing a number of humorous newspaper strips. After serving in World War I, he went on to create strips like Frenchy, Banana Oil, and Help Wanted. His big break came with Gross Exaggerations, a weekly column of prose and cartoons. In 1926 Nize Baby, a book collection of some of these columns, appeared and was an instant hit. Under the same title, Gross began a Sunday page feature in 1927. Other books by Gross include Hiawatta, Dunt Esk, and the pioneer wordless graphic novel He Done Her Wrong. In 1933 Gross was hired by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, for whom he produced such strips as Count Screwloose of Tooloose, Dave's Delicatessen, Otto and Blotto, and That's My Pop!
Irwin Hasen started in comic books in 1940, working on such features as The Green Hornet, The Fox, Secret Agent Z-2, Bob Preston, Cat-Man and The Flash, through the Harry "A" Chesler shop. He went on to draw several Green Lantern issues for DC and to co-create the character of Wildcat with Bill Finger. After serving in the military in WWII, Hasen returned to DC, where he drew Johnny Thunder, Justice League of America, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and and Green Lantern, among others. He and writer Gus Edson collaborated on the Dondi newspaper strip from 1955 to 1986.
Russ Heath joined Timely (Marvel) in 1946, where he drew westerns that stood out for their realistic artwork and details. He also drew science fiction stories for Avon, romance stories for Lev Gleason, and Plastic Man for Quality. In the 1950s at DC/National he drew such features as “Golden Gladiator” and “Robin Hood” in Brave and the Bold. But his mostly highly lauded work was for war titles, including Sea Devils, Our Army at War (“Sgt. Rock”), and G.I. Combat (“The Haunted Tank”).
Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, known by his pen name Hergé, created Tintin in 1929 as a comic strip for a weekly newspaper supplement. The adventure series became hugely popular in Europe, and since then 22 Tintin books have been published worldwide. Hergé’s clean style has influenced hundreds of other cartoonists.
Jaime Hernandez, along with his brothers Gilbert and Mario, self-published the first issue of Love and Rockets in 1981. It was picked up by Fantagraphics Books in 1982 and ran 50 issues before the brothers took a break to pursue solo projects. Jaime’s L&R titles include Vida Loca: The Death of Speedy Ortiz, Whoa, Nellie!, Maggie and Hopey Color Fun, Penny Century, and The Love Bunglers.Love and Rockets was revived in 2000 and still continues today.
Gilbert Hernandez, along with his brothers Jaime and Mario, self-published the first issue of Love and Rockets in 1981. It was picked up by Fantagraphics Books in 1982 and ran 50 issues before the brothers took a break to pursue solo projects. From 1983 to 1996, Gilbert produced the legendary Palomar saga, collected in such graphic novels as Heartbreak Soup and Human Diastrophism. Gilbert’s other works include Marble Season, Birdland, and Girl Crazy. Love and Rockets was revived in 2000 and still continues today.
The bizarre triangle of Ignatz Mouse, Krazy Kat, and Offisa Pup sprang from the fertile mind of cartoonist George Herriman, whose imaginative use of the comics page and unique setting have captivated readers for nearly a century. Because of Herriman, a brick isn’t just a brick. Inducted 2000
Artist and educator Burne Hogarth is best known for his beautiful Tarzan Sunday newspaper pages from 1937 to 1950. In 1950 he abandoned his own comics production to devote all his time to teaching at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School (later the School of Visual Arts), which he had founded with Silas Rhodes back in 1947. Hogarth taught at this school until 1970 and also authored a series of books on drawing and anatomy.
Jerry Iger was one of the first people involved in the comic book business, founding his own Phoenix Features Syndicate. His strips published in Famous Funnies are among the first ever produced especially for comic books. With Will Eisner, he formed the S. M. Iger Studios in 1937, which eventually became known as the Eisner-Iger Shop. Among their productions were Jumbo, Jungle, Planet, and Wings for Fiction House. When Eisner left in 1939, the studio continued as the Iger Shop, which produced titles for such companies as Fox, Quality, and Harvey up until 1955.
Carmine Infantino‘s art established a distinctive look to DC’s science fiction comics in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His work on the relaunched Silver Age Flash is prized by collectors. In the mid-1960s he became DC’s art director and proceeded to use such artists as Joe Kubert, Joe Orlando, and Dick Giordano as editors. He moved on to become DC’s editorial director, publisher, and president; he left DC in 1975.
Graham Ingels is best known for his stories and covers for EC Comics’ horror line: The Haunt of Fear, Tales from the Crypt, and The Vault of Horror. Ingels was one of the first artists to come to work for EC after Bill Gaines took over the company in 1948. As "Ghastly” Graham Ingels, he became the company’s premiere horror artist.
Jack Jackson, aka “Jaxon,” created, wrote, drew, and self-published what comics historians consider one of the first underground comix, God Nose. He was art director at Family Dog and a co-founder of Rip-Off Press. He contributed to such underground anthology titles as Skull, Slow Death, and Tales of the Leather Nun. Jaxon went on to pioneer historical graphic novels with the innovative Comanche Moon series for Last Gasp. He continued chronicling his home state’s history via El Alamo, Los Tejanos, and Lost Cause.
Al Jaffee is best known as the creator of MAD magazine’s fold-ins, which he has been doing since 1964, and for “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions,” a feature that has been collected into over a dozen books. Al is MAD’s longest-running contributor, having been there since 1955. Earlier in his career, Al worked for Stan Lee at Timely, where he was in charge of all humor and teen titles as associate editor. He also worked with Harvey Kurtzman on the short-lived Trump and Humbug humor magazines.