Fantagraphics Logo

Basil Wolverton

Basil Wolverton (1909–1978) created some of the funniest, most bizarre, and most influential cartoon drawings in the history of the medium. Wolverton got his start drawing the exceptionally strange sci-fi comic Spacehawk, which began running in 1940. He entered the humor field with Powerhouse Pepper, a strip starring a naïve, likable strong-man, which ran from 1942 to 1948. In 1946, Wolverton gained national recognition by winning a contest which asked Li’l Abner readers to draw Lower Slobbovia’s ugliest woman, Lena the Hyena. Subsequently, he drew a number of weird and wacky caricatures and gags for Mad magazine, where he influenced a generation of future underground cartoonists.

“Basil was one of the most original, unpredictable talents in the field. His style was unique and virtually inimitable, and I’ve never known anyone who didn’t get a real kick out of Basil’s far-out artwork.” — Stan Lee