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John Richard Flanagan: The Australian Born American Comic Book Pioneer

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The Australian Born America Comic Book Pioneer
Ask almost anyone in Australia who was the first Australian to work in the American comic book industry and they will invariably answer, “Stan Pitt”. It has been that way since Pitt did his first job for an American publisher, DC Comics The Witching Hour (issue 5), which was published in October 1969. But was Stan Pitt really the first or was he the second? What is now known is that there was another Australian who came before Pitt. A man who produced cover art for DC Comics thirty years earlier than Pitt in 1939.
His name was John Richard Flanagan. And this is his story.
Flanagan was born in Sydney in 1895 and attended St Joseph’s College in Hunter’s Hill. His father passed away when Flanagan was only 12, leaving his mother to make a difficult choice. As Flanagan was the oldest male in the house, the burden of providing for the family would fall upon him. She duly enrolled him in an art course and set him on an apprenticeship with a lithog…

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