Jack Cole was a natural talent in cartooning. His only formal training was through a Landon Correspondence Course in cartooning. In 1937, he started drawing for the Harry "A" Chesler Shop, where he made strips such as 'Peewee Throttle' and 'Officer Clancy', using the pseudonym Ralph Johns. He became editor of the New Friday Comics group in 1939, and there he wrote and drew comics like 'Daredevil' and 'Silver Streak'. From 1940 he worked as an assistant for Will Eisner and most notably, drew the daily version of 'The Spirit', but also 'Mr. Midnight'. For an impression of these early comics studio days, read Eisner's classic comic documentary 'The Dreamer'.
In 1941, Cole created the legendary Plastic Man for 'Police Comics', then in 1943 Plastic Man got his own comic. In the 1950s, Cole continued working on his cult classic until 1956 when others took over. Cole also worked as a freelance cartoonist and illustrator for several magazines, until Playboy hired him in 1955 to draw 'Females by Cole', one of the best cartoon features the magazine ever had.
In 1958, Jack Cole was lured back to making comic strips again by the Chicago Sun-Times Syndicate, which commissioned him to do the humorous, slightly autobiographic strip 'Betsy and Me'. It lasted only for a few months - on 13 August 1958, Jack Cole took his own life. Art Spiegelman published a great book about Cole's creations and life, 'Jack Cole and Plastic Man', which is highly recommended to those who want to know more about this talented artist, who tragically committed suicide at the height of his career for reasons that have never been fully explained.
(Note: This bio comes from www.lambiek.net)
Date of Birth:
14th December 1914
Date of death:
13th August 1958 Favorite Creators:
Jack Cole - 'Geo. Nagle / Ralph Johns / Jack' is a favorite creator of 10 usersAwards:
- 1993 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards - Nominee - Hall of Fame
- 1994 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards - Nominee - Hall of Fame
- 1996 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards - Nominee - Hall of Fame
- 1999 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards - Winner - Hall of Fame: (Judges' choice)