Al Hartley

Al Hartley bigraphy, stories - Writer

Al Hartley : biography

October 25, 1921 – May 27, 2003

Henry Allan Hartley (1921 at the Social Security Death Index, Social Security Number 151-12-7106. Lists only "Born: 1921; Died: 2003; State of last residence: Florida". Full middle name Allan given in The Comics Journal and Christian Comics International sources below. Kearny, New Jersey, United States – May 27, 2003, Fort Myers, Florida), known professionally as Al Hartley, was an American comic book writer-artist known for his work on Archie Comics, Atlas Comics (the 1950s precursor of Marvel Comics), and many Christian comics. He received an Inkpot Award at the 1980 San Diego Comic-Con.

Hartley was the son of Congressman Frederick Allan Hartley, Jr. (Republican from New Jersey).


Early life and career

Al Hartley was born in Kearny, New Jersey, the son of Congressman Frederick Allan Hartley, Jr. (Republican from New Jersey), co-author of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. His father, he said, "encouraged me. He knew I wanted to draw from the time I could hold a crayon…. My father wanted me to pursue my own dreams and never attempted to steer me in any other direction.Hartley in Hartley drew for the local newspaper while still in high school,Hartley, Alter Ego, p. 76 and studied at the Art Students League of New York. at the Lambiek Comiclopedia. . He began selling humorous spot illustrations to magazines, and drew a Western comic-book story about Tecumseh for the publisher Street & Smith before the U.S. joined World War II, after which he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and flew 20 missions as a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber pilot in Europe.Hartley, Alter Ego, p. 75

On his return, he became a commercial artist and made the rounds of comic-book publishers, quickly getting work with publisher Ned Pines’ Standard Comics and its imprints Better Publications and Nedor Publishing. There he drew his first known credited work, the backup feature "Roger Dodger" in Exciting Comics #51-67 (Sept. 1946 – May 1949). at the Grand Comics Database Hartley also did humor one- and two-pagers for the publisher’s America’s Best Comics #20-28 (Dec. 1946 – Nov. 1948), as well as the feature "Zippie" in The Fighting Yank, and pieces for Startling Comics and Wonder Comics.

During this time he also did the backup features "Debbie" and "Teen Tales" in Michel Publications’ Cookie, The Funniest Kid in Town; and "Peg" for ACG’s The Kilroys. As well his worked appeared in the titles All Romances, Dotty, Dotty and Her Boyfriends, and Vicky for A. A. Wyn, Inc.’s Ace Comics.

Patsy (and Hedy)

In 1949, Hartley began freelancing for editor Stan Lee at Timely Comics, the progenitor of Marvel Comics. Hartley recalled,

As Timely segued into Atlas Comics, Marvel’s 1950s predecessor, Hartley made his mark with a more than decade-long run on the Patsy Walker teen-girl titles. With writer-editor Lee, Hartley chronicled the redheaded high schooler’s lightly comic adventures in her namesake series (which ran through 1964) and in its spin-offs, Patsy and Hedy (which ran through 1967) and the single-issue A Date with Patsy (Sept. 1957). Well into the Marvel era, Hartley also drew the "Special Queen Size Annual" publication Patsy Walker’s Fashion Parade #1 (1966). Walker eventually would be integrated into mainstream Marvel Universe continuity in the 1970s as the supernatural superheroine Hellcat long after Hartley had left the character. The teen-humor heroine gets serious in [[Patsy Walker #116 (Aug. 1964). Cover art by Hartley]] Also for Atlas, Hartley co-created Leopard Girl with writer Don Rico in Jungle Action, and drew such features as "The Black Rider" in Wild Western, and "Cliff Mason, White Hunter" in Jungle Tales. Hartley drew as well for the horror/suspense titles Mystic, Spellbound, Strange Tales, Adventures Into Terror, and Mystery Tales, among many other Atlas books.