(1911-1996) US artist, writer and teacher, renowned for his work on the Tarzan Sunday newspaper strip. He became an assistant cartoonist, aged 15, for Associated Editors Syndicate, and drew his own feature, Famous Churches of the World, in 1927. In 1929 he created his first Comic strip, Ivy Hemmenshaw, for Bonnet Brown Company; this was followed by Odd Occupations and Strange Accidents for Leeds Features in 1930.
In 1933 he taught art history for the Works Progress Administration. A year later he travelled to New York to work as an assistant at King Features. In 1935 he took over the drawing of a Pirate feature, Pieces of Eight, written by Charles Driscoll, for McNaught Syndicate. 1936 brought the opportunity to draw the Tarzan strip, which he did continuously until 1945.
BH then created (for Robert Hall Syndicate) Drago, an action-adventure strip set in an exoticized Argentina; it ran for less than two years, and BH returned to Tarzan, this time also writing the scripts. He simultaneously created the short-lived, Walter Mitty-style humour strip Miracle Jones. He left Tarzan in 1950 to devote himself to teaching at the School of Visual Arts (which he had founded with Silas Rhodes in 1947). BH also applied himself to painting and etching.
His contribution to the development of the US comic strip has been considerable. Despite the high polish of his later artwork on Tarzan, it retains a tremendous vitality and expressiveness, and remains, along with the work of Hal Foster, among the major influences still evident in the US comic strip. He returned to the Tarzan theme with two graphic novels: Tarzan of the Apes (graph 1972) and Jungle Tales of Tarzan (graph 1976). [RT]
other works: Dynamic Anatomy (1958), Drawing the Human Head (1965), Dynamic Figure Drawing (1970), Drawing Dynamic Hands (1974), Dynamic Light and Shade (1981) and Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery (1993).
further reading: Tarzan, Jungle Lord (1968); interview in Comics Journal #166-#167 (1994).