C. C. Beck

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Charles Clarence Beck (June 8, 1910 – November 22, 1989) was an American cartoonist and comic book artist, best known for his work on Captain Marvel at Fawcett Comics and DC Comics.

He was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1997.


Early life

C. C. Beck was born on June 8, 1910 in Zumbrota, Minnesota. He studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Minnesota, and also took an art correspondence course.


Fawcett Comics

In 1933, Beck joined Fawcett Publications as a staff artist, where he created pulp magazines. When the company began producing comic books in autumn 1939, Beck was assigned to draw a character created by writer Bill Parker called "Captain Thunder". Before the first issue of Whiz Comics came out, the character's name was changed to Captain Marvel. Besides Captain Marvel, Beck also drew other Fawcett series, including the adventures of Spy Smasher and Ibis the Invincible.

His early Captain Marvel stories set the style for the series. Beck favored a cartoony versus realistic rendering of character and setting, which also came to be reflected in the whimsical scripting (by Otto Binder and others). The Captain Marvel stories boasted a clean style which facilitated Beck's assistants and other Fawcett artists emulating Beck's style (one exception was Mac Raboy whose work on Captain Marvel, Jr. was more in the style of Alex Raymond). While Beck oversaw the visual aspects of the various comics featuring Captain Marvel, he emphatically stated in an interview with Tom Heintjes published in Hogan's Alley #3 that he and his fellow artists had no input or influence on the scripts they illustrated, noting "In the 13 years I spent drawing Captain Marvel, I wrote only one story, about Billy’s trip to a Mayan temple[1], which had to be submitted in typed form and edited and approved before I was allowed to illustrate it." At most he allowed the art and editorial departments "did develop an interplay of ideas ... that kept Captain Marvel changing and developing."

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