Burne Hogarth
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Caption Legendary "Tarzan" artist Burne Hogarth (1911-1996) at the 1982 San Diego Comic Con (today called Comic-Con International). "photo by Alan Light"
Birth Name
Birth Date December 25, 1911 (1911-12-25) (age 107)
Birth Place
Death Date January 28, 1996
Death Place Paris, France
nationality American
area Cartoonist, illustrator, educator, author and theoretician
cartoonist Y
notable works Tarzan
awards Alley Award, 1967, 1968
Inkpot Award, 2005

Burne Hogarth (December 25, 1911 – January 28, 1996)[1] was an American cartoonist, illustrator, educator, author and theoretician, best known for his pioneering work on the Tarzan newspaper comic strip and his series of anatomy books.


Hogarth was born in Chicago in 1911.[1] He displayed an early talent for drawing. His carpenter father saved these efforts and, some years later, presented them and the young Hogarth to the registrar at the Art Institute of Chicago. At age 12, Hogarth was accepted and thus began a long formal education that took him through such institutions as Crane College and Northwestern University in Chicago to Columbia University in New York City, all the while studying arts and sciences.[2]

Due to his father’s premature death, Hogarth began working at age 15, when he became the assistant at the Associated Editors Syndicate and illustrated a series called Famous Churches of the World. He worked for several years as an editor and advertising artist. This work provided steady and, by 1929, crucial employment. In 1929, he drew his first comic strip, Ivy Hemmanhaw, for the Barnet Brown Company, and the following year, he drew Odd Occupations and Strange Accidents for Ledd Features Syndicate.[2] As the Depression worsened, Hogarth relocated to New York at the urging of friends. He found employment with King Features Syndicate in 1934, drawing Charles Driscoll’s pirate adventure Pieces of Eight (1935). In 1936 came the assignment that catapulted Hogarth’s illustration career. With Tarzan, Hogarth brought together classicism, expressionism and narrative into a new form of dynamic sequential art. He drew the Tarzan Sunday page for 12 years (1937–45 and 1947–50). This work has been reprinted often, most recently by NBM Publishing.[2][3]

Art instructionEdit

Almost as long as he was a professional artist, Hogarth was a teacher. Over the years, he was an instructor of drawing to a variety of students at a number of institutions, and by 1944 Hogarth had in mind a school for returning World War II veterans. The Manhattan Academy of Newspaper Art was Hogarth’s first formal effort, and by 1947 he had transformed it into the Cartoonists and Illustrators School. This academy continued to grow, and in 1956 was again renamed, as the School of Visual Arts (SVA), now one of the world's leading art schools. Hogarth designed the curriculum, served as an administrator and taught a full schedule that included drawing, writing and art history. Hogarth retired from the SVA in 1970 but continued to teach at the Parsons School of Design and, after a move to Los Angeles, the Otis School and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.[3] Hogarth was an influence on many artists, notably the British illustrator Bill Ward.



Burne Hogarth's Tarzan (February 7, 1943)

During his years teaching, Hogarth authored a number of anatomy and drawing books. Dynamic Anatomy (1958) and Drawing the Human Head (1965) were followed by further investigations of the human form. Dynamic Figure Drawing (1970) and Drawing Dynamic Hands (1977) completed the figure cycle. Dynamic Light and Shade (1981) and Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery (1995) explored other aspects relative to rendering the figure.[3]

Graphic novelsEdit

After more than 20 years away from strip work Hogarth returned to sequential art in 1972 with Tarzan of the Apes, a large-format hardbound graphic narrative published by Watson Guptill in 11 languages. This book marks the beginning of the mature, contemporary "graphic novel." He followed with Jungle Tales of Tarzan (1976), integrating previously unattempted techniques such as hidden, covert, and negative space imagery with inspired color themes into a harmonious visual description, a pinnacle of narrative art. These texts, in addition to Hogarth’s strip work, exert a pervasive and ongoing influence within the global arts community and among delighted readers everywhere.[2][3]

His energetic speeches were known for addressing any topic that was thrown at him with a lengthy string of ideas that could cover the French Revolution and amusement parks by way of Postmodernism and graffiti art, meandering through economics and globalization, only to return to an enlightened answer to the original question. In his teaching he was known for a vigorous and surprising approach, which could include instructions such as: "Paint me this sound: a spider walking on his web. What is the music of that sound?"[3]


He received recognition for his work in the U.S., including the National Cartoonist Society Advertising and Illustration Award for 1975, Magazine and Book Illustration Award for 1992, and Special Features Award for 1974, and dozens of awards internationally. He taught, wrote, created and theorized lucidly and passionately into his last days. For decades he was regularly invited to international events, frequently in a starring capacity. Shortly after attending the Angoulême International Comics Festival in 1996, Hogarth returned to Paris where he suffered heart failure, dying January 28 at age 84.[1]



Comics work includes:

  • Tarzan:
    • Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle
    • Tarzan and the Elephants
    • Tarzan and the Adventurers
    • Tarzan and the Pygmies
  • Miracle Jones
  • Drago

Non-fiction books, mainly on the principles of art and design, include:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 De Weyer, Geert (2008) (in Dutch). 100 stripklassiekers die niet in je boekenkast mogen ontbreken. Amsterdam / Antwerp: Atlas. p. 215. ISBN 9789045009964 Template:Only in print. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Lambiek: Burne Hogarth
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Comicbookdb

External linksEdit