One of the best of the fan cartoonists of 1960s and 1970s fandom was Alan James Hanley. Hanley had grown up during the Golden Age of Comics and had retailed a fondness for their adventures and their style of storytelling. In particular, he was a aficionado of Captain Marvel, and the Captain’s demise caused him to come up with his own spin on the concept: Goodguy, Champion of Clean Living. Hanley produced stories of Goodguy (a.k.a. Major Marvel) in a number of fanzines over the years, including his own publication COMIC BOOK. His work was cartoony in the best way, but always just a hair out of step with where the mainstream was. In reaction to this, and to the advent of sword and sorcery as a popular genre, Hanley crafted this Goodguy story in which Major Marvel meets Hanley’s take on a Conan-esque character, Thug the Unkindly.
This story was serialized in the pages of Alan Light’s Buyer’s Guide to Comics Fandom, the precursor of the long-running Comics Buyers Guide.
Sadly, Hanley passed away in 1980 and his work has all but been forgotten in the ensuing decades. Which is a shame, as he really was a fine cartoonist, one with a unique sensibility to his work, especially for the time.
One thought on “Thug the Unkindly”
The Thug-Goodguy storyline was collected and reprinted by Jim im the pages of his BUMBAZINE #1 in 1976.