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Sample Autograph Signature: Johnny Hart

American cartoonist and creator of the popular comic strips B.C. and The Wizard of Id. John Lewis Hart never really seriously considered cartooning until he was about to graduated from Union-Endicott High School in Endicott, NY and met Brant Parker, a young cartoonist who later became a partner in Hart's other comic creation, The Wizard of Id. Parker was working for the nearby Binghamton Press as an artist and cartoonist when he was asked to judge a high-school art contest in which Hart had entered non-cartoon drawings. Parker was impressed with his work, and later met with Hart one evening and convinced him to turn his talents to cartooning. Hart enlisted in the Air Force and served in Korea where he began producing cartoons for Pacific Stars and Stripes. Upon his discharge in 1954, he moved back to Endicott and began selling his free-lance cartoon to leading magazines such as Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, Look and True. His income from free-lance work need supplemented, so he joined the art department at General Electric. While there, he continued to sell cartoons, build a successful national reputation, and created B.C. which was nationally syndicated by the New York Herald-Tribune on February 17, 1958. The idea for The Wizard of Id hit Hart in about 1960, but he shelved it for four years before teaming up with Parker who did the drawing for Hart's gags. It has been distributed since November 9, 1964. Hart became an evangelical Christian in the 1960s and B.C. began to reflect his beliefs. Reader opinions were divided on the change and some newspaper editors found it inappropriate for their comic pages, but several of his strips became highly controversial due to their alleged anti-Semetic or anti-Islamic content. Hart has received the National Cartoonist Society Humor Comic Strip Award in 1967 for B.C., their Reuben Award in 1968 for B.C. and The Wizard of Id, their Elzie Segar Award in 1981, their Animation Award in 1973, and their Newspaper Comic Strip Award in 1989 for B.C..

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