Russ Manning

Russell George Manning (January 5, 1929[2] – December 1, 1981)[3] was an American comic book artist who created the series Magnus, Robot Fighter and illustrated such newspaper comic strips as Tarzan and Star Wars. He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006.

Russ Manning
Manning self
BornRussell George Manning [1]
January 5, 1929
Van Nuys, California[1]
DiedDecember 1, 1981 (aged 52)
Notable works
Magnus, Robot Fighter
Tarzan comic strip
Star Wars comic strip
AwardsComic Book Hall of Fame, 2006


Manning studied at the Los Angeles County Art Institute, and later, during his US Army service in Japan, drew cartoons for his military base newspaper.

In 1953 he went to work for Western Publishing and illustrated stories for the wide variety of comics published by Western for Dell Comics, and later for Western's own Gold Key Comics line. His first notable work was on Brothers of the Spear, a backup feature, created by Gaylord Du Bois, in the Tarzan comic book. He also drew a few Tarzan stories. He created Gold Key's Magnus, Robot Fighter and The Aliens (which ran in the back of the former) in 1963 and drew the first 21 issues, through 1968.

From 1965 to 1969, Manning drew Gold Key's Tarzan series. During this time, he adapted ten of the first eleven Tarzan novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, from scripts written by Gaylord Du Bois. (The adaptation of the sixth, Jungle Tales of Tarzan, also scripted by Du Bois, was drawn by Alberto Giolitti rather than Manning). In 1999 the first seven of these were reprinted in three graphic novels by Dark Horse Comics as Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes (Tarzan of the Apes, Return, Beasts, and Son of Tarzan), Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan — The Jewels of Opar, and Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan The Untamed (Tarzan the Untamed and Tarzan the Terrible). Manning's remaining adaptations, not reprinted by Dark Horse, were "Tarzan and the Golden Lion" Tarzan and the Ant Men and Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle. He did not do the finished art on the latter, but provided lay-outs for parts of the story. Manning also drew the Korak stories in the first 11 issues of Gold Key's Korak comic (also written by Du Bois).

From 1967 to 1972 he drew the Tarzan daily newspaper comic strip and stayed on the Sunday page until 1979. He also created four original Tarzan graphic novels for European publication. Two of them were reprinted by Dark Horse Comics in a single trade paperback collection (Tarzan in The Land That Time Forgot and The Pool of Time) (ISBN 1-56971-151-8). During that same period he used assistants, among them William Stout, Rick Hoberg, Mike Royer, and Dave Stevens.

Magnus, his and Gold Key's best-known heroic-adventure series, was set in the year 4000, which Manning depicted as clean, airy city scapes populated by shiny robots, handsome men, and beautiful women. In an era when many science fiction illustrations still showed interstellar spaceships with fins reminiscent of World War II V-2 rockets, Manning offered more exotic craft. His Magnus work was later collected by Dark Horse Comics in three hardcover "archive" editions using a different color palette. Dark Horse then reprinted them in three trade paperbacks.

His final major work was writing and drawing the Star Wars newspaper strip in 1979-80. These were collected by Dark Horse Comics as Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures (ISBN 1-56971-178-X), which omitted the fact that Manning only drew some of the episodes that were written by Steve Gerber and Archie Goodwin.

Russ Manning died of cancer on December 1, 1981 while still living in California where he was born. He was 52.

The Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award, which is presented annually at Comic-Con International during the Eisner Awards, is named after him.

See also


  1. ^ a b Hillman, Bill & Sue-On. "Russ Manning Tribute I," Erbzine (vol. 830). Accessed November 8, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Aug 2014), Russell Manning, Dec 1981; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  3. ^ Manning biography at's Comiclopedia. Accessed November 8, 2008.

Further reading

Comics Feature #26, December 1983

External links

Adrien Van Viersen

Adrien van Viersen is a storyboard artist located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His credits include, Romeo Must Die, X2, X-Men 3, pilot episode of Smallville and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. He was also nominated for the Russ Manning Award for his comic book series Technopolis, published by Caliber Comics.

Atomic Age (comics)

Atomic Age is a four-issue comic-book miniseries, cover-dated November 1990 to February 1991, published by the Marvel Comics creator-owned imprint Epic Comics. It was created by writer Frank Lovece and penciler Mike Okamoto, and inked by Al Williamson.

The series was among the items featured in the Bowling Green State University exhibition "The Atomic Age Opens: Selections from the Popular Culture Library." Collaborator Al Williamson won the 1991 Eisner Award for Best Inker for his work on it and other series that awards-year, with Okamoto winning the Russ Manning Award for most promising newcomer.

Bosch Fawstin

Bosch Fawstin is an American cartoonist. A self-proclaimed "recovered Muslim," he was born into a Muslim family from Albania and raised in the faith before leaving it in his teens, becoming an atheist.

His first graphic novel, Table for One was nominated for a Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer award in 2004 and an Eisner award - Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition in 2005. He is currently producing The Infidel featuring Pigman. In 2015, he won a controversial contest advertised as the "First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest".

Brothers of the Spear

"Brothers of the Spear" was a long-running backup feature in the Tarzan comic-book series created by American company Western Publishing and published first through Dell Comics and then through Gold Key Comics. Though published as part of a licensed Edgar Rice Burroughs franchise, this original series was owned by Western.

Chris Samnee

Chris Samnee is an American comic book artist. He received the 2011 Harvey Award for Most Promising Newcomer for his work on the Thor: The Mighty Avenger, and won a 2013 Eisner Award for Best Penciller/Inker for his work on The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom and Daredevil. He was also nominated for the 2006 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award.

Comics Revue

Comics Revue is a bi-monthly small press comic book published by Manuscript Press and edited by Rick Norwood. Don Markstein edited the publication from 1984 to 1987 and 1992 to 1996.

As of 2014, it has published more than 300 issues, making it the longest running independent comic book (beating the record of Cerebus the Aardvark). It reprints comic strips such as Alley Oop, The Amazing Spider-Man, Barnaby, Batman, Buz Sawyer, Casey Ruggles, Flash Gordon, Gasoline Alley, Hägar the Horrible, Krazy Kat, Lance, Latigo, Little Orphan Annie, Mandrake the Magician, Modesty Blaise, O'Neill, Peanuts, The Phantom, Rick O'Shay, Sir Bagby, Star Wars, Steve Canyon, Tarzan, Akwas, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Artists whose work has appeared in Comics Revue include most of the best known names in comics art: Jack Kirby, Milton Caniff, Hal Foster, Charles Schulz, Al Williamson, George Pérez, Roy Crane, Russ Manning, and Burne Hogarth.

In issue #200, Comics Revue featured the only English language publication of "The Dark Angels", the last Modesty Blaise story, by Peter O'Donnell and Romero.

In 2006, it was revealed in Absolute Crisis on Infinite Earths that the Batman stories published in Comics Revue actually happened on Earth-1289.

In October 2009, the magazine re-launched as a bi-monthly title with twice the number of pages and reprinting Sunday strips in color. Each issue now includes at least one complete story.

Issue #300 includes a complete index to all comic strips published in Comics Revue #1-300.

Dan Brereton

Daniel Alan "Dan" Brereton (born November 22, 1965, in the San Francisco Bay Area) is an American writer and illustrator who has produced notable work in the comic book field.

Gene Ha

Gene Ha is an American comics artist and writer best known for his work on books such as Top 10 and Top 10: The Forty-Niners, with Alan Moore and Zander Cannon, for America's Best Comics, the Batman graphic novel Fortunate Son, with Gerard Jones, and The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, among others. He has also drawn Global Frequency and has drawn covers for Wizard and Marvel Comics.

He was awarded the 1994 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award, and won four Eisner Awards, in 2000, 2001, 2006, and 2008.

Gold Key Comics

Gold Key Comics was an imprint of Western Publishing created for comic books distributed to newsstands. Also known as Whitman Comics, Gold Key operated from 1962 to 1984.

Jesse Marsh

Jesse Marsh (July 27, 1907 – April 28, 1966) was a comics artist and animator. His main claim to fame is his work on the early Tarzan and related books for Western Publishing that saw print through Dell Comics and later Gold Key Comics. He was the first artist to produce original Tarzan comic books. Up to that time, all Tarzan comics were reprints from the newspaper strips. He also worked on the Gene Autry comic book for many years.Prior to working for Western, he had worked for the Walt Disney Company, doing animation work for Make Mine Music and some Pluto cartoons as well.

He would turn the Tarzan series over to Russ Manning in 1965 due to failing health.In 2009, Dark Horse Comics announced an archive reprint series of his work on Tarzan entitled Tarzan: The Jesse Marsh Years.

Magnus, Robot Fighter

Magnus, Robot Fighter is a fictional comic book superhero created by writer/artist Russ Manning in 1963. Magnus first appeared in Magnus Robot Fighter 4000 A.D. #1, published by Gold Key Comics in February 1963. The character was subsequently published by Valiant Comics and Acclaim Comics in the 1990s, and was reintroduced by Dark Horse Comics in August 2010. In every incarnation, Magnus is a human who battles rogue robots in the year 4000, though some aspects of the concept have varied with each publisher.

Magnus (comics)

Magnus, in comics, may refer to:

Magnus Lehnsherr, an alternate reality Marvel Comics character; the son of Rogue and Magneto

Magnus the Sorcerer, a fictional character in the Marvel Universe

Magnus, Robot Fighter, a comics character created by Russ Manning

Will Magnus, a scientist character in the DC Comics universe

Mike Okamoto

Mike Okamoto (born Detroit, Michigan, United States) is an American comic book artist and commercial illustrator best known for co-creating Marvel Comics' Atomic Age; as a "good girl art" cartoonist; and as the five-time International Network of Golf Illustrator of the Year.

Mike Royer

Michael W. Royer (; born June 28, 1941, Lebanon, Oregon) is a comics artist and inker, best known for his work with pencilers Russ Manning and Jack Kirby. In later life Royer became a freelance product designer and character artist for The Walt Disney Company.

Russ Manning Award

The Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award is an American award presented to a comic book artist whose first professional work appeared within the previous two years. It was named after comic book artist Russ Manning. The winner is chosen from a list of nominees picked by judges from the West Coast Comics Club and Comic-Con International, and is given at the Eisner Award ceremony.

Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud (born Scott McLeod on June 10, 1960) is an American cartoonist and comics theorist. He is best known for his non-fiction books about comics: Understanding Comics (1993), Reinventing Comics (2000), and Making Comics (2006), all of which also use the medium of comics.

He established himself as a comics creator in the 1980s as an independent superhero cartoonist and advocate for creator's rights. He rose to prominence in the industry beginning in the 1990s for his non-fiction works about the medium, and has advocated the use of new technology in the creation and distribution of comics.

Stephan Franck

Stephan Franck is a French/American animator, writer, director, and comics creator. In 2013, he received an Annie Award nomination for Best director for a direct to video or TV Broadcast for The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow. In 2014, Franck was nominated for the Russ Manning Award for the first volume of Silver (graphic novel series) that he writes and illustrates. In 2017, it was announced that writer Andrew Cosby was attached to write a movie adaptation of the Silver series. Franck is also the co-creator of the animated TV show Corneil & Bernie

Tarzan in comics

Tarzan, a fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first appeared in the 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes, and then in 23 sequels. The character proved immensely popular and quickly made the jump to other media, including comics.

Technopolis (comics)

Technopolis is a comic book that was created and illustrated by Adrien Van Viersen and written by Peter Taylor and Patrick Sauriol. It was published in 1997 by Caliber Comics and ran for four issues. The book garnered van Viersen with a nomination for a Russ Manning Award.

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