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C.C. Beck

From Academic Kids

Clarence Charles Beck, (June 8, 1910-November 22, 1989), was an American cartoonist.

Born in Zumbrota, Minnesota, Beck studied at the Chicago Academy and the University of Minnesota after completing an art correspondence course. In 1933, he joined Fawcett Publications as a staff artist.

While working for Fawcett, Beck created 'pulp fiction' 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". After one issue, Captain Thunder's name was changed to Captain Marvel.

Beck favored a clean, simple style to make it easy for other artists to provide artwork for the strip. Although not the only Captain Marvel artist he was essentially the series artistic creator. He also drew other Fawcett series, including the adventures of Spy Smasher and Ibis the Invincible.

The popularity of Captain Marvel allowed Fawcett to produce a number of spin-off comic books and Beck to open his own New York City comics studio in 1941. He later expanded his studio, adding one in Englewood, New Jersey.

The Captain Marvel stories boasted a clean style which allowed Beck's assistants and other Fawcett artists to produce artwork alleviating Beck's hectic schedule. Nevertheless, Beck was essentially the series artistic creator. When DC Comics lodged a suit against Fawcett for copyright infringement claiming that Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman, Fawcett was forced to discontinue its comic line.

After Fawcett Comics folded, Beck produced infrequent work for comics, a few issues for the short lived Milson Publications in 1966 and a handful of issues of the new revival of Captain Marvel entitled Shazam!, which had fallen into the hands of DC comics. He later relocated to Florida where, in his retirement, he produced a regular opinion column for The Comics Journal entitled "The Crusty Curmudgeon". He died in Gainesville, Florida of a renal ailment.

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