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Best Western #58-59 (June 1949 - Aug. 1949; continued from pulp Best Western vol.5 #7) continued as Western Outlaws & Sheriffs #60-73 (Dec. 1949 - June 1952).
George Tuska (April 26, 1916 – October 15, 2009), who early in his career used a variety of pen names including Carl Larson, was an American comic book and newspaper comic strip artist best known for his 1940s work on various Captain Marvel titles and the crime fiction series Crime Does Not Pay, for and his 1960s work illustrating Iron Man and other Marvel Comics characters. As well, he drew the DC Comics newspaper comic strip The World's Greatest Superheroes from 1978–1993.
Tuska began working for comic book packager Eisner & Iger, one of a handful of companies at the time that supplied comics on demand for publishers entering the new medium. His first known published comic-book work appeared in Fox Comics' Mystery Men Comics #1 and Wonderworld Comics #4, both cover-dated August 1939.
Tuska said in 2001, "I worked alongside Bob Powell, Lou Fine, and Mike Sekowsky". His studio colleagues later grew to include artists Charles Sultan, John Celardo, and Nick Cardy, and writer Toni Blum. Writer-artist and company co-founder Will Eisner recalled of the period, "It was a friendly shop, and I guess I was the same age as the youngest guys there. We all got along. The only ones who ever got into a hassle were George Tuska and Bob Powell. Powell was kind of a wiseguy and made remarks about other people in the shop. One day, George had enough of it, got up, and punched out Bob Powell". The otherwise mild-mannered Tuska, thinking comic books "would last two or three years — a fad", later left to seek non-comics work. After two weeks, however, he came across colleagues Sultan and Dave Glaser, on their way to meet with comics packager Harry "A" Chesler.Tuska, invited along, joined Chesler's studio, working there in 1939 and 1940, earning $22 a week, increased to $42 a week within six months. Alongside colleagues that included Sultan, Ruben Moreira, Mac Raboy, and Ralph Astarita, to Tuska helped to supply content for such Fawcett Comics publications as Captain Marvel Adventures. Later, when Eisner-Iger client Fiction House formed its own bullpen to produce work on staff, Tuska left Chesler to join Cardy, Jim Mooney, Graham Ingels and other artists there.
At some point, Tuska again worked for Will Eisner, now split from Jerry Iger, with a group of artists that included Alex Kotzky and Tex Blaisdell. "While with Eisner, I penciled some Spirit and Uncle Sam stories". Independently, he was assigned by Fawcett art director Al Allard to draw "a few more Captain Marvel stories.
Drafted into the U.S. Army circa 1942, Tuska was stationed at the 100th Division at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina. Returning home, he took up again with Fiction House.
Comic-book publishers, casting about for new subjects and genres, found a hit in crime fiction, the most prominent comic of which was Lev Gleason Publications' Crime Does Not Pay. Tuska would soon make a name for himself as one of the genre's top comics artists. After starting with short backup features and spot illustrations for text stories, Tuska was drawing the lead stories and more by Crime Does Not Pay #50 (March 1947).
Tuska's first work for the future Marvel Comics came in 1949, when Marvel's predecessor company, Timely Comics, was transitioning to its 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics. His first confirmed credit is the seven-page story "Justice Has a Heart" in Casey - Crime Photographer # 1 (Aug. 1949). He quickly went on to draw in an abundance of genres for Atlas, including crime fiction (in titles including Crime Can't Win, Crime Exposed, Private Eye, Justice, Amazing Detective Cases, and All True Crime Cases Comics); military fiction (Men in Action, War Combat, Man Comics, Battlefield, and Battle); horror (Adventures into Weird Worlds, Adventures into Terror, Mystic, Menace, and Strange Tales); and, particularly, Westerns (Black Rider, Gunsmoke Western, Kid Colt, Outlaw, Red Warrior, Texas Kid, Two-Gun Kid, Western Outlaws & Sheriffs, Wild Western and many others) through 1957, while also occasionally contributing to Lev Gleason and St. John Publications.
Simultaneously at first, from 1954 to 1959, Tuska took over as writer-artist for the failing adventure comic strip Scorchy Smith, supplying "eye-catching drawings and interesting plots, but it was too late". The strip would end in 1961. Tuska by then had moved on to the long-running science-fiction comic strip Buck Rogers, on which he was the final artist, drawing both the daily and Sunday strip from April 1959 to 1965, and the daily only from then through 1967, when both the daily and the Sunday were canceled.
Near the cancellation of the daily Buck Rogers strip, Tuska again found a freelance home at what was by now Marvel Comics, then in the full breadth of what historians and fans call the Silver Age of Comic Books. His first Marvel story, a "Tales of the Watcher" feature in Tales of Suspense #58 (Nov. 1964), included a special introduction by Lee, hailing the return of the Golden Age great. Tuska became a Marvel mainstay, penciling and occasionally inking other artists on series as diverse as Ghost Rider, Luke Cage, Power Man, Sub-Mariner, The X-Men and the movie tie-in series Planet of the Apes. His signature series became Iron Man, on which he enjoyed a nearly 10-year, sometimes briefly interrupted, run from issue #5 (Sept. 1968) to #106 (Jan. 1978).
Later, for DC Comics, Tuska drew characters including Superman, Superboy, and Challengers of the Unknown. He had a 15-year run drawing The World's Greatest Superheroes comic strip from 1978–1993, often inked by Vince Colletta. From 1981, the strip was titled The World's Greatest Superheroes Presents Superman.
Retired from active comics work as of the 2000s, Tuska lived in Manchester, New Jersey with his wife Dorothy ("Dot"), where he did commissioned art. The couple had three children. Tuska died near midnight, October 15, 2009. His last published comic-book art was one of four variant covers for Dynamite Entertainment's Masquerade #2 (March 2009).