- Creator Name
- Al Fagaly
- Date of Birth
- January 5, 1909
- Date of Passing
- May 23, 1963
- Born in Waynesburg, KY January 5, 1909, died Newport Beach, CA April 23, 1963
- 4 brothers (Houston, Roy, Cliff and Woody) and 1 sister (Ruth). The family moved to Hood River, OR around 191? and settled in Vancouver Washington a few years later where the family of cartoonist Basil Wolverton lived next door.
He moved to Pasadena, CA in the early 1930’s. He joined the U.S. Marines (serving on a shipboard detachment) and was involved in the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake relief efforts. In the mid 1930’s he returned to Vancouver and founded Columbia Photoengraving in order to get the local newspaper, the Vancouver “Columbian” to publish his cartoons. He offered to supply them the newspaper engraving plates for free if the newspaper would pay him for the cartoons. Since the cost of photoengraving was much more than the going rate for artwork was, the newspaper agreed and he became the staff cartoonist for the Columbian. His older bother Roy took over Columbia Photoengraving; a cousin Leonard Hicks (K-Mar in the movie, “Santa Claus Conquers The Martians”) also worked as a photoengraver before moving to New York to become an actor.
In 1933, Al enlisted in the US Marine Corp and served 4 years. He assisted in Long Beach (CA) earthquake relief effort. While serving in the reserves, he continued to work on his cartooning. In 1935, he created a comic strip, “Skip Logan” for the Thompson Service in Cincinnati, OH. Other than copies of the first 8 daily panels, nothing else is known about this daily strip.
In the late 1930’s, he moved to New York to pursue his dream of becoming a nationally recognized cartoonist. While living in New York, he shared an apartment with Mickey Spillane, who wrote for a number of comic books. Fagaly’s comic book interior artwork and/or covers in the early 1940’s included Marvel Mystery Comics, Blue bolt, Target Comics, Chameleon, Dick Cole, Joker, Blue-Bolt, Black Hood, Captain America), Human Torch, Patriot, Tommy Gunz, Whizzer, Yellowjacket and Captain Marvel (1945). From 1946 on, he primarily worked with MLJ through the early 1950’s. He was the cover artist on over 135 MLJ comic books including Archie (#17 – 34), Laugh (#20 – 29), Pep (#55 - 69, 72), Suzie (#49 – 69), Wilbur (#6 - 22, 24, 31), Super Duck (#2 - 19, 22 - 31, 34, 36, 37, 40, 42 - 50, 58, 60, 64, 66, 68), and Fauntleroy (#1 – 3). The Pep#67 cover included a caricature of himself sitting next to Archie, Jughead and Reggie.
He created the daily comic strip “There Oughta Be A Law” on November 19, 1944 while living in Nantucket, MA. His friend, Harry Shorten was able to find a number of bidders to syndicate the comic strip. Shorten sold the strip to McClure Newspaper Syndicate and became the writer.
Syndicated by the McClure Newspaper Syndicate, it was originally called “The Bitter Laugh”. The name was changed to “There Ought To Be A Law” in 1945. He moved to New York in December of 1944 to be near, what was at that time, the heart of the cartoon industry. He stayed there until 1946, first moving to Kingston, NY and then in 1947 to North Miami, FL. In the early 1950’s he gave up comic books and concentrated on “There Ought To Be A Law”. In early 1958, he and his family moved to Newport Beach, CA where he stayed until his death in 1963. At the time of his death, he was negotiating with the Chicago Tribune regarding the creation of a new comic strip.
Fagaly died April 23, 1963 of a heart attack and was buried in Pacific View Cemetery, Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) CA. His majority share of the strip was bought out (for $10,000) by Harry Shorten who continued to write (in addition to his publisher’s duties at Tower Publications). Warren Whipple, who had been doing pencil work on “There Ought To Be A Law” took over as the cartoonist. Shorten gave up his writing duties to a number of writers. The final writer was Frank Borth and the strip was terminated in 1983 when Borth turned 65.
Walt Disney tried to hire Al in the 1930’s, but Al turned him down (because of low pay offered-a hallmark of Disney)
Bob Fagaly: Creator Information