The original art specialty piece below was one of first pieces I got for my collection, way back in 1966. I always loved it, the spirit, the message.
Hart’s genius was recognised early in his early B.C. and Wizard of Id’s days. There was a ton of B.C. books and clamoring peer praise. I think sometimes strips go on too long, though, and unfortunately get taken for granted. Maybe this was the case with Hart. And Hart’s perfect comic strip humor was probably overshadowed lately by the controversy over the recent times he tried to interject messages about his Christian faith.
Below is the first promotional material on both B.C. and Wizard. Man, the B.C. characters especially changed. It’s been seen time and again how characters smooth out and get boiled down to their essence when cartoonists draw them over and over. Harts charters became perfectly ridiculous.
Johnny boldy proclaimed his Christianity in B.C. But, in my next book, Clean Cartoonists’ Dirty Drawings, you’ll see that, like the Bible itself, Hart wasn’t prudish. Hart was good natured and light-hearted enough to make some funny T&A gags for fellow cartoonists with his characters.
Hart’s comics were slapstick, thoughtful, sometimes visually surreal (especially in 1960′s). They were full of variety. Most importantly: I look at many of today’s comics and I often just scratch my head. When I looked at and read Hart’s comics I often laughed out loud. I hate that the comics page is gonna be Hart-less.
— C. Yoe (in the funny papers)