Collection inventory

Special Collections home page

Frank Robbins Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: WHL/CAD
Date: April 1984

Biographical History

Frank Robbins (1917-1994) was an American cartoonist, illustrator and painter.

Born in Boston in 1917, Robbins' artistic talents came to the fore early in life. By the time he was in his mid-teens, he had already received numerous recognitions, including a Rockefeller grant and scholarships to the Boston Museum and the National Academy of Design in New York. His early professional endeavors included working as an assistant to Edward Trumbull on his NBC building murals, and cranking-out promotional materials for RKO pictures. In 1939, he was hired by the Associated Press to take over the existing Scorchy Smith aviation adventure strip. His work on the strip was much noted and became the impetus for the launch of his own aviation adventure, Johnny Hazard, by King Features Syndicate.

Johnny Hazard first appeared in June of 1944. Initially a pilot with the Army Air Corps during World War II, Johnny quickly followed Steve Canyon, Scorchy and others into post-War freelance adventure work. Robbins' stories were usually global in scope, and like many other strips in the genre, grew increasingly focused over the years on Cold War themes. Johnny Hazard ran until 1977.

In additional to his prominent comic strip work, Frank Robbins was an active magazine illustrator, placing work in many of the major venues including Life, the Saturday Evening Post and Look magazine. Robbins also lent his hand to the comic book trade, working variously over the years on such titles as Batman, The Flash, Captain America and Ghost Rider. Robbins abandoned illustration and cartoon work in 1977, moving to Mexico to dedicate himself to painting fulltime. Robbins exhibited his paintings throughout his career, and his work has appeared in many prominent museums and galleries, including the Corcoran Gallery, the Whitney Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center. Frank Robbins died in 1994.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Frank Robbins Cartoons collection contains 934 original daily and 156 original Sunday cartoons from the comic strip Johnny Hazard (1963-1966). Daily cartoon: traces of graphite, opaque white, brush, pen and ink on illustration board, approx. 7 ¼ x 23 ¼ in. Sunday cartoon: traces of graphite, opaque white, brush, pen and ink on illustration board, approx. 18 x 26 in.

Daily strips and Sunday strips run on separate plot continuities. Continuities in chronological order, as titled by the artist, are listed below. Some runs are incomplete, so please consult the detailed inventory for specific holdings.Daily continuities

Sunday continuities

Arrangement of the Collection

Daily and Sunday cartoons are arranged separately in chronological order.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Robbins, Frank, 1917-

Corporate Bodies

King Features Syndicate.

Associated Titles

Johnny Hazard (comic strip)


Adventure stories -- Comic books, strips, etc.
American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Cold War -- Comic books, strips, etc.
Comic books, strips, etc. -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Frank Robbins Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Frank Robbins, 1966.

Table of Contents

Johnny Hazard cartoons