General Category > Artist Spotting

Hi, I am the daughter of Barbara Hall, golden age, cartoonist


I have noticed that there is still curiosity , actually quite a lot of interest,  about my mother’s work. She was Barbara Hall, who, beginning in around 1941, drew for Harvey comics.
She is best known for “Girl Commandos” , with Pat Parker, and for “Honey Blake, the Blonde Bomber.”
She also drew “The Black Cat, “ but we are not sure which stories she worked on. Trina Robbins has looked into my mother’s work quite deeply, and she interviewed her. So she is really the expert, and I’m grateful to her for the spotlight. She has put on Barb’s  life and her work.
Barbara’s Barbara's renditions of these comics can often  be discerned by the openness of her style of the true joy she takes in drawing pretty girls. There’s also a little more humor in her work in my opinion , than that of Jill Elgin. But Barbara stopped drawing in around 1943, when my father foolishly suggested to her that she stop she fovus on fine art (she painted beautifully in Tempera and especially in soft pastel). She immediately responded to this advice by tearing up $300 worth of pencil art. Hundred dollars’worth of penciled art. That was the end of her relationship with Harvey.
Irving, my father, was horrified. He had not expected her to be so precipitous. He should’ve known! They needed that $300. Many of my cartoonist friends have said what a waste of her abilities this was. This was.
I’m finishing up and finishing up andfinishing up an editing, the first part of a book about my artistic and eccentric family  and our weird adventures. I hope to publish part of it fairly soon, and I hope comics people will enjoy it..
If anyone has questions, I could answer a few. Many thanks..

Hi Isabella,
I just replied to your other thread.
Oh my, that's quite a story you shared.  I too have a mother that can sometimes have a temper.   ::)

I haven't read Trina's books yet, they're in my huge 'to be read' pile I suspect many of us have beside their beds, right?
I'll have to dig into it and see what she has to say about your Mom.

I love learning about the creative people behind the curtains.  Often they are far more interesting than the comics themselves.  Much as DCM feels they ALL deserve to be preserved one can't call them all amazing reading.  ;)

I was very involved in the creation the 'FRANK THOMAS ARCHIVES' with Chris Beneke.  We were able to track down his still living daughter, Nancy Thomas-Bardeen, back in 2016.  She sent pictures and samples of her father's works as well as a lovely remembrance of her parents which was included as an introduction in each of our four volume retrospective we created of her father's public domain safe works.  It was a lot of work but great fun collecting Frank's works for sharing here.  The collection eventually resulted in a cover feature in Alter-Ego magazine, which focuses on Golden and Silver Age comics and creators with articles, interviews and original artwork.  They have some free PDFs of their magazines at this link if you are curious -

Frank's daughter Nancy Thomas-Bardeen's touching intro can be read at this link:

I hope we hear more from you and PLEASE feel free to share any links about your coming book about your family.  I know the people here are quite supportive of these kind of books.


I’ve been going thru the Pat Parker & the Girl Commandos in Speed Comics. It appears the stories in Speed Comics #13 (May 1941) to Speed Comics #25 (Feb 1943) are drawn by Barbara Hall.

Jill Elgin takes over with Speed Comics #26 (Apr 1943) and draws them to the end in Speed Comics #42 (Mar 1946).

Not sure about the story in Speed Comics #30 (Jan 1944).

Looking back at the Black Cat stories in Pocket Comics, it would appear likely that Barbara Hall did indeed draw the Black Cat stories in Pocket Comics #1 (Aug 1941), #2 (Sep 1941) & #3 (Nov 1941}, just as she told Trina Robbins in a long-ago interview.

Black Cat (Linda Turner) & War Nurse (Pat Parker), as drawn by Barbara Hall, look so much alike they could be the same girl with a different hair color.

It would seem Barbara Hall drew the first four Blonde Bomber (Honey Blake) stories in Harvey's Green Hornet Comics #7 (Jun 1942) to # 10 (Dec 1942). The story in #10 is signed B. Hall.

Nice work on these M!


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