Name adopted by the US Comics writer and artist, theatre director and producer whose birth name was Leon Harrison Gross (1911-1999); Falk was the middle name of his stepfather. He is best known in genre circles for creating and scripting the long-running, syndicated newspaper comic strips Mandrake the Magician (first published 11 June 1934) and The Phantom (first published 17 February 1936). The latter proto-Superhero, though lacking true Superpowers, was a strong influence on the tradition of the masked crime-fighter in a skintight costume. Despite the distractions of his theatre work, Falk continued to write scripts for his two famous creations until very near the end of his life; in collaboration with Thayer Birch he scripted the late-1970s musical Mandrake the Magician and the Enchantress, with music by George Quincy. Falk's many comics-related Awards include posthumous induction into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2013. [DRL]
see also: Charlton Comics; Defenders of the Earth; Illustration.
born St Louis, Missouri: 28 April 1911
died New York: 13 March 1999
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