(March 4, 1906–16 December 1964), better known as Phil Davis
, was an American
artist who illustrated Mandrake the Magician
, written by Lee Falk
. Davis was born in St. Louis, Missouri
Growing up with one sister and one brother, Davis became interested in drawing when he was six years old. "I had a mania for parades," he recalled. "I drew every parade I could see. My family neither encouraged nor discouraged me. They just accepted my dark fate."
While attending Washington University in St. Louis
, Davis had a part-time job as a draftsman with the technical department of the local telephone company. By 1928, he was working in the art department of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
. He left the newspaper to do magazine illustrations and advertising art.
In 1933, Davis met St. Louis advertising agency executive Lee Falk, and the two began their collaboration on Mandrake the Magician
. Falk asked Davis to do a dozen panels on spec. Davis did so, and in 1934 Falk went to New York and pitched the concept to King Features Syndicate
. The strip was launched June 11, 1934 with Davis illustrating and Falk scripting. One of Davis' assistants was Ray Moore
, who later became the first artist on Falk's other comic strip, The Phantom
, also distributed by King Features.
During World War II
, Davis was drafted. As art director of the Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Company, he edited and illustrated the A-25 bomber... Read More