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Gardner Fox literary manuscripts, comic books and other material

Identifier: Coll 008

Scope and Contents

This collection incorporates material received in 1980 with the original collection received in 1967 (formerly under call number Ax 337). It consists of manuscripts and a variety of published material including fan periodicals, periodicals (some containing Fox's work), comic books, and paperback books.

The manuscripts have been separated into book-length, novellas, and story-length, and are arranged alphabetically by title within each subseries. Most of the manuscripts are carbon copies. When letters from Fox's agent, the August Lenniger Literary Agency, pertained directly to a manuscript, they were included with the manuscript.

Approximately thirty fan periodicals, illustrated by the super heroes of the comic field and arranged by title, begin the published works series. These are followed by Fox's collection of military magazines, and then other periodicals also arranged by title. Issues including Fox's work list the article title. Tear-sheets have been described briefly, but not listed individually. Over 600 comic books, arranged alphabetically by title, make up the next subseries of published works and provide a panorama of this field of writing. Comic books by Fox have not been distinguished from those he collected, although he has scripted the majority of them.

The final series of the collection is miscellaneous material. Over 200 letters from avid fans of all ages are first, followed by four notebooks containing information on costumes, setting, and plots. The collection ends with research notes, plot outlines, business correspondence with literary agencies, stills from a Western movie, circa 1950s, and other miscellany.

Photographs include prints.

Gardner Fox's published books, previously stored in this manuscript collection, have been removed and are now cataloged individually.


  • 1936-1978

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

A prolific author of comic books, westerns, short stores, novels and science fiction, Gardner "Gar" Francis Fox (1911-1986) was one of the most influential comic book script writers in the business. A part of this branch of Americana since its inception, Fox wrote before the advent of Superman and Batman and continued to script comics until his death.

Born in Brooklyn on May 20th, 1911, he graduated from St. John's University with a B.A. in 1932 and later with an LL.B. in 1935. In 1936 he became a lawyer, practicing law by day and writing adventure stories at night. In 1938, his long career of successful free-lance writing began with the publication of stories in Detective Comics. For this series, he created and wrote the scripts for the character Steve Malone, District Attorney. His first published short story, “Weirds of the Woodcarver,” appeared in Weird Stories, 1944, and his first novel, Borgia Blade, appeared in 1953 published by Gold Medal Books.

In the early years of comic books, he created the first Flash comic, wrote for Justice Society of America, did several issues of Detective Batman, Dr. Fate, Spectre and Starman, all for National Comics. He later created Magazine Enterprises' Ghost Rider, one of the most widely read series of the period when heroes began to fade out. For Columbia Comics, he wrote some Big Shot Comics. Later, when revivals were popular, he wrote Adam Strange, Justice Society of America, Justice League and other super hero stories.

Some of the pseudonyms under which Fox wrote are: Jefferson Cooper, Rod Gray, Kevin Matthews, Bart Somers, John Henry Morgan, James Kendricks, John Steele, Simon Majors, Troy Conway and Lynna Cooper.


31.25 linear feet (65 containers)

Language of Materials



Gardner Fox (1911-1986) was a comic script writer and author of pulp fiction. The collection contains manuscripts, comic books, paperback books, periodicals, and miscellany.


The collection is organized into the following series: Series I: Literary Manuscripts; Series II: Published Works, Subseries A: Fan Periodicals, Subseries B: Military Magazines, Subseries C: Periodicals, Subseries D: Comic Books; Series III: Miscellaneous, Subseries A: Fan Letters, Subseries B: Notebooks, Subseries C: Research Notes, Plot Outlines, Business Correspondence and Other, Subseries D: Photographs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Gardner Fox in 1967 and 1980.

Physical Description

65 containers

Processing Information

Collection processed by Barrett Codieck and Tanya Parlet.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Gardner Fox Literary Manuscripts, Comic Books and Other Material
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Barrett Codieck
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA