AUTHORS & ARTISTS
Albert Lewis Kanter
Albert Kanter (1897 – 1973) was an educator, entrepreneur, and visionary who revolutionized the way people view graphic novels as a medium. A Russian immigrant, Kanter felt that comic books were drawing children away from what he considered to be serious literature, and believed that he could use the same medium to introduce young readers to the world of great literature.
In 1941 Kanter founded the first incarnation of Classics Illustrated, at the time named Classic Comics. Shortly after it's founding, Classic Comics released issue No. 1 The Three Musketeers to great success, as well as critical acclaim as an educational resource. In 1947, Kanter, feeling that the company needed a "newer, truer" name, renamed the monthly series Classics Illustrated.
As Classics Illustrated flourished over the next decade, Kanter's comic-book adaptations began to include works by Shakespeare, Stevenson, Twain, Verne, and other authors being used in schools and endorsed by educators. The U.S. Classics Illustrated series would go on to eventually feature over 150 titles.
In 1953 Kanter founded Classics Illustrated Junior in an attempt to reach a younger readership, beginning with the first issue Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Eventually Kanter would release seventy-seven issues of Classics Illustrated Junior featuring fairy tales, folk tales, myths, and children's literature all in comic-book format. The series proved as successful as it's parent line, and at it's peak in 1960 had an average monthly circulation was 262,000.
After recovering from a stroke in 1970, Kanter traveled extensively with his wife before finally passing away in 1973.
Stephen Huneck (1948 – 2010) was an American artist and author most well known for his distinctly vibrant and youthful woodblock prints, the most famous of which focusing around his black Lab named Sally. Spending the start of his professional career as an antiques dealer, Huneck was not discovered until 1984, when a prominent art dealer stumbled across Huneck's very first piece of art sitting in the back of a pickup truck. Within two years of his initial discovery, Huneck's works were widely exhibited from the Stamford Museum and Nature Center to the White House.
In 1994 Huneck suffered from Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome after falling down a flight of stairs, leaving him in a coma for two months. It was this accident that eventually led Huneck to make his segue into children's books, using his black Lab named Sally as inspiration for his first title: "My Dog's Brain". Huneck went on to write six more children's books based around Sally, including the New York Times Best-seller Sally Goes to the Beach.
In 2000, Huneck created his largest and most ambitious piece of artwork at his home in Vermont: Dog Chapel. Though Huneck passed away in 2010, Dog Mountain continues to be an annual place of refuge for dogs, dog lovers, and art fans alike.
Huneck's pieces remain a permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution, the Dog Museum of America and the American Kennel Club.Stephen Huneck at Dog Mountain