Born: 1899 August 24 in Winthrop, Massachusetts, United States

Died: 1993 October 20 in Orange County, Florida, United States

Notes: To be confirmed against the Who's Who entry.

Gaylord Du Bois rhymes with "to voice."

THE HURRICANE KIDS by "Albert Hartje"

The topic is the identity of “Albert Hartje,” credited from Popular Comics issue #46 on as writer of The Hurricane Kids, a strip that ran in it's entirety continuously in Popular Comics, #38 (April 1939) through #86 (April 1943), published by Western Printing in Racine, Wisconsin.

"Albert Hartje" is the writer name credited from issue #46 on.

Was that the name of a comics script writer who worked under Editor Oskar Lebeck?

Or was "Albert Hartje" a house name?

Is there light to be cast on the identity of the writer? There is: a preponderance of evidence.

In the mid 1930s, when editor Oskar Lebeck was hired by Western Printing to take charge of their comic book offices, the policy for original material was that the artist or studio providing the artwork (which one assumes included lettering) also supply the script.

Once Lebeck and Du Bois met by chance at Dell's offices and became friends, with Lebeck hiring Du Bois to write comics scripts for Western's comics studio that created the Dell and K.K. comics, the artists' burden to provide their own scripts was lightened somewhat.

It depend on the artist's inclination or, as proved the case with Morris Gollub, disinclination for scripting; and on editorial decision (perhaps related to the artist's level of talent for scripting: Bob Jenney created two strips on which he was replaced as scriptwriter by Du Bois).

In light of all that, one may reasonably suppose that The Hurricane Kids scripts for the first five episodes in Popular Comics 38-43 were written by the artist (presumably Bil Ely), or by Lebeck himself, who at least owned the characters (Western's deal with him as editor was to let him have copyright over unlicensed house product), and took cover credit and copyright entries credit with Du Bois as co-author of the 1941 novel, The Hurricane Kids on the Lost Islands (Whitman 2395), though there is no evidence Lebeck wrote any of the text.

In Popular Comics #44 (October 1939) a clear Du Bois identifier (nautical language) appears in the Hurricane Kids episode. We may date Du Bois authorship of the feature from that episode, and all the episodes that follow, based on the many Du Bois identifiers that appear in them.

Two issues later, in Popular Comics #46 (December 1939), the Albert Hartje byline first appears. It is a fair conclusion that Du Bois scripts began in Popular Comics 44, and he created the Hartje byline to begin in Popular Comics 46.

Assuming Du Bois created the Hartje byline himself, consider that he was into wordplay and foreign languages.

When he collaborated with "Sky Ranger" creator illustrator Bob Jenney, Du Bois writing the wartime episodes of that strip, the new creator credit became Bob Gaylord, a mash-up of their first names.

(When Du Bois later took the writing reins of another aviation strip created by and previously written by Jenney, "Yanks in the R. A. F.," there was no writer credit given—just a change in the strip's name to "The Fighting Yanks.)

When he created a multi-episode nemesis for the Clyde Beatty strip running in Super Comics at the time, he named that villain, Gaywood (Bois means "wood" in French: it was a mash-up of his own name).

Albert is derived from the Germanic Adalbert, containing the words adal ("noble") and beraht ("bright").

Hartje is Dutch, meaning "heart."

Noble/Bright Heart.

It makes sense that "Albert Hartje" was a pseudonym very deliberately made-up by Du Bois for its meaning.


Popular Comics #46-71 - 26 episodes
December 1939 to January 1942

This series is one of several that Gaylord Du Bois was assigned upon his friend Oskar Lebeck hiring him as a the principal comics writer for Western's Poughkeepsie editorial offices. Others begun the same time included The Crusoes (a Robinson Crusoe Swiss Family Robinson knock-off), The Hurricane Kids (another Robinson Crusoe Swiss Family Robinson knock-off), and Bob and Bill The Scout Twins (a Gulliver's Travels knock-off).

In the case of Martan and his wife, it's sort of another Swiss Family Robinson knock-off, except the couple are the ones from the civilized universe, and planet Earth is the primitive environment in which they find themselves.

The early episodes are drawn in the style of Alex Raymond, and includes some panels that are direct swipes from Raymond's Flash Gordon strip. Like characters in the Flash Gordon strip, Martan of the planet Antaclea and his wife Mara wear clothing of a military style replete with hard ridge helmet.

The strip flips the Flash Gordon concept. Flash goes to Mongo. Martan comes to Earth. It borrows a bit from Superman, but is more in the Edgar Rice Burroughs tradition of alien races, which the Flash Gordon strip also employed. Particularly later in the feature when the Martians have green skins, they use humanoid robots, there's a deep sea dragon, germ-like octopus-like hostile Saturnians, planet Marra, Captives of the Snow King, and lizard people.

Page 310, Catalog of Copyright Entries 1967 Renewal Registration Works Of Art. The entry states, "Martan the marvel man; written by Gaylord Du Bois; drawn by Bob Bugg. (In Popular comics, Oct. 1940) © 3Sep40; K46822. Whitman Pub. Co. (FWH); 13Sep67; R417318."

All other credited episodes:
"G. Ellerbrock" writer credit 46,47,49-54,58-62

Since "G. Ellerbrock" writer is of no reference outside this feature, it's fair to suggest it was a Dell house name, possibly created by Du Bois himself.

Let's play with it, and see what we get.

G. = Gaylord

Ellerbrock name meaning and origin
Ellerbrock: Topographic name for someone who lived by a low-lying swamp overgrown with alders, from Middle Low German elre 'alder' + brock 'swamp'.

Du Bois name meaning and origin
Du Bois: Topographic name for someone who lived in a wood, from the fused French preposition and definite article du "from the" + French bois "wood."

G: (Gaylord)

Ellerbrock: Topographic name for someone who lived by a low-lying swamp overgrown with alders, from Middle Low German elre "alder" + brock "swamp."

"who lived in a wood" and "who lived by a low-lying swamp overgrown with alders" (alders are the tree that make up the woods or woodland)


Martan is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Martan comes from the Latin name Martinus, which is a derivative of Mars, who was the Roman god of fertility and war.

Martan and his wife are from the planet Antaclea.

Since Du Bois is credited as the writer of the Martan episode in Popular Comics #48, let us assume he was the creator and writer of the strip from the beginning.

We know Du Bois liked to play around with naming things, using different languages as his sources and inspiration, let's Google that name Antaclea by breaking it up into anta clea and see what Google prompt suggests.

Did you mean...

...Anticlea of Ithaca?

In Greek mythology, Anticlea (literally "without fame") was a queen of Ithaca, as the wife of King Laërtes. Anticlia was the mother of Odysseus by Laërtes.

We know that from boyhood in school Du Bois loved the Greek classics, the epic poems, which he imitated, and which inspired him to write poetry as a lifelong hobby.

Literally, "without fame" is fitting both as a source planet of Martan (unknown planet), and as an allusion to the literary source of Martan (the writer).

And it fits as a Classical reference, which is Du Boisian, and as a wordplay, also a Du Boisian touch.


    Gaylord Du Bois Type: Common Alternative Name
    Given name: Gaylord Family name: Du Bois

Other Names:

  1. Gaylord McIlvaine Du Bois Type: Name at Birth
    Given name: Gaylord McIlvaine Family name: Du Bois
  2. G. Ellerbrock Type: Pen Name
  3. Howard R. Garis Type: None
  4. Bob Gaylord Type: Pen Name
  5. Albert Hartje Type: Pen Name
  6. Buck Wilson Type: Pen Name


  1. Boston University ? to ?


  1. Bob Gaylord [generic]


  1. 1956: Thomas Alva Edison Foundation National Mass Media Awards - Best Comic Book for Children Over Eight
  2. 2020: Bill Finger Award - (Deceased Creator)

Awards for Stories:

  1. 1956: Thomas Alva Edison Foundation National Mass Media Awards - Best Comic Book for Children Over Eight
    Gulliver’s Travels: A Voyage to Lilliput (Gulliver's Travels) comic story, 30p