About this ComicThe AuthorsThe Characters

A true classic and a standard among comic strips, Mandrake the Magician has been mystifying readers since 1934!

Mandrake the Magician was created by Lee Falk during the Great Depression, a time in our nation's history when adventurous comic strips became popular for their morale-building appeal.

The dapper, mustached magician remains one of the most famous characters in the comic strip medium, his adventures appearing in newspapers worldwide. Mandrake uses his legendary powers of hypnotism and illusion to combat crime, and has worked his debonair magic to find a place in the hearts of comic strip fans everywhere.

Many comic strips and comic books throughout the history of the medium have starred mystics and magicians. Over the years, characters such as Merzah the Mystic, Sargon the Sorcerer and Zanzibar the Magician have worked their magic on readers, but none have displayed the longevity of the Mandrake the Magician comic strip.

Mandrake was also the first comic strip with a racially integrated cast of crime-fighters. Mandrake's partner in adventure is the gigantic Lothar, and the two of them have been fighting evildoers for decades! Mandrake is also aided by his wife, the lovely and exotic Princess Narda.

Falk originally drew the Mandrake strip but soon turned the job over to artist Phil Davis, who illustrated the silken illusionist's doings for more than 30 years. When Davis passed away, Falk recruited current Mandrake artist Fred Fredericks.

Lee Falk passed away in March of 1999, but his legacy lives on with Mandrake the Magician.

Fred Fredericks

Fred Fredericks

Fred Fredericks was born in 1929 in Atlantic City, N.J. and was in the Marine Corps from 1950-1953. Fredericks went to Cartoonists and Illustrators School now the School of Visual Arts on the GI Bill. He wrote and illustrated history comic strips in regional papers.

In 1960, he began working with the Dell and Gold Key comic books doing funny animals and adventure titles. He joined King Features in 1965 to take over the art for Mandrake the Magician, daily and Sunday. Ruminating on his Mandrake work, Fredericks says, “The best part was working with the great Lee Falk.” Fredericks took over the writing of the strip when Lee, whom he says “was one of a kind,” passed in 1999.

Fredericks lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Frances, and has two children, Connie and Patrick.

Lee Falk

Leon "Lee" Falk is the creator of two of the most successful and longest-running action-adventure strips in the history of comic art: Mandrake the Magician and The Phantom.

Falk was born in St. Louis in 1911. A graduate of the University of Illinois, he spent four years writing copy and directing radio shows for an advertising agency in St. Louis. Once he was comfortably situated as the producer of two of the most sensationally successful features in daily newspapers, Falk took to globetrotting. For many years, the adventures of both The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician were as often as not set to paper in hotel rooms in one of the world's great capitals.

The inexhaustible stories continued to come one after another even as World War II intervened. Immediately after Pearl Harbor was attacked, the patriotic Falk took on duties in secret intelligence operations with the Office of War Information and became chief of its radio foreign language division. In 1944, Falk enlisted in the United States Army.

Up until the time of his death in 1999, the expert storyteller still roamed every corner of the globe and continued to mastermind the daily and Sunday newspaper adventures of both The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician.

Mandrake
Mandrake

A suave and sophisticated man of mystery, Mandrake often battles the most remarkable and inventive villains while attired in formal black-tie and tails. Equally at home at a swank society affair or among the colorful denizens of the underworld, Mandrake is world famous for his many remarkable feats. His powers do not come from any supernatural source; rather, he is the world's foremost illusionist and hypnotist. Amazingly, despite the natural explanations for his marvels, Mandrake's adventures often border on the miraculous. He has traced his mysteries into other dimensions and planets, tracked werewolves to their lair, and has dealt with alien races and human specters. And his adventures have also spanned the globe, taking him to the mysterious Orient, the deserts of North Africa, and even to the strange and magical land of Hollywood. This unflappable crusader has operated mostly as a lone wolf, but in recent years he has worked closely with the secret government agency, Inter-Intel. There, a cigar-chomping robot named "Chief" directs Mandrake to Ho-Jo, the head of Inter-Intel, who outlines the thrills that await. Like so many of us, Mandrake is not immune to family troubles. He has an evil twin, Derek, and a younger sister, Leonore, who have often made life difficult for him.

Princess Narda
Princess Narda

Mandrake's love interest is the mysterious princess of the kingdom of Cockaigne. Princess Narda is a skilled athlete, beautiful socialite and eager adventurer. She has accompanied Mandrake on many of his adventures, often proving that she is as capable of fighting legions of villains as the master magician himself.

Lothar
Lothar

Lothar is Mandrake's assistant in criminal investigations and his best friend. His immense physical strength has often saved Mandrake from dire peril. The two met during one of Mandrake's many jaunts around the world and fast became friends. They established themselves as the first interracial team of crime-fighters. Lothar has also had memorable careers as both a boxer and bodyguard.

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