Christopher L. Hanther, A.K.A. James P. Petty. Author and Illustrator of Tandra, and Founder of Hanthercraft Publications.
My name is Bryan Jaxon Petty. James Parris Petty (a.k.a. Christopher Lindbergh Hanther Jr.) was my second cousin. He passed away on December 1, 2021. When Parris passed away, he was still working fervently on his passion; the world of Tandra. His legacy has now passed to my wife Brandice and I. Hanthercraft is now my legacy and my burden.
Parris was born to post-depression era parents on a farm in southwest, Tennessee. He was an only child, but was always close growing up to his first cousin David. Parris finished college and moved to New York City in 1969 and quickly got a job working at Marvel Comics, in the bull pen with the likes of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. For whatever reason, his time with Marvel was short, and by 1972 he had moved back to his family farm in Tennessee. Parris worked most of his life as a graphic designer for various advertising companies; but his real passion was for Tandra. Tandra was first created as a newspaper promotion in 1972, but then grew into standalone pamphlets and eventually into graphic books. For forty-nine years, he painted his world and told his story. Parris lived a rather conservative and mundane life, but lived vicariously through the eyes of David Galon. Parris independently published 45 different books during his lifetime, almost all to only a small group of fans and at one time had a cult following. In the late 1990’s he became intrigued with the evolving technology of digital work, and the internet still in its infancy. He began publishing his work exclusively online to a group of subscribers, but still started each week with a completed hand painted plate. From there he would scan in the work and add layers of color and text to create his finished work. His last plate was dated November 5, 2021; just shy of one month before his death. He left to me his entire body of work, including his expansive inventory of prior published books, over 1,800 original hand painted plates, his entire digital library, and the intellectual property rights.
Going forward we will be refreshing and updating some of his early works, and re-print issues of Hanther’s story beginning in 1972. Parris never received the respect, recognition, accolades, or fame and fortune that he deserved during his lifetime. Now that the lifetime of work is mine, we hope to bring Tandra into the 21st century, introducing the story to a new audience and hopefully find countless new fans.
Parris called his work an illyo-epic. And his adventure continued up until a month before his passing. In the coming months and years, we intend to recreate the story from the ground up, using his original work as the guide and basis. We will not be changing the story or his art, but putting them in story order, not necessarily publication release chronological order. Additionally, there is a plethora of work that was published digitally through his website. It was never available or shared with a large audience. There are many stories that have not been published.
My wife and I are not gifted in art, and only to a small extent with story telling, but we believe his work is fabulous. We believe that his work does deserve a chance to reach great heights. We will be attending a number of events and conventions this year (2022) and if our new adventure proves successful, hopefully we will continue for years to come.
In his own words:
“I have always been a hero junkie, I grew up reading about heroes and watching heroic adventure movies. But as I grew older, true heroes went into exile to be replaced by neurotic misfits with ethical problems. A popular newspaper syndicate cartoonist revealed today’s perspective on adventure fiction best when he insisted that he dealt with adult themes of failure and frustration. I have always believed that achievement and success are also adult themes. I kept waiting for someone to create new American Heroes, but all of today’s protagonists in American Culture were the type who cheated on their wives, had issues with alcohol or drug problems or were neurotic basket cases. This was done, we were told, to create heroes we could identify with. I was not looking for heroes with whom I could identify, I wanted heroes I could look up to. I was not interested in protagonists who would help me feel good about my failures, I wanted heroes who could inspire me to achieve success. As the heroes I wanted did not appear to be forthcoming from the purveyors of popular media, I decided I would have to create them myself. And Tandra was born.”
What Is Tandra?
There is no really good sound bite short answer. Tandra is a character driven science fiction based heroic fantasy adventure set in an alternate universe and reality.
Long ago in a Universe maybe not so far from here, the Azarie ruled the galaxies. Theirs was a civilization unsurpassed in achievement and splendor. From the black void of space came a gray mist, an unstoppable enemy that devoured stars and destroyed empires. The Azarie and their civilization were reduced to a distant memory stored deep within the energy pathways or a planet sized starship; a starship known as Tandra.
Many who are familiar with Tandra find it to have similarities with Planet of the Apes, Firefly, Guardians of the Galaxy, John Carter of Mars, and Thor. But it is more than just a combination of those things. Tandra is an illio-epic that you won’t be able to stop reading. Welcome to your new favorite series… Welcome to Tandra!