Clarence Charles Beck, (July 9, 1910-November 22, 1989), was an American cartoonist.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Beck studied at the Chicago Academy and the University of Minnesota after completing an art correspondence course. In 1933, he joined Fawcett Publications as a staff artist.
While working for Fawcett, Beck created 'pulp fiction' magazines. When the company began producing comic books in autumn 1939, Beck was assigned to draw a character created by writer Bill Parker called "Captain Thunder". After one issue, Captain Thunder's name was changed to Captain Marvel.
Beck favored a clean, simple style to make it easy for other artists to provide artwork for the strip. Although not the only Captain Marvel artist he was essentially the series artistic creator. He also drew other Fawcett series including "Spy Smasher" and "Ibis".
The popularity of Captain Marvel allowed Fawcett to produce a number of spin-off comic books and Beck to open his own New York City comics studio in 1941. He later expanded his studio, adding one in Englewood, New Jersey.
Beck produced infrequent work for comics, a few issues for the short lived Milson Publications in 1966 and a handful of issues of Shazam!, which had fallen into the hands of DC comics.
The Captain Marvel stories boasted a clean style which allowed Beck's assistants and other Fawcett artists to produce artwork alleviating Beck's hectic schedule. Nevertheless, Beck was essentially the series artistic creator. When DC Comics lodged a suit against Fawcett for copyright infringement claiming that Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman, Fawcett was forced to discontinue its comic line due to legal expenses.
Beck relocated to Florida where, in his retirement, he produced a regular opinion column entitlted "The Crusty Curmudgeon".