Crockett Johnson was the pen name of cartoonist and children's book illustrator David Johnson Leisk (October 20, 1906–July 11, 1975). He is perhaps best known for the comic strip Barnaby (1942–1952, 1960–1962) and the Harold series of books begun with Harold and the Purple Crayon.
Born in New York City, Johnson grew up in Elmhurst, Queens, studying art at Cooper Union in 1924, and at New York University in 1925. He explained his choice of pseudonym as such: "Crockett is my childhood nickname. My real name is David Johnson Leisk. Leisk was too hard to pronounce -- so -- I am now Crockett Johnson!" He died of lung cancer.
Johnson also collaborated on four children's books with his wife, Ruth Krauss. The books were: The Carrot Seed, How to Make an Earthquake, Is This You?, and The Happy Egg.
The books Harold and the Purple Crayon, Harold's Fairy Tale, and A Picture for Harold's Room have been adapted for animation by Gene Deitch.
The Barnaby #1 to #6 books, published in paperback by Ballantine Books under the Del Rey imprint in 1985, were compilations of the first few years of the comic strip. Additional books were supposed to appear, but publication was suspended upon the death of...