Maker Chic Gaylord was also an artist and writer.
And he had high visibility during JB's formative years, with Chic's ability to garner press for himself even if he had to write the story, too (which JB also did for himself). And an illustrator, too:
Bob Arganbright's mention of Chic and of Tom Loughnan inspires me to say a bit more about both men, in the form of Chic's published works. 1963: