Friday, October 24, 2014

Today in Comics History: And she'll have UN UN UN 'til her daddy takes the General Assembly away

Today in Comics History (as we like to say around here)...well, something something this!

Panel from Four Color #1349 [Yogi Bear Visits the U.N.] (January 1962), script by Paul S. Newman, pencils and inks by Fred Fredericks

Yep, it's United Nations Day! Founded on this date in 1945, the UN has been in a lotta comic books. (Almost as many as Wolverine!) In the absence of any other material tonight, let's front-load this puppet-town cow blog with a whole Dag Hammarskjöldfull of appearances by everyone's slim, tall building on the east side of Manhattan to celebrate United Nations Day! It also happens to be the same date from 1260, when Saif ad-Din Qutuz, third Mamluk Sultan of Egypt, is assassinated by Baibars, a fellow Mamluk leader, who seizes power for himself. But I can't find any of my comic books about that.

Let's UN-wind by kicking off a series of DC comic book PSAs telling us how nifty the United Nations is!

"Your United Nations at Work" from Tomahawk #31 (November 1963), script by Jack Schiff, pencils and inks by Win Mortimer (?), letters by Ira Schnapp

"Sharing — The United Nations Way!" from Batman #120 (December 1958), script by Jack Schiff (?), pencils and inks by George Roussos, letters by Gaspar Saladino

"Children of Tomorrow" from Detective Comics #286 (December 1960), script by Jack Schiff, pencils and inks by Bernard Baily, letters by Ira Schnapp

"How a Nation is Born" from Adventure Comics #219 (December 1955), script by Jack Schiff, pencils and inks by Win Mortimer

While we're on the subject, Superman would like to remind you in this coming week to Trick or Treat for UNICEF!

"Superman Shows How UNICEF Spells Help for the Children of the World" from Detective Comics #190 (December 1952), script by Jack Schiff, pencils and inks by Win Mortimer, letters by Ira Schnapp

"Superman Talks About...Pennies for UNICEF!" from Challengers of the Unknown #29 (December 1962-January 1963), script by Jack Schiff, pencils and inks by Sheldon Moldoff, letters by Ira Schnapp

Well! And if that didn't convince you, here's some four-color propaganda comics panels about all the cool artwork they have at the United Nations! And yet, they won't display the crayon drawing of Mister Coffee Annan I sent 'em.

"Gifts to the United Nations!" from The Brave and the Bold #9 (December 1956-January 1957), script by Jack Schiff, pencils and inks by Ruben Moreira

Of course, don't forget those sweet, sweet United Nations stamps, which allow you to mail letters United Nations Building in New York to the United Nations Building in Geneva. Naw, these are pretty cool, and I used to collect them, before my entire investment in stamp collection was revealed to be the non-investment that it was. All those plate blocks! Well, at least I can stick 'em on my Christmas cards.

Littleton Stamp Co. ad from Funny Animals #86 (Charlton, July 1954)

And now, in the public interest of being true fair and balanced here at Bull News, and challenging any conceptions that these four-color comics mighta put in your heads, is black-and-white MAD magazine doing exactly what it should do: mocking the establishment!

Panels from "The United Nations Awards Show" in MAD #62 (April 1961), script by Larry Siegel, art by Mort Drucker

That's the Fair and Balanced lesson done with, then. Let's get on to the fun stuff.

The United Nations: a political hotbed...of romance!

Covers of (top) True Sweetheart Secrets #7 (Fawcett, May 1952), photographer and models unknown; (bottom) Teen-Age Love #37 (Charlton, May 1964), pencils and inks by Dick Giordano

Not many people will be surprised that Angular Scarlett Johansson Black Widow has visited the United Nations on occasion.

Panels from Black Widow: The Coldest War graphic novel (April 1990); script by Gerry Conway; pencils by George Freeman; inks by Ernie Colon, Mark Farmer, George Freeman, Mark Harris, Val Mayerik, and Joe Rubinstein; colors by Lovern Kindzierski, letters by Ron Muns

And of course, every schoolkid knows that the Marvel Family helped found the United Nations...Junior! Or as it's known today, Young Justice.

Panels from "The Threat to the Junior U.N." in The Marvel Family #77 (Fawcett, November 1952), script by Otto Binder, pencils and inks by Kurt Schaffenberger

But did you know the United Nations censured Charlton Comics hero Son of Vulcan so strongly that his comic book ceased to exist?

Panels from the unpublished Son of Vulcan #51 (Charlton, circa 1965), printed in Alter Ego #108 (April 2012), script by Tom Fagan, pencils by Bill Fraccio, inks by Tony Tallarico

Yep, the United Nations, where political delegates from assorted countries around the world (including Latveria and Moosylvania, but not including Genovia and Lugash) can gather to disgree, yell at each other, and pound shoes into tables. But is there anything on which the entire United Nations can agree upon? Why yes: the great taste of Doritos Cool Ranch. Also: Millie the Model!

From Life with Millie #16 (April 1962), script by Stan Lee, pencils and inks by Stan Goldberg

But let's return to the days of yesterbear, up at the waaaaaay top of this very here post, and check in again with Yogi and Boo-Boo Bear (wait...are they related?) who were celebrating United Nations Day.

That's by way of introduction to the World's Greatest United Nations Comic Book Ever (and that Millie one was a real tough contender for the top spot, I gotta tell ya):

Cover of Four Color #1349 [Yogi Bear Visits the U.N.] (January 1962), photo, plus artwork by Fred Fredericks

See, the story goes that Yogi, fed up with constant pestering by Mister Ranger Smith to stop stealing those dee-licious pic-a-nic baskets, petitions the United Nations to grant Jellystone Park diplomatic immunity by way of seceding from the United States and reforming as the small but bear-stuffed nation of Bearsylvania!

Which of course leads to a frantic chase through the halls and corridors of the United Nations for our ursine twosome, pursued by the Javertesque Ranger Smith. Geez, he won't let anything go, will he?

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world of hirsute pursuit through the UN, and if you're not careful, you just might learn something before it's done.

Well, in the end, Bearsylvania fails to be recognized by the United Nations and is swiftly shelled into oblivion by the Allied Forces but Yogi and Ranger Smith strike a compromise: every year on United Nations Day, for 24 hours... bears run the park.

So, Happy Almost-Seventieth Birthday, United Nations! Whatever your faults, may you continue to support and celebrate human rights for cartoon animals like Yogi, Huck, Heckle and Jeckle, Tom and Jerry, Barney Bear, Marlin with Ping and Pong, Sonic the Hedgehog, Patrick the Starfish, and Yours Little Stuffed Truly.


Chance said...

Wouldn't superman look like a jackass if, after his creepy super-peeping and super-eavesdropping on those kids, the rest of the kids didn't get guilted into also donating?

"Well, cool story, Supes. I guess we'll go to the movies now."
"Wha--? But when Lee-- Aren't you going to---"

Blam said...

Holy Moley, Bully! That would've been a fortnight's worth o' posts for anyone else! Great stuff!

Blam said...

PS: Who knew we could fly airplanes to orbit in 1947…