Saturday, January 13, 2018

Today in Comics History, January 13, 1941: Steve Rogers buys a new script font from Comicraft

...and it only cost him $19.41!

from The Adventures of Captain America #1 (Marvel, September 1991), script by Fabian Nicieza, pencils by Kevin Maguire, inks by Joe Rubinstein, colors by Paul Mounts, letters by Richard Starkings

Monday, January 08, 2018

Today in Comics History, January 8, 1880: Emperor Norton has fallen and he can't get up

from The Sandman (1989 series) #31 (DC, October 1991), script by Neil Gaiman, pencils and inks by Shawn McManus, colors by Daniel Vozzo, letters by Todd Klein

I think that the following page-and-a-bit is my favorite single scene of them all from Neil Gaiman's Sandman.

Where have you gone, Emperor Norton?

Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

from "Sure as Shootin'" in Desperado #4 (Lev Gleason, October 1948); text, pencils, and inks by Claude Moore

Today in Comics History, January 8, 19,654 BC: Doc and Marty meet the Flintstones

from Back to the Future #16 (IDW, February 2017), story by John Barber and Bob Gale, script by John Barber, pencils and inks by Emma Vieceli, colors by Jose Luis Rio, letters by Shawn Lee

Sunday, January 07, 2018

A Year of Mxyzptlk 1: Enter the Imp

Halfway through last year, pal Isaac Cates (editor of the very fun Cardoza Tales comic anthology series; Bully sez check it out!) posed the musical question "Has anyone ever compiled a list of ways Mxyzptlk has been tricked back to his dimension? I want to read that." See? It's right here!

Well, little did Isaac know (altho' I couldn't keep from hinting at it a little) that I'd already started planning 2018's "365 Days of," and the subject I'd chosen to spotlight is that extra-dimensional imp who keeps popping by to bedevil and baffle one of DC's greatest heroes. Yes, it's Bat-Mite Year!

Naw, I'm jus' kiddin' ya, it's A Year of Mxyzptlk, the character name I always have to copy and paste instead of spelling it out for myself! I'm sure I'll learn by the end of the year. And, while we're on the subject, there's two ways of spelling Mister M's magical moniker. We now spell it Mxyzptlk, with a "PT" in this middle of it (remember: to fit the increase in strength of the modern Superman, he's pretty tough!), but he was originally named Mxyztplk with a "TP" (no toilet paper jokes, please...I prefer to think that Golden Age Mxy was totally pixelated, in the sense that Carl Barks used it in "The Pixilated Parrot.") And that's today's edition of Mnemonics with Bully, which you can remember by keeping in mind the phrase Marshmallows with Batman. Either way, and this is the important part: I will endeavor to remain consistent and attempt to point out the moment in 1958 when Mxyztplk becomes Mxyzptlk. But the header of these posts and the blog labels will keep the modern spelling. All clear? Good. And, because I've found it hard to keep up a daily routine of themed posts (witness 2017's 365 Days of Defiance, which I'm still trying to catch up on), it's officially A Year of Mxyzptlk, with posts at least once a week and someones more frequently. Let's see together how far I can get through the Mxycanon, shall we?

Now let's get this out of the way before we begin, okay? Here's some of the things we all "know" about Mxyztplk/Mxyzptlk: he debuted in Superman #30, cover-dated September 1944. He comes from the Fifth Dimension. To get him to return, you must make him say his name backwards. Right? No! Everything you know (as the Firesign Theatre said) is wrong!

Let me MythBust the first bit (and kids, don't try this at home). While our idyllic imp was originally created for Supes #30, which likely went on sale sometime during the summer of 1944, a Superman comic strip story appeared earlier, making Mxyztplk's first appearance at least a couple months before the comic book. This serialized story ran from February through July '44, introducing not only Mxy but the gorgeous menace of The Most Beautiful Woman in the World! Are you sitting comfortably? Then, let's begin! It starts off innocently enough with Lois Lane getting Clark Kent to spend his lunch money on a fortune teller. Yeah, either way, you're gettin' baloney, Lois.

Superman daily newspaper comic strip (February 21, 1944), script by Whitney Ellsworth, art by Wayne Boring.
(From this point on, I'll identify the date of strip or panels within the alt-text of each image.)

Today in Comics Comic Book History of Comics History, January 7, 1929: Debut of both the Syfy and Gorilla Channels

from The Comic Book History of Comics (IDW, 2016 series) #1 (November 2016), script and letters by Fred Van Lente, pencils and inks by Ryan Dunlavey, colors by Adam Guzowski