Saturday, January 01, 2022

Today in Comics History, January 1: The stonemason couldn't remember what year Alberto was born and died so he just winged it


from Batman: The Long Halloween #4 (DC, March 1997), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by Tim Sale, colors by Gregory Wright, color separations by Heroic Age, letters by Richard Starkings

Today in Comics History, January 1: Happy birthday, Jerry Robinson!

Born on this day in 1922: Jerry Robinson, comic book artist who co-created the Joker, Robin, and many other aspects of the Batman mythos. His other work includes Green Hornet, Fighting Yank, The Vigilante, Johnny Quick, Bible Tales For Young Folk, Atoman, the comic strip Jet Scott, and many of the Dell Comics movie and TV tie-in comic books. Not to mention his long-time work asa political activist, comics historian, and president of the National Cartoonist Society!


from Direct Currents #29 (DC, May 1990)

Curiously enough among Batman creators, Jerry doesn't seem to have been featured as a character within any comic books at DC. But here's =panels from Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey's brilliant Comic Book Comics featuring Robinson (Jerry's represented as the Joker, not for any villainy, but to represent the character he created) and his fight for creators' rights for Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster:



from Comic Book Comics #5 (Evil Twin, March 2011); script by Fred Van Lente; pencils, inks, and letters by Ryan Dunlavey

Read more about it department: I highly recommend tw excellent books by/about Jerry Robinson: his autobiography Jerry and the Joker: Adventures and Comic Art (Dark Horse, August 2017) and N.C. Christopher Couch's Jerry Robinson: Ambassador of Comics (Abrams, August 2010).


Happy birthday, Jerry!

Today in Comics History, January 1: Happy birthday, Tony Salmons!

Born on this day: comic book and film artist Tony Salmons: artist on G.I. Joe, Savage Sword of Conan, Marvel Fanfare and much much more, plus animation illustration work for Batman: The Animated Series and Æon Flux! And he's co-creator of Dakota North!


from Heartthrobs (1999 series) #2 (DC/Vertigo, February 1999)

Happy birthday, Tony! Hope you have a great day and that I can someday find more instances of actual you appearing within a comic book! in the meantime, let's look at your great Dakota North pin-up promo!


house ad from Marvel Comics cover-dated June 1986

Today in Comics History, January 1, 1941: Roy Thomas's Rockin' New Year's Party



from All-Star Squadron #9 (DC, May 1982), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Adrian Gonzales, inks by Jerry Ordway, colors by Carl Gafford, letters by John Costanza

Today in Comics History, January 1: One guy fooling around with the moon

Born on this day in 1935: cartoonist B. Kliban, whose style will be instantly recognizable to most of you through his pop culture and commercial product depictions of the humble Cat. You couldn't go very far in the 1980s without stumbling across a product or poster that starred one of Kliban's plump, fuzzy, enigmatic creatures. I myself had B. Kliban Cat bedsheets and pillowcases (and I miss them so) and I remember giving my mom the "Momcat" mug one year for Mother's Day. Why there isn't a B. Kliban Cat Extended Cinematic Universe series of movies today I'll never understand, starting with the adventures of all-patrotic hero Cat-tain Americat and that noble son of Pawsgardian mythology, the Mighty Furr.



Today in Comics History, January 1, 1900: Happy birthday to the only people that even matter, I guess (sigh)



from Planetary #5 (WildStorm, September 1999), script by Warren Ellis, pencils and inks by John Cassaday, colors by Laura Martin, letters by Ali Fuchs



from Planetary #19 (WildStorm, May 2004), script by Warren Ellis, pencils and inks by John Cassaday, colors by Laura Martin, letters by Richard Starkings



from Planetary #22 (WildStorm, May 2004), script by Warren Ellis, pencils and inks by John Cassaday, colors by Laura Martin, letters by Richard Starkings

Today in Comics History, January 1: You can take the boy out of the country but you can't take the country out of his name

This is a modified version of a post originally presented on January 27, 2017.

Born on this day: singer, songwriter, musician, actor and political activist Country Joe McDonald, he of "and the Fish" fame ("The "Fish" Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag," "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag," "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine," and the proverbial many more). Happy birthday, Joe!

But, you might ask, why are we talkin' 'bout him here on this comic blook blog, even one so springtime fresh-newly reborn? Answer: Celebrities get birthday wishes on this here puppet-town cow blog if'n they've been in a comic book (and, if we don't hate them. So yes, in additional to stage, screen, and probably that dive bar down the street that you love, Country Joe has also been in comic books?. Let me set up the scenario, as wel ike to say 'round these here parts, for y'all.

Nick Fury (the original one: e.g., David Hasselhoff rather than Sam Jackson) grew up as a member of the Greatest Generation, and he likes it that way, goldarnit it, not the way it is today with these modern kids with their underpants showing and their cone bras and their dancing with cartoon cats. Why, back in Nick's day when he was young and white, he and his gal pals jitterbugged to the smooth rhythms of Glenn Miller and Gene Autry and Spike Jones and the Fabulous Stains and Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes! That was just the way music was, and Nick liked it that way!

Which is why Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.* (*Some How I'd Envy Literal Death) would rather be in the clitches of Baron Stucker and his All-Girl HYDRA Commandos than at a concert for today's birthday boy, Country Joe McDonald!


from Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD (1968 series) #15 (Marvel, November 1969); co-plot by Gary Friedrich, Herb Trimpe, and Dick Ayers; script by Gary Friedrich; pencils by Herb Trimpe and Dick Ayers; inks by Sam Grainger; letters by Jean Izzo

Yes indeed, those verses about the FF and Doc Strangerthanmost are not an invention of the Mighty Marvel Bullpen, but the actual song lyrics from C.J.&F.'s classic song "Superbird!" (There are lyrics referencing Superman and Kryptonite too, but I don't see any sign of the band appearing in that month's comics from the Distinguished Competition.


Why, it's such a short song even Nick should be able to stand it, but no! As soon as the band rocks into the freaky riffs of "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine" Nick's head totally expands, man! I mean, like literally! He's completely blown away by this song!


Is Nick dead, Nick's generic date? Why, he's not only rockapelic dead, he's also psychedelic dead.


Is Nick really dead? Who knows? Who cares? Because this is the last original issue of his comic book and we don't get to find out! In fact, the next three issues are completely filled with reprints. Way to duck the press asking the probing questions about Nick Fury's death, Dum-Dum Dugan!

And nobody ever saw Nick Fury, ever again.

But we don't blame you, Country Joe McDonald! Let not the tragic shooting death of master spy Nicholas Fury weigh on your mind, especially today as you celebrate your 80th! Happy birthday, Joe!

Today in Comics History, January 1, 1991: Luther Vandross partied a little too hard on New Year's Eve


from Astonishing Tales (1970 series) #34 [Deathlok the Demolisher] (Marvel, March 1976), plot and pencils by Rich Buckler, script by Bill Mantlo. inks and colors by Klaus Janson, letters by Karen Mantlo

Today in Comics History, January 1, 1946: Only man alive who can read Little Orphan Annie aloud retires


from "New York Loses Its Busiest and Most Human Mayor" in Picture News #2 (Lafayette Street Corporation, February 1946), creators uncredited

Today in Comics History, January 1: It's bath night every year on January 1, whether the dwarfs need it or not


from Four Color #49 [Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs] (Dell, July 1944), script by Merrill De Maris, pencils by Hank Porter, inks by Bob Grant, colors by Western Publishing Production Shop

Today in Comics History Future, January 1: Happy New Year from those Future State Kids they keep trying to sell us


from "To Stop the Star-Conqueress!" in DC's Very Merry Multiverse 2021 one-shot (DC, February 2021), script by Ivan Cohen, pencils and inks by Eleonora Carlini, colors by Ulises Arreola, letters by Becca Carey

Today In Comics History, January 1, 1962: Beatles do their first test recording; are immediately convinced to break up by Little Petey Jackson


from The Beatles: Their Story in Pictures (ITV, 1982), script by Angus P. Allan, art by Arthur Ranson


from The Beatles in Comics! (NBM, November 2018); script by Richard Di Martino; translation by Joe Johnson; art by Amadine Puntous; letters by Ortho


from Beatles with an A: Birth of a Band (Fanfare, July 2014), script and art by Mauri Kunnas


Today in Comics History, January 1, 1967: Same As It Ever Was



from The 'Nam #11 (Marvel, October 1987), script by Doug Murray, pencils by Michael Golden, inks by John Beatty, colors and letters by Phil Felix

Today in Comics History, January 1, 1945: So that's why it's called Detective Comics


from Batman and Robin comic strip (syndicated, December 29, 1944), script by Bill Finger, pencils by Jack Burnley, inks by Chares Paris, letters by Ira Schnapp

Today in Comics History Future, January 1: And when Batman shall die, take him and cut him out into the little stars


from "Wake" in Batman: Urban Legends #7 (DC, October 2021), script by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, pencils and inks by Max Dunbar, colors by Sebastian Cheng, letters by Aditya Bidikar

Today in Comics History, January 1, 1956: Winter Soldier will not get another invite to this shindig next year


from Captain America (2005 series) #11 (Marvel, November 2005), script by Ed Brubaker, pencils and inks by Steve Epting, additional inks by Mike Perkins, colors by Frank D'Armata, letters by Randolph Gentile

Today in Comics History, January 1: Hermie the Elf finally comes of age


from "A Christmas Peril!" in Batman (1940 series) #27 (DC, February 1945), script by Don C. Cameron, pencils and inks by Jerry Robinson, letters by Ira Schnapp

Today in Comics History, January 1: Clumsy idiot becomes safety tyrant


"Safety First -- All Year!," a PSA in DC Comics cover-dated March 1963, script by Jack Schiff, pencils and inks by Sheldon Moldoff, letters by Ira Schnapp

Today in Comics History, January 1: Batman vows to finally sell that band candy


from Batman: The Long Halloween #4 (DC, March 1997), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by Tim Sale, colors by Gregory Wright, color separations by Heroic Age, letters by Richard Starkings

Today in Comics History, January 1: And Hawkeye thought the Christmas episodes of his show were harrowing



from Avengers West Coast #68 (Marvel, March 1991), script by Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas, pencils by Paul Ryan, inks by Danny Bulanadi, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Bill Oakley

Today in Comics History, January 1: Kingpin throws the best parties; gives the most fun presents



from Amazing Spider-Man #288 (Marvel, May 1987), script by Christopher Priest, pencils by Alan Kupperberg, inks by Jim Fern, colors by George Roussos, letters by Rick Parker

Today in Comics History, January 1: Ultron, you fiend! You'll destroy the entire reality show industry!



from Avengers West Coast #67 (Marvel, February 1991), script by Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas, pencils by Paul Ryan, inks by Danny Bulanadi, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Bill Oakley

Annnnnnnd...we're back!

Happy New Year! And you get the presents (while I get the hard work, but hey, I love it!)


cover of Marvel Age #86 (March 1990), pencils and inks by John Byrne, colors by Gregory Wright

Since I wound down Comics Oughta Be Fun! about two an' half bajillion years ago, a lotta stuff has happened. We defied ourselves outta the sleazy reign of the last guy. We got new Marvel and Star Wars TV shows. We got COVID! (Well, I got COVID. But I'm feelin' much better now, thank you!)

That's why it's time to revive my Comics Oughta Be Fun! blog because, frankly, don't we need fun now more than ever?

I spent 2021 posting daily Today in Comics History tidbits up on Twitter an' an awful lotta you liked it, I think. But boy, is Twitter difficult to schedule posts in advence, to search, too look at past posts, and to do multiple image threads. That's why I'm moving Today in Comics History for 2022 and beyond back to the blog here, which'll make it easier to read longer posts and to find older ones. Didja miss a tweet in 2021? No worries: I'll be restoring those to the blog under year 2021 as we go along! And, I'll be creating an index for each day and month so that you can focus on specific dates! (More on that later because I hope to have it operating regularly in a week or so.)

Plus, more fun stuff (it's my middle name, after "the" and before "stuffed")! So please go re-bookmark the Comics Oughta Be Fun! blog. Because, y'know, like the bull sez...Comics Oughta Be Fun!


I'M BACK, BABY!

Friday, December 31, 2021

365 Days of Power and Responsibility, Day 365: 🎵It's been a long road, getting from there to here 🎵


Ahem! Excuse me, but I'm just gonna toot my own horn for a second: I finally finished this feature, after starting...uh...on January 1, 2019. Well, I never said 365 Days in a row.

At some point I even lost COUNT, because 2020 was a Leap Year, and...well, the extra day is in there somewhere. Don't ask me to point to it.

Say Mary Jane's Aunt Anna, what do you like about Peter?


from Amazing Spider-Man: Parallel Lives graphic novel (Marvel, May 1989), script by Gerry Conway, pencils by Alex Saviuk, inks by Andy Mushynsky, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Rick Parker