Monday, January 03, 2022

Today in Comics History, January 3: Happy birthday, Murray Boltinoff!

Born on this day in 1911: long-time DC Comics writer/editor Murray Boltinoff, who worked on titles as far ranging as Action Comics, Adventures of Bob Hope, G.I. Wombat Combat, Leguion of Super-Heroes, The Witching Hour, Doom Patrol and Sugar and Spike! here, read more about 'im!:

from DC Comics cover-dated May 1977

Boltinoff has also had a long career of appearing in comics, starting with a cameo in one of the weirder early Superman stories, a parody story of great cartoonist and terrible human being Al Capp creating Li'l Abner! Here's (from left to right) editors Mort Weisinger (dark blue suit), Whitney Ellsworth (light blue), and Murray Boltinoff (green).

from "A Goof Named Tiny Rufe" in Action Comics #55 (DC, December 1942), script by Jerry Siegel, pencils by John Sikela, inks by Ed Dobrotka

Sadly, Murray Boltinoff's Earth-2 career was cut tragically short that very same month when he was murdered in the pages of an Air Wave story.

from "Who Rubbed Out the Editor?" in Detective Comics #70 (DC, December 1942), script by Murray Boltinoff, pencils by Lee Harris, inks by Charles Paris

...which meant nothing (Nothing, you hear! Nothing!) to Boisterous Bob Haney when he wrote Murray, artist Jim Aparo, himself, Batman, and WWII war hero Sgt. Rock into a tale of the metaverse and comics writers influencing the comic's storyline!

from The Brave and the Bold (1955 series) #124 (DC, January 1976); script by Bob Haney; pencils, inks, and letters by Jim Aparo

Boltinoff appears to Abel as a masked monster at the House of Secrets (the others are the DC Horror Hosts), showing off his real Earth-1 power: his mind-bending necktie!

from "Treats or Tricks" in House of Mystery #256 (DC, January 1978), script by Jack C. Harris, pencils by Romeo Tanghal, inks by Wayne Howard

I'd imagine there would be lots of Cryptkeeper-style dying to get in and a grave matter and no bones about it puns in that House of Mystery story, which is only fitting for Murray Boltinoff, better known as the Man Who Killed the Doom Patrol! With fiction!

Here, Murray (in the yellow shirt) and artist Bruno Premiani (white shirt, behind him) tell you that only you can prevent forest fires the deaths of the Doom Patrol!

from The Doom Patrol (1964 series) #121 (DC, September 1968), script by Arnold Drake, pencils and inks by Bruno Premiani, letters by Ben Oda

Remember: you are responsible for whether the Doom Patrol lives or dies, and you could save, uh, inventing a time machine and going back a few years and buying 100,000-200,000 more copies of The Doom Patrol monthly. The Uncle Scrooge Solution!

Oh no! But yes! The Doom Patrol are dead, positively, absolutely dead! And they're going to stay that way! Offer not valid if your name is Paul Kupperberg, Grant Morrison, or John Byrne.

I am not going to include the portrayal of Murray Boltinoff and many other DC staffers and creators from Inferior Five #6, because the story and caricatures are pretty derogatory and mean-spirited. But you can read all about it over at The Tom Brevoort Experience.

Now that you know what Murray Boltinoff looks like (from all those "Wanted for the murder of the Doom Patrol" posters), can you spot him around this gaggle of editors sneakily hanging around the back cover of a DC Digest?

from The Best of DC [Blue Ribbon Digest] #5 (DC, May 1980), pencils by Ross Andru, inks by Dick Giordano

Oh, you did? And that fast? Okay, smart-ass, get out your magnificationing glass and find Murray ringside at the infamous title bout to determine the greatest of all time: Superman vs. Muhammad Ali!

cover of All-New Collectors' Edition #C-56 (DC, March 1978), layout by Joe Kubert, pencils by Neal Adams, inks by Neal Adams (?) and/or Cory Adams (?), logo design by John Workman
(Click top picture to GOAT-size)

Although it's been said, many times, close and far off, Happy Birthday, Murray Boltinoff!

from The Amazing World of DC Comics #5 (DC, March 1975)

No comments: