Monday, January 03, 2022

Today in Comics History, January 3: Happy birthday, George Martin!

Born on this day in 1926: Sir George Martin, record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, and frequently referred to as one of the ten or twelve people who could possibly be "The Fifth Beatle."

Martin has had a long career of collaboration with recording artists include (Bully favorites) The Goons, Flanders and Swann, Dudley Moore, Bernard Cribbens, Matt Monro, Neil Sedaka, Shirley Bassey, Kenny Rogers, Elton John, and many (many!) more, in addition to composing soundtracks for films like A Hard Day's Night, Yellow Submarine, Live and Let Die, among others.

And oh yeah, the Beatles.

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

The "I don't like your tie" quip is such a vital moment in Beatles' charm that it pops up in most of the retelling (including these comic ones) of the band.

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

George is responsible for an important Beatles evolution: he insisted that the group replace original drummer Pete Best. Enter Ringo Starr, and history is made.

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

from The Beatles in Comics!

Among the famous fictional bands who have recorded with George Martin: Riverdale's own sons (and daughters) of sound, The Archies, were produced by Martin! Well, at least his Archie's Generic Celebrity equivalent, George Martinique. A nice "tropical" name, doncha think?

from "The Archies in London" in Archie Comics Digest #257 (Archie, November 2009); script by Hal Lifson; pencils, inks, and colors by Rex Lindsey; letters by Jack Morelli

If you ask me (and of course you won't), this is clearly an indiscriminate application of the Archie's Generic Celebrities trope. As we've seen in the past, any celebrity name, brand, or work is generally replaced by a mid-level pun or sound-alike. So, it's interesting that altho' this story applies that to "George Martinique," "The Beatboys," and "Admiral Peppermill," there's actually plenty of direct references to real places and business in the UK, like Abbey Road Studios, London's posh Dorchester Hotel, the BBC and their long-running Top of the Pops and LIve from Abbey Road TV shows. You clearly aren't paying attention to the rules of Archie's Generic Celebrities, Hal Lifson! You know I'm watchin' you!

Say, London fans, can you spot the glaring errors in the panel below? (Answers on a postcard in the alt-hover-text!)

So happy birthday, Sir George Martin, and thanks for all the great music from the Beatles and others. We really admire you.

from Marvel Comics Super Special #4 [The Beatles] (Marvel, 1978), script by Dave Kraft, additional dialogue by Don McGregor, pencils by George PĂ©rez, inks by Klaus Janson and Joe Rubinstein, colors by Petra Goldberg, letters by Tom Orzechowski

Well, except for that tie.

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