Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Today in Comics History, January 31: Happy birthday, Don Hutson!

This is an expanded and updated version of a post originally published January 31, 2022. Images from Football Thrills #2 and True Sport Picture Stories #5 have been added!

Born on this day in 1913: NFL football player and coach Don Hutson, "The Alabama Antelope," whose career with the Green Bay Packers led them to three NFL Championship victories.

Also, Don liked Wheaties! Well, who doesn't? (Me. Not enough marshmallows.)

Wheaties ad from DC Comics cover-dated March 1949

In addition to the cereal that stays solid in milk, your mouth, and your colon, this ad is also promoting a booklet "Want to Be a Football Champion?," which I betcha contains at least one guideline that says "Eat Wheaties." Another football instructional book for kids was also hawked by a comic book advertisement was Spalding's (the game ball people) Inside Football, a comic-book-style instructional manual on how to pass, punt, and...ah, piroette...look, I'm not a bull who follows sports very well. Anyway, Don's in that one, too.

from DC Comics cover-dated December 1947

"Look! We've still got stock! Will you buy it already?"

from DC Comics cover-dated October 1948

But Don Hutson didn't only appear in comic books in advertisements, no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. No. In fact, here's a whole feature spotlighting him in the appropriately titled Football Thrills, which, true to its word, crammed a lotta thrills into 36 pages of four-color wood pulp.

from "Don Hutson, the Alabama Antelope" in Football Thrills #2 (Ziff-Davis, Fall 1952), creators uncredited and unknown

This story is notable for depicting the exact moment that Don manifested his special mutant power:

No, fans, his mutant power was not to leap like an antelope — that is, in fact, the copyrighted power of the Astonishing Antelope (first appearance: Charles Xavier and His Mighty Animal Posse #8). His actual mutant power to to project himself into a dimension completely without any details or background. Both comics historians and sports buffs term this phenomenon as the "Colletta Effect."

In Don Hutson's honor, I present the following gif from Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Just...not this year.

Happy birthday, Don!

cover of True Sport Picture Stories v.2 #5 (Street & Smith, February 1944), creators unknown (okay, okay, I can't read the signature)

1 comment:

Blam said...

Now I know who they’re looking for when they yell “Hut! Hut!”
(The hover-text on that Wheaties ad up top is cherce, BTW.)