Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Today in Comics History, May 18: Happy birthday, Perry Como!

Born on this day in 1912, crooner Perry Como!, the most relaxed man in show business!

But what does Mr. Como have to do with comic books, you ask? Hmmmm...

advertisement from DC Comics cover-dated September 1958

Well, for one, here he is, RIGHT ON A FREAKIN' COMIC BOOK COVER. That's what!

cover of Penny #6 (Avon, September 1947), pencils and inks by Harry Haenigsen

Here's a couple "true life tidbit" gag cartoons from Eastern Color-published comic books, both written and drawn by Phil Berube, who was America's number one Perry Como fan club member. (Bruce Wayne? #2.)

from (top) Juke Box Comics #5 (Eastern Color, November 1948); text, pencils, inks, and letters by Phil Berube, and
(bottom) Personal Love #2 (Eastern Color,March 1950), pencils and inks by Phil Berube

Didja know Perry started out as a barber? Well, the proof is right hair! (giggle)

from "A Singing Barber Defeats Frank Sinatra in the Battle of the Juke Boxes" (whew!) in Picture News #2 (Lafayette, February 1946), creators uncredited and unknown

Dell's comic book biography of singer Brenda Lee ("I'm Sorry," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree") devotes lots of space to how much Como helped Lee make it big in her career:

from Brenda Lee Life Story one-shot (Dell, July 1962), pencils and inks by Tony Tallarico (?)

Another young vocalist Perry Como helped get her start: none other than the little-known crooner named Lois Lane.

from "Perry White Como, I Love You!" in Superman (1939 series) #67 (DC, November 1950), pencils and inks by Al Plastino

Yes, you read that right. LOIS LANE.

(top) cover of Superman #67; pencils and inks by Al Plastino, letters by Ira Schnapp,
(bottom) from Superman #67

The never-flighty Miz Lane crushes hard on Como and decides to leave journalism to devote her life to music (and Perry) by becoming (with Superman's help) an acclaimed vocalist!

But mobsters kidnap Lois and Como. These things happen!

Superman saves 'em both, but then they both have colds. Oh, the horror!

Meanwhile, Brainiac and Luthor have destroyed Europe.

Superman saves the day with Vapor Action!

As Mort Weisinger often did, this basic plot was used again in the 1970s ("Duane Allman, I Love You!," Superman #230) and in the '80s ("Phil Collins, I Love You!," Superman #8 by John Byrne).

So let's all lie back or down or recline just where you are and wish a happy birthday to Mister Perry Como!

"Perry Como: Still Alive" from SCTV Network episode 410 (1981)

Happy birthday, Perry!

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