Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Today in Comics History, August 2: Happy birthday, Carroll O'Connor!

Born today in 1924: actor, producer, and director Carroll O'Connor, who was the star of Ben Grimm's favorite TV show! (Also, I imagine the Thing liked In the Heat of the Night, but that wouldn't premiere for another 16 years.)

from Marvel Team-Up (1972 series) #3 (Marvel, July 1972), script by Gerry Conway, pencils by Ross Andru, inks by Frank Giacoia, letters by Artie Simek

Later, the Thing would get the chance to star alongside O'Connor in his very own TV series. Sadly, it never made it past the storyboard stage. (Storyboards...for a sitcom?!?)

from Marvel Two-in-One (1974 series) #46 (Marvel, December 1978); script, pencils, and colors by Alan Kupperberg; inks by Chic Stone; letters by Shelly Leferman ans Alan Kupperberg

While Carroll O'Connor was a real person within the Marvel Universe, the DC Universe actually had Archie Bunker, his TV character, existing alongside the DC superheroes! Sort of.

from Superman #249 (DC, March 1972), script by Cary Bates, pencils by Curt Swan, inks by Murphy Anderson

This was followed up soon afterwards with an Archie and Edith Bunker cameo alongside Billy Batson! No, Archie was not the story's title character.

from "The World's Toughest Guy!" in Shazam! (1973 series) #5 (DC, September 1973); script by Elliot S! Maggin; pencils, inks, and letters by C.C. Beck

But neither of the Big Two can claim they depicted Carroll O'Connor first. That honor goes to Dell Comics, which adapted O'Connor's 1962 sappy family film Lad, A Dog. No, Carroll was not the story's title character.

cover of Four Color #1303 [Lad, A Dog] (Dell, February 1962)

No, he played...let's see...a perfectly ordinary man named Hamilcar Q. Glure.
Wow, his parents must have loathed him.

Four Color #1303; script by Ken Fitch, pencils and inks by Sam Glanzman (!)

How iconic is Carroll O'Comics to connor? (Wait. Strike that...reverse it.) So iconic that when Wolverine is hallucinating due to Weapon X mind-tampering, he meets Carroll! Hi Carroll!

from Wolverine (1988 series) #66 (Marvel, February 1993), script by Larry Hama, pencils and inks by Mark Texeira with Steve Biasi, colors by Steve Buccellato, letters by Pat Brosseau

And when Deadpool dies, guess who's there in the afterlife with him (lower left)?

Try to name all the other dead celebrities, because I'll probably be using this panel for their birthdays, too!

from Deadpool (1997 series) #61 (Marvel, February 2002), script by Frank Tieri, pencils by James Calafiore, inks by Jon Holdredge, colors by Tom Chu's Color Dojo, letters by Dave Sharpe

In conclusion, just remember that if MAD Magazine had its way, Chevy Chase woulda been playing Archie Bunker on SNL!

from MAD #152 (July 1972), script by Max Brandel (?)

Happy birthday, Carroll O'Connor!

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