Thursday, August 04, 2022

Today in Comics History, August 4: Happy birthday, Louis Armstrong!

Born on this day in 1901: iconic American trumpeter, singer, and actor Louis Armstrong! "Satchmo", or "Pops," to his pals!

(PS: the birth date and year on this panel are wrong.)

from Dime Comics #24 (Bell Features, December 1945), text and art by Gerald Lazare

There's a number of stories about Armstrong in the early days of comics...

from "Satchmo: Louis Armstrong" in Juke Box Comics #4 (Eastern Color, September 1948), pencils and inks by Jerry Fasano

Here's a Louis guest appearance in a short bio about drummer and bandleader Lionel Hampton's early career.

from "Lionel Hampton: Rockin' Rhythm" in Juke Box Comics #6 (Eastern Color, January 1949), pencils and inks by Jimmy Thompson

Satchmo cameos in a humor strip about a braggart musician:

from "Kernel Korn" in Dime Comics #20 (Bell Features, c. April 1945), script and art by Harry Brunt

Classic jazz and blues Billie Holiday appeared with Armstrong in the 1947 film "New Orleans."

from Billie Holiday graphic novel (NBM, May 2017); script by Carlos Sampayo; translated by Katy MacRae, Robert Boyd, and Kim Thompson; pencils and inks by José Muñoz; letters by Ortho

In more recent years, Armstrong is more likely to appear as a character within fictional tales, setting the scene or serving as a contemporary to the action. Here's a gorgeous moody page by Bill Sienkiewicz from one of my favorite Moon Knight issues:

from Moon Knight (1980 series) #26 (Marvel, December 1982), script by Doug Moench, pencils and inks by Bill Sienkiewicz, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Joe Rosen

Even Archie Andrews met Satchmo! (Along with Chaplin, Houdini, and a couple historical jerks.)

from Archie's Weird Mysteries #20 (Archie, June 2002), script by Paul Castiglia, pencils by Fernando Ruiz, inks by Rich Koslowski, colors by Stephanie Vozzo, letters by Vickie Williams

Here he is blowin' sweet tunes in Marvel's Noir Universe!

from Luke Cage: Noir #4 (Marvel, January 2010), script by Mike Benson and Adam Glass, pencils and inks by Shawn Martinbrough, colors by Nick Filardi, letters by Cory Petit

His innovative career, colorful personality, trademark and instantly recognize gravelly voice and sheer skill with the trumpet have made him a legend of jazz — and of music itself.

from "Ride, Red, Ride" in Gambit Weekly (New Orleans indie paper, March 20, 2001), script by Harvey Pekar, art by Gary Dumm

Also: he totally boogie-woogied with Sersi of the Eternals.

from Thor #285 (Marvel, July 1979), script by Roy Thomas, breakdowns by John Buscema, finishes by Chic Stone, colors by George Roussos, letters by Joe Rosen

Happy birthday, Satchmo!

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