Saturday, September 24, 2022

Today in Comics History, September 24: Happy birthday, Phil Hartman!

Born on this day in 1948: comedian, actor, writer and artist Phil Hartman, still much missed by this bull after his untimely death in 1998.

And he knew how to react to MAD magazine!

from (top) MAD #307 (December 1991) and (bottom) #318 (April 1993)

Hartman was an accomplished artist and graphic designer who (and not a lot of people know this, in my Michael Caine voice) designed these and other classic LP covers. The Firesign Theatre one is pretty close to actually being painted comic book art!

Sadly, there was not a NewsRadio comic book adaptation (your loss, Harvey), but since Phil did a lot of animation voiceover work, you can see characters he played also in comics, like Jiji the cat, whom Phil voiced in the American dub of Kiki's Delibery Service!

You may remember Phil from such cartoons as Christmas Ape's Sweet Baadasssss Carol and The Happy Little Elves in Kuwait, or perhaps a, obscure, short-running cartoon called The Simpsons, where he starred as Lionel Hutz, attorney...

from (top) "The Purple Prose of Springfield" in Simpsons Comics #9 (Bongo, March 1995), script by Andrew Gottlieb, pencils by Luis Escobar, inks by Tim Bavington, colors by Electric Crayon, letters by Richard Starkings;
(bottom) "What's the Frequency, Simpson?" in Simpsons Comics #17 (Bongo, February 1996), script by Andrew Gottlieb, pencils by Phil Ortiz, inks by Tim Bavington, colors by Nathan Kane, letters by Jeannine Crowell Black

...and actor Troy McClure, popular enough that even when the character was retired on the show following Phil's death, the comic book still gave him guest appearances.

(top) from "The Amazing Colossal Homer" in Simpsons Comics #1 (Bongo, November 1993); co-plot, script, and layouts by Steve Vance; co-plot by Cindy Vance; finishes by Bill Morrison; additional inks by Tim Bavington; colors by Cindy Vance;
(middle) "What's the Frequency, Simpson?" Simpsons Comics #17
(bottom) "You'd Better Sloth Around" in Simpsons Comics #129 (Bongo, April 2007), script by Len Wein, pencils by John Costanza, inks by Phyllis Novin, colors by Art Villanueva, letters by Karen Bates

So happy birthday, Phil Hartman, and we miss ya a lot.

from Simpsons Comics #112 (Bongo, November 2005), script and pencils by Ty Templeton, inks by Mike Rote, colors by Art Villanueva, letters by Karen Bates


Blam said...

The Aja credit appears to be a persistent error, just FYI...

Bully said...

I've always wondered about that; it never seemed to be his style. Thanks! Substituted another cover.