Saturday, January 08, 2022

Today in Comics History, January 8: And a lust for gold, and a lust for gold / Keeps us alive, keeps us alive

from "Leland Stanford: Railroad Pioneer of the West" in Real Life Comics #11 (Pines, May, 1943), pencils and inks by Maurice Gutwirth

I have cut the flashback off at this point because in the very next panel there is some pretty foul racism. Sigh. Oh, comics, will you never learn?

Today in Comics History, January 8: Happy birthday, Eric Stephenson!

Born on this day: Eric Stephenson, comic book publisher (Image Comics), writer (Spider-Man Unlimited, Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man, Bloodstrike, Brigade, Supreme, Youngblood), editor (Extreme Studios, Image) and creator (Long Hot Summer, Nowhere Men, They're Not Like Us)!

from "The Extreme Scene" promo page in Image/Extreme Studios comics cover-dated December 1993

Being Publisher and Chief Creative Officer of Image apparently comes with a big office — so big that it takes a double-page spread to show it off!

from Airboy (2015 series) #1 (Image, June 2015); script by James Robinson; pencils, inks, colors, and letters by Greg Hinkle
(Click picture to EXTREME!-size)

Here's Eric with his Image Comics bros! From left to right: Marc Silvestri, Erik Larsen, Eric Stephenson, Robert Kirkman, Jim Valentino, and Todd McFarlane.

from I Hate Image FCBD 2017 Special (Image, May 2017); script, pencils, and inks by Skottie Young, colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu, letters by Nate Piekos

Happy birthday, Eric Stephenson! And we hope you're not the same Eric Stephenson who is punching his way through this gladiator arena.

from America's Got Powers #1 (Image, April 2012), script by Jonathan Ross, pencils by Bryan Hitch, inks by Andrew Currie and Paul Neary, colors by Paul Mounts, letters by Chris Eliopoulos

Today in Comics History, January 8: Happy birthday, Ken Steacy!

Born on this day in Canada (so you know he's nice!): comics artist Ken Steacy (The Original Astro Boy, Jonny Quest, Night and the Enemy, The Sacred and the Profane, his own creation Tempus Fugitive, Marvel Fanfare, Robotech: The Graphic Novel, and many more)!

from "Editori-Al" in Marvel Fanfare (1982 series) #23 (Marvel, November 1985); script, pencils, and inks by Al Milgrom

Happy birthday, Ken, and keep 'em flyin' high!

from Tempus Fugitive #1 (DC, April 1990)

Today in Comics History, January 8: Happy birthday, John Wellington!

Born on this day, comic book colorist John Wellington (The Punisher, Bullwinkle and Rocky, Detective Comics, Power Pack and much more)!

from Marvel Age #86 (Marvel, March 1990), text by Chris Eliopoulis and Barry Dutter, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme, colors by Gregory Wright

Happy birthday, John!

Today in Comics History, January 8: Happy birthday, Queen Hippolyta!

Born on this day in ⬛⬛⬛⬛ (a true lady never reveals her birth year in antiquity), the woman the kids call Mrs. Wonder Woman's Mom: Queen Hippolyta! Or sometimes, in the Golden Age, Hippolyte. Just don't call her late for dinner! Ha! I slay me! No, seriously, she's really going all in on that cornbread.

from Super DC Calendar 1976 (DC, 1975), letters by Ben Oda

Here in actual untouched and certainly not colored for comic books footage, a true depiction of Hippolyta celebrating her birthday! Aw, she's just glad Diana came home for it and to drop off her laundry.

from "Menace of the Mermen!" in Wonder Woman (1942 series) #93 (DC, October 1953), script by Robert Kanigher, pencils by Harry Peter

Now, here's a patented, designed-for-your-amusement (and/or confusion) DC (Flash) Fact!: despite codifying Hip's birthday as January 8 in the Super DC Calendar 1976, an earlier 1962 story had already set her birthday as May 18! What's the deal with that? (Personally, I think Bob "The DC Answer Man" Rozakis was asleep at his desk that day!)

from Wonder Woman (1942 series) #113 (DC, July 1962), script by Robert Kanigher, pencils by Ross Andru, inks by Mike Esposito, letters by Gaspar Saladino

But that's a tale for another day. Specifically, May 18. See ya then!

Today in Comics History, January 8, 1966: First comic book appearance, R. Lee Ermey

from The 'Nam #1 (Marvel, December 1986), script by Doug Murray, pencils and colors by Michael Golden, inks by Armando Gil, letters by Phil Felix

Friday, January 07, 2022

Today in Comics History, January 7: Happy birthday, Karl Kesel!

I'm here to wish Karl Kesel a very happy birthday, even though I can never get through on the line to Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! and I would really love the chance to have my answering machine message read...oh. I've made another one of my silly mistakes. That's Carl Kasell, the radio show host. Today's the birthday of Karl Kesel, the comic book writer and inker on such books as Superman, Action Comics, The Adventures of Superman, Superboy, and Superboy and the Ravers. Plus lots more! Boy! Is my face beet red. (I've just been eating beets.)

Karl was one of the earliest artists featured in Marvel Age's "New Talent Department" spotlight, and gets some constructive criticism in technique by veteran inker Joe Rubinstein:

from Marvel Age #9 (Marvel, December 1983)

Today in Comics History, January 7: Happy birthday, Bob Wiacek!

Born on this day in 1953: Bob Wiacek, comics inker extraordinaire! Bob's inked Man-Thing, Uncanny X-Men, Star Wars, Iron Man, Orion, Alpha Flight, Power Pack, Strange Tales, Sensational She-Hulk, X-Factor, The Brave and the Bold, Excalibur, Archer & Armstrong, and more!

from Marvel Age #26, 49, 86 and 97 (Marvel, May 1985, April 1987, March 1990, and February 1991); text by Jim Salicrup (#26), Mike Carlin (#49), & Chris Eliopoulis and Barry Dutter (#86 and 97); pencils and inks by Ron Zalme; colors by Paul Becton (#49), Gregory Wright (#86), and Renee Witterstaetter (#97)

If Bob Wiacek was on a trading card, here's the kind of data you'd read on the back side! The card's back side, that is, not Bob's...back side.

from Power Pack (1984 series) #1 (Marvel, August 1984), pencils by Walt Simonson

And here's Bob with his X-Men collaborators facing off against Mojo! From L-R: editor Bob Harras, inker Bob Wiacek, colorsist Glynis Oliver, penciller Art Adams, writer chris Claremont, and letterer Tom Orzechowski! Stop riling him, Claremont!

from "I Want My X-Men!" in [Uncanny] X-Men Annual (1970 series) #12 (Marvel, 1988), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Art Adams, inks by Bob Wiacek, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Tom Orzechowski

When you find Bob Wiacek amongst the crowd of recognizable faces at the title bout between Superman and Ali (and I bet you can), wish him a happy birthday from me!

cover of All-New Collectors' Edition #C-56 (DC, March 1978), layout by Joe Kubert, pencils by Neal Adams, inks by Neal Adams (?) and/or Cory Adams (?), logo design by John Workman
(Click top picture to GOAT-size)

Today in Comics History, January 7: Happy birthday, Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson!

Born on this date in 1890: Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, founder of National Allied Publications, which would later become DC Comics. Ah ha! So he's the one to blame for Infinite Crisis and the New 52!

from Fifty Who Made DC Great one-shot (DC, 1985)

from DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes (Bulfinch, October 1995), by Les Daniels
(Click picture to Major-size)

Wheeler-Nicholson is portrayed in a Shadow comic (thinly disguised as "Major Walton Carter-Tennyson"), when he comes to Kent Allard Lamont Cranston for help when he's targeted by the competition's goons.

from "Black and White and Red All Over" in The Shadow (2015 series) #100 one-shot (Dynamite, June 2015); script, pencils, and inks by Howard Chaykin; colors by Jesus Aburtov; letters by Ken Bruzenak

You'd guess that since he's a crimefighter, Lamont would've held comic books in high regard, no?

Nothing goin' on here that a little brute force, some spooky smoke, and the echoing voice of Orson Welles wouldn't cure, right?

But in the end it all works out, because everybody thinks comics are just that great!

Happy birthday, Major! (salutes him, looks through his pockets for copies of New Fun #1)

Today in Comics History, January 7: On the one hand we still don't get to see her; on the other hand, McCoy's badass beard

Born on this day sometime in the 23rd century: Joanna McCoy, the oft-discussed (by Expanded Universe) but never-seen (in canon presentations) daughter of Dr. Leonard McCoy!

from Star Trek: Year Five #25 (IDW, July 2021), script by Jim McCann, layouts by J. J. Lendl, finishes by Megan Levens, colors by Charlie Kirchoff, letters by Neil Uyetake

Happy birthday, Joanna, wherever you are. Stop hiding from us fans!

Today in Comics History, January 7: Happy birthday, Phantom Lady!

Born on this day, according to the DC Super Calendar 1976: Sandra Knight, the effervescent but sometimes hard-to-see Golden Age crimefighter known as Phantom Lady! (Not to be confused with Phantom Girl, who is more than 1,000 years younger.) She was created by the Eisner & Iger Studio and drawn by Arthur Peddy, who had a deft hand with a glamor girl character (he also drew Marvel/Atlas's "Jann of the Jungle").

from Super DC Calendar 1976 (DC, 1975), letters by Ben Oda

Today in Comics History, January 7: Happy birthday, Ruth Negga!

It's Ruth Negga's birthday today! She played Tulip O'Hare on Preacher!

Seeing as Ruth is not as blonde as the comic book version of Tulip, you'd think that means we'd never see a depiction of her by the late lamented legendary Preacher artist Steve Dillon, right?

Well, you'd be wrong. Partner.

cover of Preacher 1 AMC Edition promo comic (DC/AMC, July 2016), pencils and inks by Steve Dillon, colors by Matt Hollingsworth

Happy birthday, Ruth! And we miss you, Steve.

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Today in Comics History, January 6, 1939: Mountain Dew invented

from "The Atomic Bomb" in Real Life Comics #29 (Pines, March 1946), creators unknown

Today in Comics History, January 6: Happy birthday, Danny Thomas!

Born on this very day in 1912: pioneering actor, singer, philanthropist and nightclub comedian: Amos Muzyad Yaqoob Kairouz! That's Danny Thomas to you and me!

from Movie Love #19 (Eastern Color, December 1952), pencils and inks by Frank Fogarty

Today in Comics History, January 6: Happy birthday, Bruce Patterson!

Born on this day: comics artist/inker Bruce Patterson, who's worked on Alpha Flight, Detective Comics, Wonder Woman, Micronauts, Marvel Team-Up, Green Lantern, and lots more!

from Marvel Age #26 (Marvel, May 1985), text by Jim Salicrup, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme

And if you think looking for him among one-cell organisms and Micronauts is tough, just try to pick him out of the crowd at the Superman vs. Muhammad Ali fight!

cover of All-New Collectors' Edition #C-56 (DC, March 1978), layout by Joe Kubert, pencils by Neal Adams, inks by Neal Adams (?) and/or Cory Adams (?), logo design by John Workman
(Click top picture to GOAT-size)

Happy birthday, Bruce!

Today (maybe?) in Comics History: January 6 (possibly?): Two-Face checks out the news

from Marvel Team-Up #103 (Marvel, March 1981), script by David Michelinie, pencils by Jerry Bingham, inks by Mike Esposito, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Diana Albers

Today in Comics History, January 6: Happy birthday, Rowan Atkinson!

Please join me in wishing a very beany birthday to writer, actor, and comedian Rowan Atkinson (Not the Nine O'Clock News, Blackadder, Mr. Bean, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually, The Lion King, Maigret, and much more)! Also: comic book star!

from Mr Bean's Entertaining Escapades #1 (Tiger Aspect, June 2016), creators unidentified (shame!)

Happy birthday, Rowan Atkinson!

from "Blackadder" in The Comic Relief Comic one-shot (Fleetway, March 1991); pencils, inks, and color by Phil Winslade (?)

Today in Comics History, January 6: Happy birthday, Syd Barrett!

Born on this day in 1946: singer, songwriter, musician, and co-founder of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett!

from Aria: Summer's Spell #1 (Image/Avalon, March 2002); script by Brian Holguin; pencils and inks by Mark Pajarillo; colors by Raymund Lee; Edgar Tadeo; and Arsia Rozegar, letters by Dreamer Design

Happy birthday, Syd. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

Today in Comics History, January 6: Happy birthday, Artie Simek!

Born on this day in 1916: legendary Marvel letterer Artie Simek, who provied the baloons and words for hundreds of Marvel Comics and became one of the great creators of the Silver Age. He lettered and helped design many logos throughout the 1950s and 1960s Marvels, including Fantastic Four, X-Men, Thor, post-#79 Strange Tales, post-#11 Tales to Astonish, and more. (He's also the father of second-generation comics letterer Jean Simek Izzo!)

L: Marvel Tales Annual #1 (Marvel, September 1964)
R: Fantastic Four Annual (1963 series) #7 (Marvel, November 1969)

Today in Comics History, January 6: Happy birthday, Hugh Haynes!

Born on this day: comics penciller Hugh Haynes, who's worked on Nexus, Mars Attacks, Alpha Flight, Marvel Comics Presents, and a lot of Punisher comics! Check out a piece of his early fandom art here:

from FOOM #4 (Marvel, December 1973), by Hugh Haynes

Showing early work means I also get to show off a professional page Hugh drew of a hairy, hairy Frank Castle:

from Punisher (1987 series) #56 (Marvel, December 1991), script by Mike Baron, pencils by Hugh Haynes, inks by Jimmy Palmiotti, colors by Marcus David, letters by Ken Lopez

And it even includes a self-portrait! Hi, Hugh!

Happy birthday, Hugh Haynes!

from Marvel Age Special: Punisher Anniversary Magazine one-shot (Marvel, February 1994)