Saturday, January 15, 2022

Today in Comics History, January 15: Happy birthday, Edward Teller!

Exploding into our world on this date in 1908: physicist Edward Teller, the silent partner of Penn Jillette "Father of the Atomic Bomb" and a member of Robert Oppenheimer's "Project Manhattan." Among other creators of the Atomic Age (like Hans-Peter Dürr and Ernest Lawrence), Teller can be found here on this page. He's in the black suit at the lower left and across the bottom in this story by...who else?...Roy Thomas!


from Young All-Stars #23 (DC, March 1989), script by Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas, pencils by Ron Harris, inks by Bob Downs, colors by Gene D'Angelo, letters by Helen Vesik

Teller 'n' pals are kidnapped by Baron Blitzkrieg and his Axis Associates and strapped into this wacky tilt-a-whirl to drain their brains of all knowledge about the Atomic Bomb! Oh no! But the Young All-Stars save them, just like, I imagine Roy would point out, the JSA would've it it wasn't for Crisis on Infinite Earths.


from Young All-Stars #25 (DC, May 1989), , script by Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas, pencils by Ron Harris, inks by Bob Downs, colors by Shelley Eiber, letters by Jean Simek

Anyway, happy birthday, Eddie baby!

Today in Comics History, January 15: Happy birthday, Bob Petrecca!

Born on this day: comics inker Bob Petrecca (What If...?, Savage Dragon, The All-New Exiles, and others)!


from Marvel Age #97 (Marvel, February 1991), text by Chris Eliopoulis and Barry Dutter, art by Ron Zalme, colors by Renee Witterstaetter

Today in Comics History, January 15: Happy birthday, Gene Krupa!

Born on this day in 1909: jazz drummer, bandleader, and composer, the great Gene Krupa!


from Juke Box Comics #6 (Eastern Color, January 1949); text, art, and letters by Phil Berube

Happy birthday, Gene! Hope you have one that cannot be beat.

Today in Comics History, January 15: Happy birthday, Kevin Tinsley!

Born on this day: Kevin Tinsley, comics colorist (Spider-Man, Excalibur, Punisher and more), creator Stonehaven, and publisher (Stickman Graphics)!


from Marvel Age #49 (Marvel, April 1987), text by Mike Carlin, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme, colors by Paul Becton


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

Happy birthday, Kevin!

Today in Comics History, January 15: Happy birthday, Phyllis Coates!

Born on this day in 1927: actor Phyllis Coates, who played Clark Kent's foil, the inimitable Lois Lane, in the 1951 movie Superman and the Mole Men and in the first season of television's Adventures of Superman (1952-1953)!


from Limited Collectors' Edition #C-31 (DC, October 1974)


from "Superman's Photo Album" in The Amazing World of Superman treasury (DC, 1973)

Happy birthday, Phyllis! Now stop trying to prick George Reeves with a needle.

Today in Comics History, January 15: Happy birthday, Stan Kay!

Born on this day in 1924: comics scripter Stan Kay, who wrote a wide assortment of comic stories for Harvey (Casper the Friendly Ghost, Richie Rich, Wendy Witch World, etc.) and Marvel's Star line (Care Bears, Fraggle Rock, Muppet Babies, more)!


from Marvel Age #49 (Marvel, April 1987), text by Mike Carlin, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme, colors by Paul Becton

Happy birthday, Stan!

Today in Comics History, January 15: Happy birthday, Bill Morrison!

Born on this day and no other: Bill Morrison, comic book artist, writer, and editor; co-founder and creative director of the late lamented Bongo Comics (The Simpsons, Futurama, etc.); and draw-er of a lotta stuff, including the beloved (by me, of course) Jane Wiedlin's Lady Robotika!



from "Backstage at Bongo" in Bongo Comics Free-for-All 2006 (Bongo, May 2006), creators unidentified




Friday, January 14, 2022

Today in Comics History, January 14: Happy birthday, Faye Dunaway!

Born on this day: award-winning and acclaimed actress Faye Dunaway, star of some classic motion pictures as Bonnie and Clyde, Three Days of the Condor, Chinatown, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Thomas Crown Affair, and my personal favorite of her work, 1984's Supergirl!



from Supergirl Movie Special one-shot (DC, February 1985); script by Joey Cavalieri; pencils, inks, and colors by Gray Morrow; letters by John Costanza




Today in Comics History, January 14: Happy birthday, Rudy Nebres!

Born on this day in 1937: comics inker Rudy Nebres, who's done a huge amount of absolutely gorgeous work for most of the major companies in his career: Marvel, DC, Archie, Charlton, Valiant, Warren, Continuity, Pacific, CrossGen, and more!


L: from Marvel Age #49 (Marvel, April 1987), text by Mike Carlin, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme, colors by Paul Becton
R: from Marvel Age #86 (Marvel, March 1990), text by Chris Eliopoulos and Barry Dutter, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme, colors by Gregory Wright

Happy birthday, Rudy!


from "Red Sonja at the Mall" in Savage Sword of Conan (1974 b/w magazine series) #23 (October 1977), photograph by Bob Pinaha

Today in Comics History, January 14: Happy birthday, John Tartaglione!

Born on this day in 1921: comics penciller and inker John Tartaglione, whose credits span Atlas Comics (Young Men, Amazing Detective Cases), DC, Charlton, Gilberton (Classics Illustrated), the Dell Movie Clasics line, Catholic comic Treasure Chest, comic strips (The Amazing Spider-Man, Apartment 3-G) and Marvel Comics including The Rawhide Kid, Sgt. Fury, Daredevil, X-Men, Dazzler, and the million-seller The Life of Pope John Paul II. (And, as we say around here, many more!)


L: from Mighty Marvel Calendar 1979
R: from Fantastic Four Annual (1963 series) #7 (November 1969)

A very happy birthday to you, John!

Today in Comics History, January 14, 1914: Fanboys complain they've made Colonel Heeza Liar "too woke" in this version


from Comic Book History of Animation #1 (IDW, November 2020); script by Fred Van Lente; pencils, inks, colors and letters by Ryan Dunlavey

To me, it's a curious little cartoon whose interest lies mainly in his historicalvalue rather than its art. It's remarkably repetitive in the middle and there's a gag towards the end about shooting animals at a watering hole that seems like it'd be in (comic) character for Ross Allen. (Also, this version is silent and has no musical accompaniment.)


Maybe it's just me, but I don't think Colonel Heeza Liar can hold a candle to Commander McBragg.


Today in Comics History, January 14: Happy birthday, Albert Schweitzer!

Born on this day in 1874: theologian, organist, musicologist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, physician and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Albert Schweitzer! Here, read more about him from the ultimate font of knowledge and wisdom: a comic book!


from Classics Illustrated #136 (Gilberton, January 1957), creators unknown

Happy birthday, Albert! Or, as Paul Simon called you, Al.


Sam's Strip (April 27, 1963), co-script and letters by Mort Walker, co-script and art by Jerry Dumas

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Today in Comics History, January 13: Happy birthday, Suggs!

Happy birthday to one of my favorite musicians, that nutty boy Suggs (Graham McPherson), out of the British pop-ska group Madness! I bet 'round now you're saying, "Hey, Bully, Suggs never appeared in a comic book!"

YOU ARE WRONG.


cover of Look-In (1971 series) #3/1983 (ITV, 15 January 1983)

Look-In was a British companion magazine ("for young people") to TV shows that ran on the ITV commercial TV channel — only the third channel in the United Kingdom and its first commercial station (the fourth, the aptly named "Channel 4," premiered only a month or so before this magazine). It ran celebrity spotlights, pop star interviews and bios, comic strips and features on the stars and shows that they broadcast. Their "Madness" strip had been running about a year and a half by this point. Spring of 1983 was when my Pal John was studying in London for the semester, so he bought a lot of these (20p! Cheap!) including this very issue, but sadly lost them in one of his many moves before he adopted me. But I was able to find a few scans of one Madness strip online. Here's some excerpts.



from "It's Madness" in Look-In (1971 series) #5/1983 (ITV, 29 January 1983), script by Angus P. Allan, pencils and inks by Harry North

Sadly, the Madness strip was replaced by one about Bucks Fizz later in '83 (boo!), but there's at least one other place to find Madness Comix...within the pages of Nutty Boys, an official Madness fanzine that circulated for two issues in 1981.



from Nutty Boys: Madness Comix #1 (Madness Comix, 1981), creators unidentified

Learn all about those cheeky blokes of Madness! Say, Chas. Smash's birthday is tomorrow! Well, just read this post again.


And that's all of the Suggs I can find in comic books, 'less'n you count that one Ditko story where he was a low-down dirty yeller-bellied varmint in the Ollllllllld West.



from "Bonanza" in Outlaws of the West #81 (Charlton, May 1970), script by Joe Gill (?), pencils and inks by Steve Ditko, letters by Charlotte Jetter

Happy birthday, Suggs!

Today in Comics History, January 13: Arby's commercials get marginally weirder


from "Penultiman, Chapter Four" in Penultiman #4 (Ahoy, January 2021), script by Tom Peyer, pencils and inks by Alan Robinson, colors by Lee Loughridge, letters by Rob Steen

Today in Comics History, January 13: Happy birthday, Jerry Acerno!

Born on this day: comics writer, artist and inker Jerry Acerno (sometimes spelled as "Gerry")! Happy birthday, Jerry!

Jerry got his big break in comics with an inking review in "The New Talent Department" feature of an early issue of Marvel Age!


from Marvel Age #17 (Marvel, August 1984)





Today in Comics History, January 13: Happy birthday, ya big smelly ape! (He considers that a compliment, actually.)

Please join me in wishing a happy birthday to America's only ape, the fiendish and fleaish Gorilla Grodd! In fact, might I suggest...KNEEL BEFORE GRODD!


from Super DC Calendar 1976




Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Today in Comics History, January 12: Burning the ground, I break from the crowd / I'm on the hunt, I'm after you

Happy birthday to the hairest dawg of the 30th and/or 31st century, that lupine luminary of the Legion: Brin Londo, Timber Wolf!


from Super DC Calendar 1976




Today in Comics History, January 12: Happy birthday, Joe Frazier!

Born on this day in 1944: boxing great and heavyweight champion of the world Joe Frazier! He beat Muhammad Ali in 1971's "Fight of the Century," which means he goes on to fight Superman at the MGM Grand this fall.

"The Champ" in this Batman comic is never identifed by name in the story — but yeah, that's Joe Frazier!



from "Batman for a Night" in Detective Comics #417 (November 1971), script by Frank Robbins, pencils by Bob Brown, inks by Dick Giordano, letters by John Costanza

Hppay birthday, Smokin' Joe!


from Black Dynamite #4 (IDW, August 2014), script by Brian Ash, pencils and inks by Jun Lofamia, colors by JM Ringuet, letters by Chris Mowry

Today in Comics History, January 12: Happy Birthday, Harry "A" Chesler!

Born on this day in 1897 or 1898: Harry "A" Chesler, pioneer of commissioning, packaging and selling comics stories and full comic books to publishers in the early Golden Age — the first "shop" of writers and artists located. He also published series through his own Chesler Publications, including Bulls Eye Comics (ouch!), Dynamic Comics, Punch Comics, Scoop Comics, Spotlight Comics, Yankee Comics (gee, notice a theme?) and others. Among the later big names in the industry who worked in the Chesler Shop were Carmine Infantino, Joe Kubert, George Tuska, Otto Binder, and Mort Meskin.


from Comic Book Comics #2 (Evil Twin, October 2008); script by Fred Van Lente; pencils, inks, and letters by Ryan Dunlavey

Here's a good online article about Chelser by Jon Berk in Scoop!


Happy birthday, Harry! We salute you and your hyperbolic colophon!

Today in Comics History, January 12: Jonathan Hickman debuts Starbucks of X


from X-Factor (2020 series) #6 (Marvel, March 2021), script by Leah Williams, pencils and inks by David Baldeon, colors by Israel Silva, letters by Joe Caramagna

Today in Comics History, January 12, 1986: Comics Will Eat Itself



from Radioactive Man (1993 series) #5/679 (Bongo, 1994), script and layouts by Steve Vance, finishes by Tim Bavington, additional inks by Bill Morrison, colors by Cindy Vance

Today in Comics History, January 12, 1944: Cher overhears old man; comes up with new hit single


from "Killer at Large" in Police Line-Up #3 (Avon, April 1952), pencils and inks by Joe Kubert




Today in Comics History, January 12, 1963: "But Dad, it's Ringo!"


from The Beatles: Their Story in Pictures (ITV, 1982), script by Angus P. Allan, art by Arthur Ranson

Today in Comics History, January 12, 1938: What the Vision was really built out of


from "Hop Harrigan's History of American Aviation" in All-American Comics (1939 series) #45 (DC, December 1942), text and art by Joe L. Blummer

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Today in Comics History, January 11, 1935: Comics Oughta Be New Fun

On this day in 1935: headed by Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, National Allied Publications (the forerunner of DC Comics), publishes one of the first comic books of all-new (not reprinted from newspapers) comics: the oversized (seriously, it's bigger than a treasury!), all-black-and-white anthology book New Fun #1. Here's a news item from my local paper, back in the days when I was just a little flat-capped, all-singin', all-dancin' newsie!


from the Brooklyn Eagle (January 11, 1935)

(You can read more about its history - and other early DC Comics — at The Secret Origins of DC Comics blog!)

In 2020, DC put out a facsimile edition of New Fun #1 in their much-loved but long-dormant "Famous First Editions" series, and oh boy, I gotta tell ya, it's a doozy! Lookit how big this thing is! (I recemmend a hard copy rather than a digital version for exactly that reason.) You obviously won't find Batman or Superman or Angel Love in these pages — the DC Universe had yet to be built — but there's a lot of great gag strips and adventure stories, plus all the original text pages and ads. Look, here's my copy! It dwarves me.




Copies are still available out there in the wild, but I bet DC won't reprint this, so rush out right now (put some pants on first, of course) to your local comic store and buy it or ask them to see if they can order it for you, an if all else fails that big Monopoly Bookstore Online has it currently in stock. And hey, wait a minute, why were you reading my blog without pants on?


(Amazon ad)

You need New Fun in your life. We all need New Fun! Why, no lesser a sage than Mister Robert Zimmerman once intoned Everybody must get New Fun! Or somethin' like that.