Saturday, February 12, 2022

Today in Comics History, February 12: Happy Birthday, Abraham Lincoln!

Born on this day in 1809: Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, the Great Emanicipator, and the guy who grew up in a log cabin, did his school lessons on a shovel, and wishes in retrospect he hadn't been so keen to see Our American Cousin: Abraham Lincoln!

from Mighty Marvel Calendar 1976 (Marvel, December 1975)

Abe has been in comic books lotsa times, and IU've celebrated him several times in poss on this here puppet-town cow blog. Here's just a few: Next year: S'more of the 125+ comics panels featuring Abraham Lincoln that I've got hoarded away for just such a occasion like February 12. But now, I'm goin' to bed. It's been a long day. Happy birthday, Abe!

Today in Comics History, February 12: Happy birthday, Joe Don Baker!

Born on this day...

Y'know, every now and then when I'm researching an appearance by a celebrity in comic books, that same celebrity will be eventually revealed as just too pure for comic books. When even Winona Ryder and Olivia Newton-John are aply represented and star in comics but this one actor isn't, that does tend to point to his uniqueness in the field. I had rather hoped to find him in the pages of MAD, but it doesn't look like they've parodied a single one of his movies or TV shows.

I'd thought I hit the jackpot when I found out there had been a series from Topps Comics adapating the James Bond thriller GoldenEye...

from James Bond 007: Goldeneye #1-2 (Topps, January 1996), painted cover o #1 by Brian Stelfreeze

...but it turns out this comics miniseries was cancelled after issue #1, and today's birthday boy doesn't make an appearance in the movie until the second half, so we miss out on him in comics again!

That's why I'll just wish Joe Don Baker a very happy birthday, without being able to show any comic book that he's ever been in, at all.

...Except the 1975 Dell Movie Classic adapation of his greatest firm and most iconic role.

cover of Mitchell [Dell Classic Movie Comic] one-shot (Dell, September 1975), painted cover by John Saxon and Merlin Olsen

Happy birthday, Joe Don! Have some cake.

Face It Tiger February, Day 12: Please do not color outside the lines

from Spider-Man: Blue #2 (Marvel, August 2002), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by Tim Sale, colors by Steve Buccellato, letters by Wes Abbott

Today in Comics History, February 12, 1931: "Hello, Dracula." "How do you do, sir?' "Why, Count Dracula, nice to meet you!" "It is my pleasure, madame." "Hey, it's Dracula!" "Hello and velcome to my motion picture."

from Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood's Dracula (Humanoids/Life Drawn, September 2021), story and art by Koren Shadm, letters by Tom Napolitano

Today in Comics history, February 12, 1968: Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow prepare to divorce

from The 'Nam #82 (Marvel, July 1993), script by Don Lomax, pencils and inks by Wayne Vansant, colors by John Kalisz, letters by Phil Felix

Today in Comics History, February 12: Whatever Lulu wants, Lulu gets

from Marge's Little Lulu (1948 series) #32 (Dell, February 1951), script by John Stanley, pencils and inks by Irving Tripp

Today in Comic History, February 12: Happy birthday, Lou Bank!

Born on this day: Marvel's Director of Sales in the 1990s, Lou Bank!

from Marvel Age #87, 98, and 110 (Marvel, April 1990, and March 1991), text by Chris Eliopoulis and Barry Dutter (#87 and 98) & Mike Lackey (#110); pencils and inks by Ron Zalme (#87 and 98) and Darren Auck (#110); colors by Gregory Wright (#87) and Renee Witterstaetter (#98)

Happy birthday, Lou!

from Marvel Age #107 (Marvel, December 1991)

Today in Comics History, February 12: Happy birthday, Judd Winick!

Born today: comics writer and artist Judd Winick! He's worked on many of the top-name DC comics series: Green Lantern, Green Arrow, The Outsiders, The Trials Of Shazam!, Justice League: Generation Lost, a co-writer of Countdown to Infinite Crisis (I'm gonna hold that againast ya, Judd), Green Arrow and Black Canary, Catwoman, and he's the writer who reintroduced Jason Todd to the DC Universe as the Red Hood. (But I won't hold that against ya, Judd.) Winick's the co-creator of Grace Choi, Thunder, Tommy Merlyn and more, creator of Barry Ween, Boy Genius, the Cartoon Network's The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, and he created the all-ages graphic novel series Hilo.

portion of advertisement from Hilo and His Friends Get Graphic Halloween ComicFest 2008 (Random House Graphic, October 2018)

Winick's magnum opus, however, is probably his (auto)biographical Pedro and Me, which recounts his time spent as a cast member of MTV's The Real World: San Francisco...

from Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned (Henry Holt, August 2000); script, pencils, inks and letters by Judd Winick

It was on The Real World that Judd met and began a relationship with his eventual wife, housemate Pam Ling...

...and housemmate Pedro Zamora, a HIV-positive AIDS activist and educator and eventual great friend.

Pedro and Me is a funny, sobering, loving, eye-opening sketch of Pedro and Judd and Pam and their friendship. It was one of the first books (graphic novel or otherwise) I'd read about an HIV-positive person, and it's not an exaggeration to say it had a major effect upon my current progressive views. Even twenty years later it still has the power to inspire me. I may have chosen to feature it today because Judd Winick is in it and his birthday, but this is an all-time must-read. Happy birthday, Judd. We miss you, Pedro.

Infomation on Pedro Zamora and the Pedro Zamora Scholarship:

Today in Comics History, February 12, 1941: Revenge is a dish best served cold!

"Murder in the Frozen North" in Murderous Gangsters #4 (Avon, June 1952), creators unknown

"Payed?" "PAYED?"

Today in Comics History, February 12: Happy birthday, Joe Albelo!

Born on this day: Joe Albelo, Marvel and Acclaim/Valiant Comics penciller/inker/letterer!

from Marvel Age #26, 50, 87 and 98 (Marvel, May 1985, May 1987, April 1990, and March 1991), text by Jim Salicrup (#26), Mike Carlin (#50), and Chris Eliopoulis and Barry Dutter (#87 and 98); pencils and inks by Ron Zalme; colors by Gregory Wright (#87) and Renee Witterstaetter (#98)

Joe's worked on Magnus: Robot Fighter, Solar: Man of the Atom, Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham, Crazy Magazine, Moon Knight, What If...?, and others. He also did...this weird stuff, I guess, although I wouldn't bet on that not being a spoof.

from What If...? (1977 series) #34 (Marvel, August 1982), script and letters by Rick Parker, pencils and inks by Joe Albelo

Happy birthday, Joe!

Friday, February 11, 2022

Face It Tiger February, Day 11: This is the reaction you'd actually get if you said that line in the real world

from The Unbelievable Gwenpool #8 (Marvel, January 2017), script by Christopher Hastings, art by Irene Strychalski, colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, letters by Clayton Cowles

Today in Comics History, February 11: Happy birthday, Sheryl Crow!

Born on this day: singer/songwriter/girl who all she wanna do is have some fun (I got a feeling she's not the only one): Sheryl Crow! You were once in a Simpson comic, Sheryl, so you get a spotlight on my blog! (Even though k.d. lang's "Surrender" was a better theme than "Tomorrow Never Dies.")

from Simpsons Comics #65 (Bongo, December 2001), script by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Horacio Sandoval, inks by Steve Steere Jr., colors by Art Villanueva, letters by Karen Bates

Happy birthday, Sheryl! (But really, no, check this out:)

PS: k.d. lang's birthday is November 2.

Today in Comics History, February 11: Happy birthday, Tony Mortellaro!

Born on this day: Tony Mortellaro, comic book inker and Marvel production personnel!

from Mighty Marvel Calendar 1976 (Marvel, December 1975)

You can see a much better photo of him and John Verpoortenand at work in the Marvel Bullpen, yet! — at The Untold Story Tumblr by Sean Howe, author of the superb Marvel Comics: The Untold Story (Amazon ad)

Tony worked on comics for the companies Trojan Magazines and Stanmor (really, shouldn't Marvel be called "Stanmor"?) through the 1950s, but later almost exclusive did work for Marvel/Atlas, on Western war, and chiller titles like Journey into Unknown Worlds, Battleground, Mystic, Astonishing, Ghoul Tales...

I used that text element from the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #97 (one of the infamous Harry Osborn Does Drugs/No Comics Code Authority Seal issues) rather than my usual typing-out of the words, because in the 1970s, Tony did inks (or background inks) on Marvel titles: Vault of Evil, Dracula Lives, Captain America, more...but especially for Marvel's flagship: The Amazing Spider-Man (and, its easy-to-read kid brother, Spidey Super Stories)! Even when Tony's not credited and did the background (not figure) inks, he sometimes gives you a clue his steady inkin' hand has been there:

from Amazing Spider-Man (1962 series) #98 (Marvel, July 1971), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Gil Kane, inks by Frank Giacoia, backgrund inks (uncredited) by Tony Mortellaro, letters by Artie Simek

Ah, Tony, you joker (copyright ©1940 DC Comics). I need to re-read my ASMs again from that period (1971-1993, roughly ASM #92-125) and see if I can detect more "signs" of Tony Mortellaro! That's not a burden, those are some darn fine comics!

And Tony Mortellaro was a darn fine inker. Happy birthday, Tony!

Today in Comics History, February 11, 1776: ♫ A three month tour, a three month tour ♫

text story "Birth of the Leathernecks" in Superman (1939 series) #50 (DC/National, September 1949); pencils, inks, and colors by Raymond Perry (?)

Today in Comics History, February 11: Happy birthday, Rich DuFour!

Born on this day: Rich DuFour: Marvel paste-up artist in the late '80s and Wizard Entertainment's art director in the early '90s!

from Marvel Age #50 (Marvel, May 1987), text by Mike Carlin, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme

from (L) Marvel Age #46 (Marvel, January 1987) and (R) Marvel/New Universe comics cover-dated July 1987

And inside the 616, Rich, along with Marvel letterer Bill Oakley, was a front-page reporter for the New York Daily Threat or Menace!

cover from Daredevil (1964 series) #242 (Marvel, May 1987), pencils and inks by Keith Pollard

Happy birthday, Rich!

Today in Comics History, February 11, 1940: John Buchan, Governor General of Canada, vows on his deathbed that the Leader of Canada shall never hesitate to dispense with terrorists

from "[John Buchan:] Man of the People" in Real Heroes #9 (Parents' Magazine Institute, March 1943), pencils and inks by Al Bare

Today in Comics History, February 11: World saved from alien invasion by 12 big hits in a row with no commercial interruptions

from "Return to Karonia!" in Adventures into the Unknown #122 (ACG, February 1961), script by Richard Hughes as Shane O'Shea, pencils and inks by Ogden Whitney

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Today in Comics History, February 10: Happy birthday, Laura Dern!

Born on this very happy day, and we're glad the world gave her to us: actress, filmmaker, Academy Award-winner and all-around cool person Laura Dern! She hasn't been in as many movies or TV shows as I'd like (because of cowardly and homophobic backlashes after she appeared as a lesbian in Ellen), but she's done lots we do love: Mask, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Rambling Rose, October Sky, Little Women, I Am Sam, Twin Peaks, Inland Empire, F Is for Family, Big Little Lies, Bastard Out of Carolina, and a little indie film you may have heard of called Jurassic Park:

from "Jurass-Has-Had-It Park" in MAD #323 (December 1993), script by Dick Debartolo, pencils and inks by Mort Drucker

You remember the Second Rule of Comics Oughta Be Fun!, don't you?: You ain't nobody 'til you've been drawn by Mort Drucker!

Face It Tiger February, Day 10: We now return to the T'Challa and Wade Holiday Special, brought to you by Dolly Madison Cakes and Pies

from Black Panther vs. Deadpool #4 (Marvel, March 2019), script by Daniel Kibblesmith, art by Richard López Ortiz, colors by Felipe Sobreiro, letters by Joe Sabino

Today in Comics History, February 10: Happy birthday, Dame Judith Anderson!

Born on this day in 1897 and yet she still appeared in a Star Trek: Dame Judith Anderson!

from Star Trek Movie Special [#1] [Star Trek: The Search for Spock] (DC, September 1984), script by Mike W. Barr, pencils by Ric Estrada, inks by Ricardo Villagran, colors by Michele Wolfman, letters by John Costanza

Happy birthday, Dame Judith!

Today in Comics History February 10: Happy birthday, Larry Adler!

Born on this day in 1914, the great harmonica player Larry Adler!

from "Larry Adler: Know Your Judges" in Juke Box Comics #3 (Eastern Color, July 1948), pencils by Gil Kane, inks by Gil Kane (?) or Frank Giacoia (?)

Happy birthday, Larry!

Fun with Comics: PETER: "Aw, go fall off a bridge!"

from Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #70 (Marvel, March 1969), plot and layouts by John Romita, Sr., script by Stan Lee, finishes by Jim Mooney, letters by Sam Rosen

Today in Comics History, February 10: Happy birthday, Jerry Goldsmith!

Riddle me this, Bully blog buddies! What do all of the following comic books have in common? (cackling laugh, hacking cough, clears my throat, sucks on a lozenge)

Give up? You can't figure it out? No clue that...oh, I gave it away in the title of this post. That these are all films or TV that have been scored by master composer and multi-time Oscar and Emmy winner Jerry Goldsmith, today's birthday boy, born 1929? Oh. Never mind.

Happy birthday, Jerry!

Bully Eats Food: À la recherche du temps perdu

Ah yes, this madeleine brings back specific memories!

Namely, memories of eating madeleines. Yum!

Today in Comics History, February 10, 1942: Roy Thomas plays fast and loose with actual history*

from All-Star Squadron #24 (DC, August 1983), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Jerry Ordway, inks by Mike Machlan, colors by Gene D'Angelo, letters by David Cody Weiss

*Actually, when isn't it "Roy Thomas Plays Fast and Loose with Actual History Day?"

Today in Comics History, February 10, 1942: Wait, so this scene is earlier than the one shown an issue and a half earlier...?

Wait, if the sabotage of the Normandie took place around 3 PM, as All-Star Squadron #24 tells us, why is issue #26 set before that one?

from All-Star Squadron #26 (DC, October 1983), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Jerry Ordway, inks by Mike Machlan, colors by Gene D'Angelo, letters by David Cody Weiss

Also potentially occuring during that backward time period: the entirety of All-Star Squadron #25!

cover of All-Star Squadron #25 (DC, September 1983), pencils and inks by Jerry Ordway, letters by Gaspar Saladino

Also, during that time, you could apparently win some peanut butter!

advertisement from All-Star Squadron #25

Yes, Superman Peanut Butter! One of the fifty things that made DC Comics great! Not included: Jack Kirby, Dick Giordano, Sergio Aragonés, Bob Haney, Dick Sprang, José Luis García-López, Joe Orlando, Marshall Rogers, Archie Goodwin...etc., etc., etc. Peanut butter über them!

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

Today in Comics History, February 10: Happy birthday, Vigilante!

Born on this day in the DC Universe: Vigilante! Naw, not the guy on the Peacemaker show...the original Vigilante, Greg Sanders (later "under the name of Saunders"), the Singing Cowboy Crimefighter, Rogue with a Rope, Fighting Hero of the West!

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

Vigilante! Created in the pages of Action Comics by Mort Weisinger and Mort Meskin, he rode out of the west to sing and rope criminals, and he's all out of songs! But wait, he does have some rope and he's gonna lasso himself up some crime! Yee-haw!

from "[The Origin of the Vigilante]" in Action Comics (1938 series) #42 (DC, November 1941), script by Mort Weisinger, pencils and inks by Mort Meskin

"Next month: A thrilling Vigilante adventure!" And DC were better than their word. Vigilante appeared in the next issue of Action Comics and for the following 155 issues. Give or take a racist sidekick (ugh) or two, that's a lotta cow-punchin' adventures. (Dear Mr. Saunders: please do not punch cows. Love, Bully.) And he was a founding member of the Seven...or Eight, if you count Stripesy...or nine, if your count Wing...okay, okay, the Nine Soldiers of Victory!

from "Beware! The Black Star Shines!, Chapter 1" in Leading Comics #2 (DC/World's Best Comics, Spring 1942), script by Mort Weisinger, pencils and inks by Mort Meskin

Vigilante even holds the record as EDIT: one of the first DC heroes ever on film in a 1947 Columbia serial, played by Ralph Byrd (Dick Tracy). Start wondering now: "Gosh, how is he ever gonna get outta that cliffhanger?!?" Thanks to eagle-eyed commenter jmurphy for reminding my little stuffed brain that I'd forgotten the first DC serial was the 1943 Batman!

But you (and I!) probably know Vigilante better from his exceptional song-story "Grey and Blue: The Ballad of Batman" from the much-loved and -missed ('specially by me!) animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold!:

So happy birthday, Vigilante, and keep on dispensing both justice and trhose easy-listening cowboy hit songs of the Golden Age!