Saturday, February 26, 2022

Face It Tiger February, Day 26: Mace It, Tiger

from Invincible Iron Man (2017 series) #594 (Marvel, January 2018), script by Brian Michael Bendis, pencils and inks by Stefano Caselli and Alex Maleev, colors by Israel Silva and Alex Maleev, letters by Clayton Cowles

Today in Comics History, February 26: Happy birthday, Fats Domino!

Fats Domino was born today in 1928, American rock-and-roll singer/songwriter/piano player. "The Fat Man," "Ain't That a Shame, "Blueberry Hill,", "wait and see," "Walking to New Orleans," "I'm Walkin'"...rock 'n' roll would be pretty poor without these hits and Fats performing them.

Only one comic book appearance of Fats Domino that I could find, but at least he's right on the cover!

cover of Archie and Me #62 (Archie, January 1974), artist uncredited and unknown

I have questions about this cover. Why is the "me" in Archie and Me Mr. Weatherbee, but the "me" in Betty and Me and Reggie and Me is Archie? Also, who woulda ever thought a comic about the relationship between a teenager and his high school principal could last 161 issues? Hey, they didn't have massive quintuple layered hamburgers in the fifties, Jughead! And they didn't have those red plastic cups in the fities! I CALL SHENANIGANS. But I do appreciate how Archie dressing as if he were in the exactly Archie from the fifties.

cover of Archie Comics (1942 series) #71 (Archie, November 1954), artist uncredited and unknown

Sorry for dipping a little into Archie mythology, Fats, but happy birthday to you! Thanks for all the piano-rollin' rock!

Today in Comics History, February 26: Happy birthday, Johnny Cash!

cover of Daredevil (1964 series) #284 (Marvel, September 1990), pencils by Lee Weeks, inks by Al Williamson

Why, he's Johnny Cash, born on this day in 1932! Yes, Johnny Cash, the great American singer, songwriter, actor, and comic book star!

cover of Hello, I'm Johnny Cash one-shot (Revell, 1976), pencils and inks by Al Hartley

Johnny was the star of this Spire Christian Comics autobiographical comic focusing on his life, career, and spirituality, focusing on his descent into drinking, drugs, and behavior Jesus would tsk his tongue over, until he is saved by his belief in Christ and, oh yeah, stopping with the boozing, pills, and womanizing. Well, I coulda told ya that, Johnny; you didn't have to bother Jesus about it. Despite its moral messages, though, it'a actually a fun comic, and doesn't back off from showing some of Johnny's badass moments.

from Hello, I'm Johnny Cash one-shot (Revell, 1976); script by Billy Zeoli; pencils, inks, and letters by Al Hartley

Not a lot of people know that (copyright ©1966 Michael Caine) Johnny starred in a comic as an old-timey Western star back in the 1950s!

from "His Lasso and the Law!" in Apache Trail #3 (Farrell, February 1958), pencils by Charles Sultan

Naw, I tell a little fib (copyright ©2021 Bully). This is actually the adventures of Johnny Lash, reprinted from Crack Western which is Whack Western #75 from Quality Comics in 1951, but the hero has been re-named Cash (maybe because of rights issues) and the story is re-lettered in this reprint! The narration and dialogue is rewritten as well.

from "Hangnoose Sunrise!" in Crack Western #75 (Quality, November 1951), pencils by Charles Sultan

But can't ya picture the real Johnny Cash actually having these adventures? i can, because I have a vivid, action-packed cinematic imagination that often stars Johnny Cash.

from Apache Trail #3

These been a few very good Cash comics biographies over the past few years. I especially like this one:

from Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness (Abrams, 2009), script and art by Reinhold Kleist

So, we wish you a happy birthday, Johnny Cash! You're no longer here, but your music — and your legend — is still with us! Thanks, Man in Black!

from Gumby (2006 series) #2 (Wildcard, November 2006), pencils and inks by Rick Geary, colors by Steve Oliff

Friday, February 25, 2022

Face It Tiger February, Day 25: Squirrels All the Bad Guys Want

from The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2015b series) #8 (Marvel, July 2016), script by Ryan North, pencils and inks by Erica Henderson, colors by Rico Renzi, letters by Travis Lanham

I don't build my world 'round no single man
But I'm gettin' by doin' what I can
I am free to be what I want to be
An' all what I want to be is a modern squirrel

Today in Comics History, February 25: Happy birthday, Rick Geary!

A very happy birthday today to award-winning comics artist and illustrator Rick Geary, who you'll know from National Lampoon, The New York Times Book Review, A Treasury of Victorian Murder and A Treasury of XXth Century Murder, Classics Illustrated, graphic novel biographies of J. Edgar Hoover and Trotsky, plus lots more, including two of my favorite comic books of all time: the Wildcard Ink Gumby series and Dark Horse's Junior Carrot Patrol. Both are the sheer definition of "Comics Oughta Be Fun!" — and they are. I highly recommend pickin' 'em up wherever you see 'em.

from Usagi Yojimbo #100 (Dark Horse, January 2007); script by Mike Richardson; pencils, inks, and letters by Rick Geary

Happy birthday, Rick!

from A Treasury of XX Century Murder Compendium I (NBM, April 2017), art by Rick Geary

Today in Comics History, February 25: Happy birthday, Lev Gleason!

Born today in 1898, so don't mention his age: Lev Gleason, writer, editor, and publisher of the aptly named Lev Gleason Comics line (what are the chances, huh?), including Daredevil Comics, Crime Does Not Pay, and Boy Comics, Silver Streak Comics, Black Diamond Western, and many others.

That's winning in comics books, wouldn't you say? Until you read this: "While at United Features, Lev Gleason was one of those who rejected the submission of Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster." Oh, geez, Lev. There, there, honey. It'll be okay. Stop crying.

Here's Lev with other Gleason-published comics creators Bob Wood and Charles Biro:

from Lev Gleason comics indicia-dated September, 1946

Here It Is! Small caricatures of Lev, Bob, and Charles!

house ad from Daredevil Comics (1941 series) #65 (Lev Gleason, August 1950), creators unknown

So, how do you feel about all these birthday greetings, Lev?

Today in Comics History, February 25: Happy birthday, Gert Fröbe!

Born today in 1913, a pretty bad time to be born German but he seems to have done eventually okay by himself*: actor Gert Fröbe, bombasting his way through movies like Goldfinger, The Threepenny Opera, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, The Longest Day, and Is Paris Burning?, where he appeared alongside Orson Welles. Gert 'n' Orson in the same scene: the reason CinemaScope was invented.

from "Is Paris Boring?" in MAD #113 (September 1967), script by Lou Silverstone, pencils and inks by Mort Drucker

*Although there are some pretty serious strikes against him, I believe that Fröbe was a victim to his time, location, and nationality. Wikipedia tells us that
Frobe joined the Nazi Party in 1929 at the age of 16 and left in 1937.

In September 1944, theatres in Germany were closed down and Fröbe was drafted into the German Army, where he served until the end of the war.

After his party membership became known after World War II, Israel banned Fröbe's films until, Mario Blumenau, a Jewish survivor, revealed just eight weeks later that his life and his mother's were probably saved when Fröbe hid them from the Nazis.

So, happy birthday, Gert!

TodayI in Comics History, February 25: Happy birthday, George Harrison!

Born on this day in 1943: Happy birthday, to singer, songwriter, and producer George Harrison! Oh yeah, in case you didn't know, he was one of them there Beatles. My favorite Beatle, in fact, moving on from an age where my favorite Beatle was first Ringo Starr, then Paul McCartney, then John Lennon, and now George. I think I have run out of Beatles to have as my favorite, unlike my fandom of The Rutles. In that case I can always move onto Leppo. He didn't know how to play an instrument, but he did know how to have a good time.

from The Beatles: Their Story in Pictures (ITV, 1982), script by Angus P. Allan, art by Arthur Ranson (collected from the strip in (Look-In)

"Sorry, girls, he's spiritual!"

from The Beatles one-shot (Dell, September 1964), pencils and inks by Joe Sinnott

Happy birthday also to this guitar! Just today it has reached the ripe old retirement age of 65, unless George lent it to Pete Townshend.

And a happy birthday, we guess, to George's mysterious childhood ailments!

Naw, just to George. Happy birthday, George!

from (top) Yellow Submarine one-shot (Gold Key, February 1969), script by Paul S. Newman, pencils by Jose Delbo; and
(bottom) The Beatles: Yellow Submarine graphic novel (Titan, August 2008); script and pencils by Bill Morrison, inks by Andrew Pepoy and Tone Rodriguez, colors by Nathan Kane, letters by Aditya Bidikar

Today in Comics History, February 25: ♬ Happy birthday, Enrico Caruso! ♬

Born on this day in 1873: the great Italian opera singer Enrico Caruso! Acclaimed at theatres across the world, he's the guy you probably think of in your head when somebody tells the Pagliacci joke. "But Doctor, I'm Enrico Caruso!"

He made Xavier Cugat (who was also a cartoonist, didja know that?) into a big music star, too! (Stay tuned for much more of this comic when we celebrate Cugat on his birthday of...holy cow, January 1?!? I'm getting artists booked into spots on this blog into the upcoming year!)

from "Xavier Cugat: The Rhumba King" in Juke Box Comics #2 (Eastern Color, May 1948), pencils and inks by Phil Berube

A rare Caruso recording serves as an action-packed MacGuffin for Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood!

from The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #6 (Marvel, June 1983), co-plot and script by David Michelinie, co-plot by Archie Goodwin, layouts by Howard Chaykin, finishes by Terry Austin, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Joe Rosen

Sono un torello impagliato e ti auguro, grande Maestro, il più felice compleanno, signor Enrico Caruso!

Today in Comics History, February 25, 1942: Same As it Ever Was, Part 73,661 of ∞

from All-Star Squadron #38 (DC, October 1984), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Rick Hoberg, inks by Bill Collins and Mike DeCarlo, colors by Gene D'Angelo, letters by David Cody Weiss

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Face It Tiger February, Day 24: Hairy Jane Watson

from Amazing Spider-Man: Full Circle #1 one-shot (Marvel, December 2019), script by Nick Spencer, pencils and inks by Mike Allred, colors by Laura Allred, letters by Joe Caramagna

Today in Comics History, February 24, 1836: And a hundred and eighty were challenged by Travis to die / By the line that he drew with his sword when the battle was nigh

from Classics illustrated #129 [Davy Crockett] (Gilberton, November 1955), pencils and inks by Lou Cameron

Today in Comics History, February 24: Happy birthday, Winslow Homer!

Born today in 1836, so let's all give a big birthday salute to Homer!

cover of Simpsons Comics #215 (Bongo, October 2014), pencils by Jason Ho, inks by Mike Rote, colors by Nathan Kane

No, no! Winslow Homer, painter of light landscapes, men, and the sea. Look, he's even on (a small corner of) this comic book! Ah yes, Real Life Comics, "True Adventures of the World's Greatest Heroes." I just imagine young boys were knocking each other down to race to the newsstand and be the first to slap down one thin dime for this red-blooded, he-man adventure comic of derring-do which spotlighted...a writer, an architect, a painter, and two guys we've never heard of. What, was Ray "Crash" Corrigan busy that month?

cover of Real Life Comics #31 (Pines, May 1946), creators unknown

One thing you can say about Winslow Homer: he was rugged. Why, ask anyone around those thar parts and they'd tell you "He was rugged." He was so rugged he didn't have any rugs in his house because they couldn't hold up to comparison.

from Winslow Homer: Rugged Painter of a Rugged America in Real Life Comics #31, creators unknowwn

You've got to hand it to ol' Winslow: he chose a life of painting the sea, the famously ungrateful sea, instead of making mucho bucks painting, I dunno, the covers of Dell comic books. His back-cover bonus pin-ups of Magnus Robot Fighter were sublime.

Suddenly, he got old and died. Well, that's gonna happen.

Have a rugged birthday, rugged Winslow "Rugged" Homer!

Today in Comics History, February 24: Happy birthday, Mindy Fisch!

Happy birthday today to Mindy Fisch, foreign contracts coordinator at Marvel in the late 1980s-early 1990s!

from Marvel Age #87 (Marvel, April 1990), text by Chris Eliopoulis and Barry Dutter, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme, colors by Gregory Wright

Happy birthday, Mindy!

from Marvel Age #60 (April 1988)