Saturday, March 19, 2022

Liberty Bell March, Day 19: Suck on this, Scott McCloud!

You may not have seen this if you don't own a copy of the wonderful but long out-of-print but lucky-for-you-it's-been-recently-re-released The Brand New Monty Python Bok (Amazon ad). Originally its was published with a printed on fingerprint-smudged cover, but I've worked in bookstores and I know exactly how dangerous it can be when publishers design a cover to look distressed on purpose: customer loudly complaining that they can't find a copy in mint condition and hitting you about the head with a Danielle Steel hardcover.

There's plenty of adaptations of Python skits and sketches as well as a slew of new stuff only seen here, like "Let's Talk About Bottoms," "The Python Book of Etiquette," "The Anagrams Gape," and the justly-famous "Page 71." If'n your a Python fan, it's well worth tracking this one down (used copies abound at much less expensive prices than the new edition) as well as the companion Monty Python's Big Red Book "Special new hardcover edition" (in paperback with a blue cover.)

Anyway: comics by a Python instead of just about them, for once:


from The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok hardcover (Eyre Methuan, 1973), by Terry Gilliam

Today in Comics History Future, March 19, 2064: Mars ain't the kind of place to catch COVID


from "Class of 2064: Class Trip" in New Talent Showcase (1984 series) #1 (DC, January 1984), script and letters by Todd Klein, pencils and inks by Scott Hampton, colors by Shelley Eiber

Friday, March 18, 2022

Liberty Bell March, Day 18: DON'T DATE ROBOTS!

Tonight's installment of Liberty Bell March is brough to you live from the Grill-O-Mat Snack Bar in Paignton, and was suggested to me by pal Greg A. on Twitter! Thanks, Greg! You receive the coveted No-Bull Prize, filled to the rim with Spam.


from Young Justice in No Man's Land #1 one-shot (DC, July 1999), script by Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty, pencils by Andy Kuhn, inks by Chris Ivy, colors by Digital Chameleon, letters by Comicraft



"Nudge Nudge" from And Now for Something Completely Different (Python (Monty) Pictures, 1971), written by Eric Idle


Oh, and...


from "I Dated a Robot" on Futurama, season 3, episode 15 (The Curiosity Company/20th Television, May 13, 2001), written by Eric Kaplan

Today in Comics History, March 18: Happy birthday, Grover Cleveland!

Born on this very day right here in 1837: Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, who is known today pretty much only for that: his non-consecutive Presidency — what we would call a "reboot" in modern parliance. Given a guess, most people on the street would know that and perhaps also suggest that Grover Cleveland was some sort of anthropomorphic animal, perhaps a giant groundhog.

But didja know Grover Cleveland was often sometimes well, okay infrequently featured in comic books? I suppose you have come to suspect that seeing as I'm devoting a post to him in my blog. Darn my highly predictable ways!

First off, Grover liked boats. The sailing Grover! Captain Grover! Commodore Grover, it is. (There: you now know twice as much about Grover Cleveland as the average American. That's a Real Fact.)


from "Gifts to the President" in Real Fact Comics #17 (DC, November 1948), credtors unknown




Today in Comics History, March 18: Happy birthday, Frank McLaughlin!

Born today in 1935: comics illustrator Frank McLaughlin, artist on the comic strip Gil Thorp (and assistant on Brenda Starr, Nancy, and The Heart of Juliet Jones). He's also drawn extensively for DC (Batman, The Flash, Justice League of America, more), Marvel (Captain America, The Defenders, and others) and Charlton, where he was art director, co-created Judomaster, and worked on Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt, Son of Vulcan, among others!

advertisement in The Charlton Arrow (2014 series) #2 (Comicfix, 2014)
(Click picture to giant-octopus-strangling-Ted-Kord-size)

As might be expected by creator of a character like Judomaster, Frank was also a martial arts enthusiast and expert, and wrote and drew beautiful and detailed instructional pages for books like Marvel's Deadly Hands of Kung Fu b/w magazine:

from "Kihon Kumite" in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #9 (Marvel, February 1975), written and drawn by Frank McLaughlin
(Click picture to bigass-roundhouse-kick-size)

Happy birthday, Frank!

Today in Comics History, March 18: Happy birthday, Bill Reinhold!

Born on this day: Bill Reinhold, comic book penciller and inker! He's worked on The Badger, The Punisher, Earth X, Batman, Silver Surfer, Magnus Robot Fighter, Van Helsing vs. Jack the Ripper, and co-created the series Spyke for Epic Comics.


from Marvel Age #99 (Marvel, April 1991), text by Chris Eliopoulis and Barry Dutter, art by Ron Zalme, colors by Renee Witterstaetter; and Marvel Age #111 (Marvel, April 1992), text by Mike Lackey, art Darren Auck

Happy birthday, Bill!

Today in Comics History, March 18: Batman enters his Blue Period


from Batman: Dark Victory #7 (DC, June 2000), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by Tim Sale, colors by Gregory Wright, color separations by Heroic Age, letters by Richard Starkings
(Click top panel to Big Blue-size)

Today in Comics History, March 18, 2003: The Batman issue where Damian dies is spoiled by the media


from Batman: Orphans #1 (DC, February 2011), script by Eddie Berganza, pencils by Carlo Barberi, inks by Juan Vlasco, colors by Chuck Pires and Michael J. DiMotta, letters by John Workman

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Today in Lucky St. Patrick's Day Comics History, March 17: The budget's not in the green


from "A Very Harley Holiday" in DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1 one-shot (DC, February 2017), script by Paul Dini, pencils and inks by Elsa Charretier, colors by Hi-Fi, letters by Josh Reed

Today in Lucky St. Patrick's Day Comics History, March 17: The boys of the GCPD choir were singing Galway Bay


from Batman: Dark Victory #6 (DC, April 2000), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by Tim Sale, colors by Gregory Wright, color separations by Heroic Age, letters by Richard Starkings

Liberty Bell March, Day 17: And Now for Something Completely Elseworlds

Superman: True Brit is a 2004 DC original graphic novel that poses the puzzling question: What if Baby Kal-El had landed in England instead of Kansas?


from Superman: True Brit graphic novel (DC, December 2004), script by Kim "Howard" Johnson "with some help by" John Cleese, pencils by John Byrne, inks by Mark Farmer, colors by Alex Bleyaert, letters by Bill Oakley and Jack Morelli

There's a lot of talent attached here: It's based on ideas by Python John Cleese, John Byrne's on art, and long-time Monty Python historian and biographer Kim "Howard" Johnson wrote the script. And with a pedigree like that you probably know right away that this is not going to be a staunch, serious Elseworlds like USSR Superman (plus Batman and his furry hat). No, it is...rather silly. Which is fun! We don't get enough of that silliness in a Superman story much anymore.

The book includes several verbal and visual nods to the Pythons, their sketches and movies, and their various side projects. I won't include videos for them, but I bet you can identify most of the references! Have fun, and remember: "The Universe consists of a billion, billion galaxies...77,000,000,000 miles across, and every galaxy is made up of a billion, zillion stars and around these stars circle a billion planets, and of all of these planets the greenest and the pleasantest is the planet Earth, in the system of Sol, in the Galaxy known as the Milky Way."










And that's just the ones I found on my recent re-read. I am pretty sure that in keeping with the theme of this month, this comic has the most Monty Python references ever in a single comic book. Including some copies of Monty Python's Two-in-One.

Today in Comics History, March 17: Wow, A. C. are B!


from "Lady Cop" in Gang Busters #9 (DC, April 1949), script by Phil Evans, pencils and inks by Dan Barry

Today in Lucky St. Patrick's Comics Day History, March 17: That was actually industrial waste, Commissioner Gordon


from Batman: The Long Halloween #6 (DC, May 1997), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by Tim Sale, colors by Gregory Wright, letters by Richard Starkings

St. Patrick's Day: Hey, remember when his name was "L.C.?" Me either.


advertisement from DC Comics cover-dated October 1964, artist unknown

Today in Comics History, March 17: Alanis Morissette, The Dark Knight


from "The Challenge of the Calendar Man!" in Detective Comics #259 (DC, September 1958), script by Bill Finger, pencils by Sheldon Moldoff, inks by Charles Paris

Today in Lucky St. Patrick's Day Comics History, March 17: Vicious slur on the Dutch weaponized


from Spider-Man: Marvels Snapshots one-shot (Marvel, December 2020); script, pencils, and inks by Howard Chaykin, colors by Jesus Aburtov, letters by Ken Bruzenak

Today in Comics History, March 17, 1969: Howard Chaykin was an early adopter of what we're all doin' now


from "On March 17, 1969..." in witzend (1968 series) #10 (Wonderful, 1976); script, pencils, and inks by Howard Chaykin

Today in Lucky St. Patrick's Day Comics History, March 17: Leprechaun waits on stoop to enact Irish Kitchen Mob vengeance


from Batman: The Long Halloween #6 (May 1997), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by Tim Sale, colors by Gregory Wright, letters by Richard Starkings

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Liberty Bell March, Day 16: Parrot Sketch Not Included


from Doctor Who Free Comic Book Day 2017 one-shot (Titan, May 2017), script by Alex Paknadel; pencils and inks by Mariano Laclaustra, Pier Brito, and Nico Selma; colors by Carlos Cabrera and Brittany Peer; letters by Richard Starkings


"Dead Parrot Sketch" on Monty Python's Flying Circus episode "Full Frontal Nudity," series 1, episode 8 (7 December 1969), written by John Cleese and Graham Chapman

Today in Comics History, March 16: Happy birthday, Grace Kremer!

Born on this day in 1924: Grace Kremer, letterer on comics from the Golden Age through the 1980s, including Heathcliff, Top Dog, Ewoks, Wally the Wizard, ALF, Richie Rich, Saved by the Bell, New Kids on the Block, and many more! Married to artist Warren Kremer, she first met and worked with him on the book Hap Hazard (Ace, 1944-1949), his first comic book assignment.


from Marvel/Star Comics cover-dated December 1988

Happy birthday, Grace!

Today in Comics History, March 16: Russians gonna russia



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

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Today in Comics History, March 15: Happy birthday, Alex Segura!

Happy birthday today X2 to pal author Alex Segura, whose Archie comics I've enjoyed a lot, as well as his Pete Hernadez mysteries! i say "X2" because it's not just Alex's b-day, it's also the book birthday of his newest novel Secret Identity, noir mystery set in the world of that publishing industry we love so much: comics! I've already got my copy; how 'bout you?


What? You don't have it yet? Get it now here or at your local bookstore of comic book shop! Tell 'em a tough-talkin' li'l bull sent ya!

Happy birthday, Alex!

Liberty Bell March, Day 15: One swallow does not a summer make



from "Pipeline, Chapter One" in Detective Comics #854 (DC, August 2009), script by Greg Rucka, pencils and inks by Cully Hamner, colors by Laura Martin, letters by Jared K. Fletcher



from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Python (Monty) Pictures, 1975), directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones

Today in Comics History, March 15: Happy birthday, Nancy!

Born on this day: the favorite of Aunt Fritzi, Sluggo, and pretty much all of us: little Nancy Ritz, who is going in on that birthday cake.


Nancy (United Feature Syndicate, March 15, 2020), by Olivia Jaimes



Nancy (United Feature Syndicate, March 15, 2021), by Olivia Jaimes



Nancy (United Feature Syndicate, March 15, 2022), by Olivia Jaimes

And thank you, Olivia Jaimes, for preserving the Bushmiller-canon truth that Nancy's birthday is March 15!


from Nancy (United Feature Syndicate, March 15, 1950), by Ernie Bushmiller

Happy birthday, Nancy! Please save me a slice of...oh.


Today in Comics History, March 15: Happy birthday, Dan Adkins!

Born on this day in 1937: Dan Adkins, comic book and science fiction magazine artist. He did inks, pencils, and occasionally scripts for such magazines as T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Detective Comics, Conan the Barbarian, Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer, Superman, Strange Tales and much more!


from Mighty Marvel Calendar 1976 and 1977

Don drew himself into a Marvel chiller comic story scripted and inked by comics great Bill Everett!



from "Believe It...Or Not!" in Chamber of Darkness #8 (Marvel, December 1970), script and inks by Bill Everett, pencils by Dan Adkins, letters by Jean Simek

Happy birthday, Dan!


from 1975 Mighty Marvel Convention Program Book (Marvel, 1975), photograph by Michele Wolfman

Today in Comics History Future, March 15, 2472: Farewell, the noble mole


from "Booster Trouble" in Booster Gold/The Flintstones #1 one-shot (DC, May 2017), script by Mark Russell, pencils by Rick Leonardi, inks by Scott Hanna, colors by Steve Buccellato, letters by Dave Sharpe
(Click top picture to giant mole-size)


Say, Britney, what was that weather report again?


Today in Comics History, March 15: Happy birthday, Bob Haney!

This is an expanded and updated version of a post originally published March 15, 2012.

Born on this day in 1926: America's only comic book scripter: Bob Haney, co-creator of the Teen Titans, Metamorpho, the Super Sons, Cain, Negative Man, Sgt. Rock, Tula, Vulko and Eclipso, and long-time writer of many DC Comics, including Aquaman, Blackhawk, The Brave and the Bold, Metamorpho, Teen Titans (and the wonderful Teen Titans Lost Annual #1), Unknown Soldier and many more.


from DC Comics cover-dated July 1977