Saturday, April 23, 2022

Today in Comics History, April 23, 2020: At last, a Coca-Cola flavor we've been demanding



from 2020 Visions #1 (DC/Vertigo, May 1997), script by Jamie Delano, pencils and inks by Frank Quitely, colors by James Sinclair, letters by Ellie de Ville
























Today in Comics History, April 23: Happy birthday, Ruggero Leoncavallo!

Born on this day in 1857, so sing loud if you're gonna do that birthday melody: Ruggero Leoncavallo, Italian opera composer and librettist, and composer of the famous clown opera Pagliacci, which we all know from 1940s cartoons and memes on Twitter. Oh: and from Batman comics:



from "The Grand Opera Murders!" in Batman (1940 series) #40 (DC, April 1947), script by Don C. Cameron (?), pencils by Dick Sprang, inks by Gene McDonald, letters by Joe Letterese (?)

A rare opportunity for the Joker to dress up as a clown, and he didn't! What's this world coming to?!?



from "The Joker's Crime Costumes!" in Batman (1940 series) #63 (DC, February 1951), script by Bill Finger, pencils by Dick Sprang, inks by Charles Paris, letters by Ira Schnapp

Altho' you can usually fit the entire plot of this opera into 280 characters, why not read more about it at your local library in an old comic book?


"Pagliacci" from Classics Illustrated #62 [Western Stories] (Gilberton, August 1949), creator unknown

So please jouously salute Ruggero Leoncavallo and wish him a happy, fun-filled birthday, and if you don't feel quite up to it, why not head down to your friendly neighborhood opera house and see Pagliacci, which ought to cheer you right up...oh, I'm so sorry, Signore Canio, I didn't know it was you.

Today in Comics History, April 23, 1944: But they forgot their wooden shoes and had to go back


from General Douglas MacArthur one-shot (Fox, 1951), creators unknown

Today in Comics History, April 23: Happy birthday, Paulette Breen!

Born on this day: actor and producer Paulette Breen! You may remember her from roles in Wonder Woman, All My Children, Happy Days, or (as seen on Mystery Science theater 3000), Parts: The Clonus Horror (infamously ripped off by Michael Bay's The Island).




What does this have to do (you may ask) with comic books? Well: as Palisades Park Miss American Teenager, Paulette Breen starred in a DC PSA anti-smoking comic!


"Smoking Is for Squares!" from DC comics cover-dated October 1964, script by Jack Schiff, pencils and inks by Sheldon Moldoff



Palisades Park?!? Now that sounds familiar! Gosh, I hope she got in using a free admission ticket from Superman!


Happy Birthday, Paulette!


Comics Do Shakespeare, Final Act: Curtain Call


from Sandman (1989 series) #19 (DC, September 1990), script by Neil Gaiman, pencils and inks by Charles Vess, colors by Steve Oliff, letters by Todd Klein

Comics Do Shakespeare: The Tempest, Act 7: Ending on a scene I'm pretty sure Shakespeare would've heartily approved of


from The Dreaming: Waking Hours #12 (DC/Black Label, September 2021), script by G. Willow Wilson, pencils and inks by Nick Robles, colors by Matheus Lopes, letters by Simon Bowland

Comics Do Shakespeare: The Tempest, Act 6: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep."

Shakespeare writes a play. His final play, as it turns out.





from Sandman (1989 series) #75 (DC/Vertigo, March 1996); script by Neil Gaiman; pencils by Charles Vess, John Ridgway, Bryan Talbot, and Michael Zulli; inks by Charles Vess; colors by Daniel Vozzo; color separations by Digital Chameleon; letters by Todd Klein

Oh, this a-hole again:




That's pretty much the end of 2022's Shakespeare Day celebrations (well, very nearly), so for at least a year we return to your regularly scheduled comics blog. i hope you've laughed, and cried, and maybe learned a thing or two.



Born on this day (probably) in 1564; died on this day in 1616: William Shakespeare, who wrote some really cool stuff. Happy birthday, Will.

I like to think that if he'd lived during the 1940s, we would've written some really cool comic books.



Comics Do Shakespeare: The Tempest, Act 5: Fans did not respond as positively as DC had hoped to the "Batman vs. Gandalf" arc


from Detective Comics #958 (DC, August 2017), script by James Tynion IV, pencils by Álvaro Martínez Bueno, inks by Raúl Fernández, colors by Brad Anderson, letters by Sal Cipriano

Comics Do Shakespeare: The Tempest, Act 4: AIIIIEEEEEE THE STAGE IS ON FIRE



from Convergence: Infinity Inc. #1 (DC, June 2015), script by Jerry Ordway, pencils and inks by Ben Caldwell, colors by Veronica Gandini, letters by Rob Leigh

Comics Do Shakespeare: The Tempest, Act 3: And it had a cool robot!


from Robin #34 (DC, October 1996), script by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Jennifer Graves, inks by John Dell, colors by Adrienne Roy, letters by Tim Harkins

Comics Do Shakespeare: The Tempest, Act 2: For heaven's sake, 007, stop interrupting my Shakespeare. And put some pants on.


from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest #2 (Top Shelf/Knockabout, August 2018), script by Alan Moore, pencils and inks by Kevin O'Neill, colors by Benedict Dimagmaliw, letters by Todd Klein

Comics Do Shakespeare: The Tempest, Act 1: I pity the fool who plagiarizes from Mr. T.


from Man-Thing (1997 series) #5 (Marvel, April 1998), script by J. M. DeMatteis, pencils and inks by Liam Sharp, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Jon Babcock

Comics Do Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act 12: Brush up your Shakespeare, Commissioner Gordon


from "A Monster Walks Wayne Manor!" in Detective Comics #438 (DC, December 1973); script by Archie Goodwin; pencils, inks, and letters by Jim Aparo

Comics Do Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act 11: If I wrote the next Batman movie


from "Specialists in Crime!" in World's Finest Comics #18 (DC, Summer 1945), script by Don C. Cameron, pencils by Dick Sprang, inks by Norman Fallon

Comics Do Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act 10: "The cat will mew, and dog will have his day."



from "Tee-Vee Jeebees" in Rocky and His Fiendish Friends #1 (Western/Gold Key, October 1962), creatord unknown

Comics Do Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act 9: Spider-Man solves all the textual and psychological problems in Hamlet


from Amazing Spider-Man (2015 series) #1.3 (Marvel, April 2016), script by Jose Molina, pencils and inks by Simone Bianchi, colors by Israel Silva and Java Tartaglia, letters by Joe Caramagna

Comics Do Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act 8: How nice is Batman? So nice he set up Jim Gordon's punchline.


from The Brave and the Bold (1955 series) #106 (DC, March 1973); script by Bob Haney; pencils, inks, and letters by Jim Aparo

Comics Do Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act 7: The Flash sues Shakespeare for $42 billion in royalties


from "[The Tale of the Time Capsule!] Chapter 4: Traipsing through Time!" in All-Flash [Quarterly] #4 (DC/Jolaine, Spring 1942), script by Gardner Fox, pencils and inks by E. E. Hibbard

Comics Do Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act 6: Wait, wait, wait. Archie has a lucky foot?!?


"Bore Chore" from Archie's Joke Book Magazine #204 (Archie, January 1975), creators unknown

Comics Do Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act 5: For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy


from Batman #682 (DC, January 2009), script by Grant Morrison, pencils by Lee Garbett, inks by Trevor Scott, colors by Guy Major

Comics Do Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act 4: "The point en-Venomed too? Then, Venom, to thy work."


cover of Amazing Spider-Man #347 (Marvel, May 1991), pencils by Erik Larsen, inks by Randy Emberlin

Comics Do Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act 3: Remember what I said about the last post being quite possibly the greatest Shakespeare production ever performed in comics? Never mind, this one is it.



from "Hamlet and Eggs!" in Swing with Scooter #6 (DC, April 1967), script by Barbara Friedlander and Jack Miller, pencils by Joe Orlando, inks by Mike Esposito, letters by Joe Letterese

Comics Do Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act 2: Quite possibly the greatest Shakespeare production ever performed in comics


from "Life Model Doggie" in Marvel Adventures Super Heroes (2008 series) #13 (Marvel, September 2009), script by Paul Tobin, pencils and inks by Marcelo DiChiara, colors by SotoColor, letters by Dave Sharpe

Comics Do Shakespeare: Hamlet, Act 1: Whoa, take it down a notch there, Orzechowski


from Classics Illustrated #99 [Hamlet] (Gilberton, September 1952), script by Samuel Willinsky, pencils and inks by Alex Blum

Comics Do Shakespeare: All's Well That Ends Well, Act 5: And they didn't even need the help of Ireland Yard in Londinum to solve this one


from "To be or Not to Be" in Batman '66 digital #36 (DC, 2014), script by Art Baltazar and Franco, pencils and inks by Red Naifeh, colors by Tony Aviña, letters by Wes Abbott