Saturday, May 07, 2022

Every romance comic ever, summed up in two panels

from "Was I Wrong Seeking Big City Glamor?" in Lovers' Lane #1 (Lev Gleason, October 1949), pencils and inks by William Overgard

Today in Comics History, May 7, 1945: Hey, Christmas isn't in May...oh wait, it's a panel that lasts five months

from "Cavalcade of England: Chapter VIII" in True Comics #49 (Parents' Magazine Press, May 1946), script by Joseph H. Park, pencils and inks by Charles Raab (?)

Today in Comics History, May 7: Happy birthday, Grass Green!

Wishing a happy birthday today (born 1939) to the late great African American underground cartoonist, Richard "Grass" Green (Charlton's "The Shape," Go-Go, Star-Studded Comics, witzend, Super Soul Comix, Holiday Out, Xal-Kor the Human Cat, Wildman, Blooperman, and much more, like Eros Comics, which Gary Groth won't let me look at.).

from Men of Mystery Comics (1999 series) #37 (AC, August 2002), text by Bill Black and Bill Schelly, pencils and inks by Grass Green

In the process of researching this post, I've been looking at some of his work at Charlton. It's a lot of fun and I'd love to see these nicely reprinted.

from "Would You Believe... the Bestest League of America!!!" in Go-Go #5 (Charlton, February 1967); script by Gary Friedrich; pencils, inks, and letters by Grass Green

from "The Swingin' Saga of Superella!" in Go-Go #6 (Charlton, April 1967); script by Gary Friedrich; pencils, inks, and letters by Grass Green

from "Snow What, A Far-Out Fairy Tale (Part 1)" in Go-Go #7 (Charlton, June 1967); script by Steve Skeates; pencils and inks (and letters?) by Grass Green

from "Rapunzelstiltskin" in Go-Go #8 (Charlton, August 1967), script by Steve Skeates, pencils by Grass Green, inks by Frank McLaughlin

Happy birthday, Grass Green!

Today in Comics History, May 7, 1972: And the moral of the story is: none of them were fortunate sons

from "The Highway of Terror" in The 'Nam #83 (Marvel, August 1993), script by Don Lomax, pencils and inks by Wayne Vansant, colors by John Kalisz, letters by Phil Felix

Today in Comics History, May 7: Happy birthday, Johnny Unitas!

Born today in 1933: football superstar Johnny Unitas, record-breaking NFL quarterback and star player of the Baltimore Colts! Johnny never had his own comic book, but he did appear in several ads in comics! (They weren't always flattering.)

American Specialty Co. ad, from Marvel comics dated November 1971

He fared much better in a series of Aurora model ads, one of which spotlighted him specifically! Did you have a Johnny Unitas plastic model? Did you blow it up with firecrackers?

from (top) Aurora Models ad (top) from DC Comics, cover-dated December 1965
(middle and bottom) Marvel Comics cover-dated May 1966

But he's perhaps best known in comic books for a series of ads (with his son Ken) selling guns to kids. To be fair: and teaching them safety, responsibility, and maturity in using them. Still, never forget the wisdom of Ralphie's mom.

Daisy Rifle ad from DC Comics cover-dated November 1977
Happy birthday, Johnny Unitas! Please do not tackle me and/or put my eye out!

Daisy Rifle ad from Marvel Comics cover-dated December 1979

Today in Comics History, May 7, 2002: Sports events disappointing during light bulb shortage

from Superman (1987 series) #182 (DC, July 2002), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils by Ed McGuinness, inks by Cam Smith, colors by Tanya Horie and Rich Horie, letters by Richard Starkings, special thanks to Noel Neill

Today in Comics History, May 7: Happy birthday, Jon Bogdanove!

Born on this day: comics artist and writer Jon Bogdanove, penciller on (among many!) Power Pack and the Superman franchise. He co-created John Henry Irons, the Man Known as Steel!

cover of Superman: The Man of Steel #22 (DC, June 1993), pencils by Jon Bogdanove, inks and colors by Dennis Janke

Here he is (well, his hand!) in a New Mutants back-up where Boom-Boom wishes to meet the cutest guy in the Marvel Universe. Jon's art skills to the rescue!

from "A Case of the Cutes" in New Mutants Annual (1984 series) #5 (Marvel, 1989), script by Judy Bogdanove, pencils by Jon Bogdanove, inks by Hilary Barta, colors by Steve Buccellato, letters by Joe Rosen

Who's the cutest guy in the 616? Why, of course that's gonna be Bogdanove-favorite Power Pack character Tattletale (aka Franklin Richards!). Awwwwww!

Did you know that Tattletale's look and mannerisms were based on Bogdanove's then-toddler son Kal-El Bogdanove? Cool name, cool legacy, and hey, K., cool costume!

from Marvel Age #64 (Marvel, July 1988)

Jon Bogdanove was, of course, an invited guest at Superman's wedding. Can you spot Jon (and Kal-El B.) among the happy crowd?

from Superman: The Wedding Album one-shot (DC, December 1996), pencils by Dan Jurgens, inks by Jerry Ordway, colors by Glenn Whitmore, letters by Bill Oakley
Click top picture to honeymoon-size

A very happy birthday to Jon Bogdanove, one of my favorite comics artists!

Today in Comics History, May 7: J. Jonah Jameson throws his hands in the air and just gives in to the merchandising

Marvel Comics subscription ad in Marvel Comics cover-dated October 1986

Today in Comics History, May 7, 1945: All this and they don't even take Bucky's insurance

from Captain America (2005 series) #11 (Marvel, November 2005), script by Ed Brubaker, pencils and inks by Steve Epting, additional inks by Mike Perkins, colors by Frank D'Armata, letters by Randolph Gentile

Today in Comics History, May 7, 1937: Remember, folks: if they don't want us to have unions, they don't want us to have rights

from Comic Book Comics (2016 series) #1 (Evil Twin, March 2008); script by Fred Van Lente; pencils, inks, and letters by Ryan Dunlavey

from Comic Book History of Animation #2 (IDW, December 2020); script by Fred Van Lente; pencils, inks, colors and letters by Ryan Dunlavey

Friday, May 06, 2022

Today in Comics History, May 6: Happy birthday, Orson Welles!

Born on this day in 1915: American screenwriter, actor, producer, director, newspaperman, advertising spokesman, magician, and perhaps the largest personality of the twentieth century: Mister Orson Welles.

I can hear you asking, though: Was he great? Have you ever seen his him in a comic book? Hmmm? How can you say someone is great who's never been in a comic book?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a birthday celebration of Orson Welles in Comic Books. (Mercury Theatre On the Air overture begins playing)

The Mercury Theatre on the Air overture

Today in Comics History, May 6: Happy birthday, David Michelinie!

Born on this day: David Michelinie, comics scripter of Iron Man, The Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, Action Comics, House of Mystery, House of Secrets, Aquaman, Star Wars, Marvel Team-Up, and others; co-creator of Venom, Carnage, Scott and Cassie Lang, Jim Rhodes, Taskmaster, Star Raiders, Madame Xanadu, and many more!

from Marvel Age #29, 53, 89, and 101 (Marvel, August 1985, August 1987, June 1990, and June 1991); text by Jim Salicrup (#29), Mike Carlin (#53) and Chris Eliopoulis and Barry Dutter (#89 and 101); pencils and inks by Ron Zalme; colors by Paul Becton (#53) and Renee Witterstaetter (#89 and 101)

He arrived at Marvel in a cloud of dust and a hearty "heigh-ho, Silver!" Oh, excuse me, I've made another one of my silly mistakes. That was actually Bob Layton who did that.

from "Bullpen Bulletins" in Marvel Comics cover-dated November 1978, text by Jim Shooter

Page 7 of iron Man #116 provides a mind-shattering surprise? Well, let's check out page 7 of that comic and find out what the Sam Scratch is just so fantastic, amazing, incredible and uncanny!

from Iron Man (1958 series) #116 (Marvel, November 1978), co-plot and script by David Michelinie, co-plot and inks by Bob Layton, pencils by John Romita Jr., colors by George Roussos, letters by Annette Kawecki

Oh, I guess the big surprise is that when you hit him, Iron Man goes BLANG BLANG BLANG.

Wait, didn't Shooter say page 7 of the script? That's different: that would be around the final panels of the story.

Oooh, that is surprising! Okay, Bullpen Bulletins, I'll give ya this one.

But say! How do you pronounce "Michelinie?" Me, I'm been pronouncing it "Throatwarbler Mangrove," but I might have it wrong.

letter column from Amazing Spider-Man (1962 series) #338 (Marvel, September 1990)

So there ya go. Don't pickle her knee, or his or even your cat's: pick my knee.

Can you find Michelinie among the guests at Superman's wedding?

from Superman: The Wedding Album one-shot (DC, December 1996), pencils by Dan Jurgens, inks by Jerry Ordway, colors by Glenn Whitmore, letters by Bill Oakley
Click top picture to honeymoon-size

Here's a trickier one: find David (and other DC chiller creators) in the House of Mystery! (If you can't, don't fret it: it's a mystery!)

from "Do You Dare Enter The House of Mystery?" in House of Mystery (1951 series) #226 (DC, August 1974), script by Paul Levitz, pencils and inks by Sergio Aragonés
(Click top picture to ogre-size)

Finally, just in case that comic book writing career never becomes lucrative, Dave also runs a automobile tire business. They're having a hard month finance-wise, but if they can just deliver this van of radials without incident or accident...D'OH!

from Marvel Team-Up (1972 series) #121 (Marvel, September 1982), script by J. M. DeMatteis, pencils by Kerry Gammill, inks by Mike Esposito, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Joe Rosen

A very happy birthday to you, David Michelinie, from me an' Mrs. Arbogast!

from DC Comics cover-dated August 1977

Today in Comics History, May 6, 1885: Gorgeous desert vista marred by bloody coyote splattered next to an Acme product box

from Two-Gun Kid: Sunset Riders #1 (Marvel, November 1995), script by Fabian Nicieza, pencils by Christian Gorney, inks by Michael Halblieb, colors by Marie Javins, letters by Richard Starkings

Today in Comics History, May 6, 1954: Baseballs that stream the date and city invented

from The Amazing Willie Mays one-shot (Eastern Color, September 1954), creators uncredited and unknown

Don't worry, I'll only be using this panel just this once despite the excellent later opportunities for posting it provides.

Say hey, it's also Willie Mays's birthday today; born in 1931! Happy birthday, Willie!

Today in Comics History, May 6: Happy birthday, John Beatty!

Today is the birthday of comic book penciller and inker John Beatty, inker on such comics as Captain America, Batman, Action Comics, G.I. Joe, the first Secret Wars, The 'Nam, Jack Kirby's TeenAgents, and many, many more!

from Jack Kirby's TeenAgents #2 (Topps, September 1993)

You probably remember John on this Captain America cover from the much-loved Assistant Editors' Month at Marvel! From L-R: J.M. DeMatteis, Mike Carlin, Mike Zeck, and John Beatty!

cover of Captain America (1968 series) #239 (January 1984), pencils by Mike Zeck, inks by John Beatty

I'm very grateful to J.M. DeMatteis for providing the definitive identification of the cover figures! Thanks, Mr. D!

We all wish you a very happy birthday, John Beatty!

from Femforce (1985 series) #6 (AC, 1986)

Also: get back ta work!

from Marvel Fanfare (1982 series) #12 (Marvel, January 1984), script (and cameo!) by Ann Nocenti, pencils and inks by Al Milgrom, letters by Rick Parker (?)