Saturday, May 14, 2022

Today in Comics History, May 14: Happy birthday, Thomas Gainsborough!

Hello, art lovers! (Put that down!) Today let's get out our paints and canvas and turpentine (do not drink it!) and daub up a birthday greeting to the man who invented the color blue and the Gainsburger dog food patty, Thomas Gainsborough (born in 1727)! Well, not 'xactly, but that's good enough for me, along with my theory that William of Orange invented orange and Violet Beauregard...well, my theories may be laughed at in the art world, but I say, who will laugh last? The art world, that's who.

No, while Gainsborough may not have invented the color blue, he was a pioneer in the field of Blue Studies, which is why a scholar of blue is generally named a gainsboroloist. Y'see, his contemporary, Sir Joshua Reynolds, President of the Royal Academy and inventor of tin foil, believed
...that the masses of light in a picture be always of a warm, mellow colour, yellow, red, or a yellowish white, and that the blue, the grey, or the green colours be kept almost entirely out of these masses.
Luckily (or we might not have gotten Blue Beetle), Gainsborough disagreed, punched Reynolds in the snoot, and painted his most famous work of art, The Blue Boy, which combined several shades of blue and made the color the predominant shade in the work. Of course, Gainsborough is always renowned in the art world for his Mr and Mrs Andrews; Portrait of Mrs. Graham; Mary and Margaret: The Painter's Daughters; William Hallett, The Morning Walk; and Cottage Girl with Dog and Pitcher, and the ever-classic Girl with Pigs.

But the heck with those, let's look at some comic books!


from "Imagine That" in Rocket Kelly #2 (Fox, Winter 1945), creators uncredited and unknown




Today in Comics History, May 14: Happy birthday, Cate Blanchett!

Happy birthday, Cate Blanchett, award-winning actress and star of films as diverse as The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King!


from "Bored of the Rings: The Feeble Schtick of Ka-Ching!" in MAD #416 (April 2002), script by Desmond Devlin, pencils by Hermann Mejia

Also, she was goddess of death Hela in the good Thor film. Hey, nice Kirby Hat, Cate!

Jack Kirby Hat #4,276

movie variant cover of The Mighty Thor #700 (Marvel, December 2017)

Happy birthday, Cate! Sorry to not focus on your roles in The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Shipping News, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Aviator, Hot Fuzz, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Ocean's 8, or Don't Look Up. Try to star in more movies that have comic book adaptations next year, okay?

Today in Comics History, May 14, 1955: Rabbit Season! Duck Season!...James Keller Season?


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 14: If you go down to Times Square today, you're sure of a big surprise




from Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man #3 (top and middle) and #4 (bottom) (Marvel, October-November 2009); script by Brian Reed; pencils by Rob DiSalvo (#3) and Chris Bachalo (#4); inks by Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza, Jon Sibal, Mark Irwin, and Walden Wong; colors by Chris Bachalo, Andres Mossa, and Antonio Fabela; letters by Jared K. Fletcher

Today in Comics History, May 14, 1796: Boy injected with cow DNA becomes beloved by all, enjoys cookies


from "The Trailblazer" in M.D. #2 (EC, June 1955), creator uncredited and unknown

Today in Comics History, Saturday the 14th: She especially dreads Milhouse and Nelson


from The Beauty #12 (Image, February 2017), script by Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Harley, pencils and inks by Jeremy Haun, colors by John Rauch, letters by Fonografix

Today in Comics History, May 14, 1777: Captain Skid prays to his God that his letter is not found by idiots


from Four Color #1187 [The Three Stooges] (Dell, June 1961); pencils, inks, and letters by Joe Messerli

Today in Comics History, May 14: Cocaine delivery tonight: round up the usual suspects!


from Batman: Dark Victory #3 (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
























Today in Comics History, Saturday the 14th (of May): We all continue to laugh at Robbie Reed's expense


from Silver Age: Dial H for Hero #1 one-shot (DC, July 2000), script by Mark Waid, pencils and inks by Barry Kitson, colors by James Sinclair, color separations by Zylonol, letters by John Costanza

Today in Comics History, May 14, 1972: Labored metaphor actually acceptable at gunpoint


from The Black Monday Murders #5 (Image, April 2017), script by Jonathan Hickman, pencils and inks by Tomm Coker, colors by Michael Garland, letters by Rus Wooton

Friday, May 13, 2022

Today in Comics History, May 13: Happy birthday, Norman Maurer!

Let's all give a big hip-hip-hooray today (because it's his birthday) for Norman Maurer, born today in 1926! He's not a huge a household name even within the comics fandom, but he oughta be: he's tremendously influential for his comic books featuring the Three Stooges: Norman's wife Joan was the daughter of original Stooge Moe Howard, and Norm co-managed the Stooges in their post-Columbia careers, wrote the screen stories for their movies The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962), The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962), The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze (1963) and The Outlaws Is Coming! (1965) — the last two of which he also directed. In animation, he was a writer for Scooby-Doo, Speed Buggy, and Richie Rich, altho' we won't hold that last one against him.

Maurer created the first 3-D comics at St. John's Publishing (with Joe Kubert), and he's the co-creator and inker (again with Kubert) of Tor, the classic comic book series starring a warrior caveman from 1,000,000 BC (now at DC). He didn't create Raquel Welch, though. (Sigh.)

Look here, he was a part of Joe Kubert's early foray into creating his famous The Kubert School for comics artists!


from St. John comics cover-dated June 1954




Today in Comics History, May 13: Happy birthday, Arthur Sullivan!

Born on this very day in 1842, so you'd better get peddling on your time bike if you want to see him make his spectacular debut: Arthur Sullivan, half of the laff-riot stand-up comedy team of Gilbert and Sullivan, and composer of one zillion light operas like H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, Patience, The Yeoman of the Guard, Iolanthe, Ruddigore, The Gondoliers, and The Rise of Skywalker.

Now, musical composers are always difficult subjects to find in comic books, unless you're leafing through the pages of P. Craig Russell's Night Music, books from the Marvel Music line like Bob Marley: Tale of the Tuff Gong or Billy Ray Cyrus, or maybe Jennifer Love Hewitt's Music Box. Perhaps if I had a copy of this on my shelves in the Great Bully Underground Vault of Comics:


But I don't.



Today in Comics History, May 13: Happy birthday, Marv Wolfman!

Let's all wheel out a big-ass birthday cake for Marv Wolfman, award-winning comic book writer, co-creator of Deathstroke, Blade, Nova, Bullseye, Terrax, Black Cat, Lilith, Big Wheel, Karla Sofen, Modred the Mystic, Debra Whitman, Hannibal King, Copperhead, Corruptor, the Brothers Grimm (inhale)...


from Mighty Marvel Calendar 1979 and 1980 (Marvel, 1978 and 1979)





Today in Comics History, May 13, 1942: Stan Lee is ordered by his uncle to stop claiming other people's ideas as his


from All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes #2 (Marvel, September 2011), script by Paul Jenkins, pencils and inks by Carmine Di Giandomenico, colors by Andy Troy, letters by Dave Lanphear

Today in Comics History, Friday the 13th: Chris Claremont's got a date!


from Man-Thing (1979 series) #11 (Marvel, July 1981), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Val Mayerik, inks by Bob Wiacek, colors by Carl Gafford, letters by Janice Chiang

Today in Comics History, Friday the 13th (of May): Giant calendar pages continue their space-migration to Alpha Centauri


text page from Wonder Woman (1942 series) #32 (DC, November 1948), text by William I. Irwin

Today in Comics History, Friday the 13th: The only weird thing that's happening here is Jughead asking a girl out on a date


from "The Hex with It" in Archie's Pal Jughead #43 (Archie, August 1957), creators uncredited and unknown

Today in Comics History, Friday the 13th (of May, 2040): "Captain's Log: A bunch of our ship fell off and nobody likes me."


from "Verdus, Part 2" in 2000 AD prog 77 (IPC, 12 August 1978), script by John Wagner as Mike Stott, pencils by José Ferrer, inks by Ian Gibson, letters by Steve Potter

How do we know it's Today in Comics History? Earlier, the story tells us it's 2040 (well, maybe), and May 13 is the only Friday the 13 in 2040! How's that for some brillinat extra-credit Bully research?


Today in Comics History, Friday the 13th: This comic has been specially crafted to irk Comicsgate


from Ghostbusters: Answer the Call #4 (IDW, January 2018), script by Kelly Thompson, pencils and insk by Corin Howell, colors by Valentina Pinto, letters by Neil Uyetake

Today in Comics History, Friday the 13th: The day Longshot got lung cancer


from Marvel Age #59 (Marvel, February 1988), script by Mike Carlin, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme, colors by Paul Becton

Today in Comics History, Friday the 13th: I'm lucky / I can walk under ladders / Yes I'm so lucky / That I'm as lucky as me


from Marvel Age #51 (Marvel, June 1987), script by Mike Carlin, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme, colors by Paul Becton

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Today in Comics History, May 12: Happy birthday, Florence Nightingale!

Born on this day in 1820: Florence Nightingale, charter member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, who could change into a bird and...oh, excuse me, I've made another one of my silly mistakes.


from Amazing Man Comics #12 (Centaur, May 1940); script, pencils, and inks by by Joseph A. Kaliff




Today in Comics History, May 12, 1920: We will return to Skull with a Gun Comics after this break


from "Frankie Yale, the "Al Capone" of Brooklyn" in Skull with a Gun Comics Murderous Gangsters #1 (Avon, July 1951), creators uncredited and unknown

Today in Comics History, May 12, 1942: What, Green Lantern treason story? Now that sounds interes...oh, a war bond rally, okay, yeah, sure, let's go with that.


from Young All-Stars #10 (DC, March 1988), script by Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas, pencils and inks by Brian Murray, colors by Gene D'Angelo, letters by Jean Simek

Today in Comics History, May 12, 1898: Hands Across Europa is a dismal failure


back cover of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #3 (America's Best Comics, May 1999), pencils and inks by Kevin O'Neill, colors by Benedict Dimagmaliw

Today in Comics History, May 12, 1986: Bullies harass Patrick Stewart


from Back to the Future #25 (IDW, October 2017), co-plot by Bob Gale, co-plot and script by John Barber, pencils by Marcelo Ferreira and Athila Fabbio, inks by Maria Keane, colors by Jose Luis Rio, letters by Shawn lee

Today in Comics History, May 12, 1956: Peace Conference inaccurately named


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 12, 1960: I don't much like this newest sequel to Pixar's Planes franchise


from "Log of the Snorkel Wolf Pack" in Atomic War! #3 (Ace, February 1953), creators uncredited and unknown

Today in Comics History, May 12, 1918: Perfect Dentistry Comics presents...


from "The New C.O." in Aces High #1 (EC, March 1955), script by Carl Wessler, pencils and inmks by Jack Davis, colors by Marie Severin, letters by Jim Wroten

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Today in Comics History, May 11: Homer Simpson achieves another world record


from "Heartline" in Chamber of Chills Magazine #23 (Harvey, May 1954), pencils by Manny Stallman, inks by John Giunta, letters by Joe Rosen

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Today in Comics History, May 10, 1945: Carrot Top is sentenced


from "The Red-Headed Monster" in Crime Must Pay the Penalty #33/1 (Ace, February 1948), pencils and inks by Al Camy

And from that moment onwards, 'I didn't mean it' became a trusted and effective legal defense. Especially for Republicans. Lawyers throughout the twentieth century have advised their clients to please "I didn't mean it!" At least until they discovered this defense:


Today in Comics History, May 10, 1865: Ironically, Jefferson Davis couldn't raise cash bail


from "Jefferson Davis" in It Really Happened #7 (Pines, February 1947), pencils by Chas. M. Quinlan

Today in Comics History, May 10, 1940: Quixote Squadron attacks windmills


from All-Star Squadron #61 (DC, September 1986), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Mike Harris, inks by Tony DeZuñiga, colors by Carl Gafford, letters by David Cody Weiss

Today in Comics History, May 10: Happy birthday, Alex Schomburg!

Born on this day in 1905: Alex Schomburg, comics writer and illustrator, creator of the Golden Age Destroyer, painter of simply amazing covers for Timely's Marvel Mystery Comics, Captain America Comics, The Human Torch, Sub-Mariner Comics, Young Allies, plus many other eye-popping covers for Prize Comics, Harvey, Pines, and even the rolls-off-your-tongue comic book company Temerson/Helnit/Continental!


from Marvel Age #128 (Marvel, September 1993)

Happy birthday, Alex!

Today in Comics History, May 10, 1869: Thanks to the Dreaded Deadline Doom, Real Fact Comics is forced to re-use an old script

Oh for Pete's sake, Real Fact Comics! You wouldn't catch your counterparts at the competing Real Life Comics stooping so low!



from (top) "Scoops...Pictures to Remember" in Real Fact Comics #10 (DC, September 1947), creators uncredited and unknown, and
(bottom) from Real Fact Comics #21 (DC, July 1949), pencils and inks by Joe Kubert

OH COME ON NOW REAL LIFE COMICS


from "Leland Stanford: Railroad Pioneer of the West" in Real Life Comics #11 (Pines, May 1943), pencils and inks by Maurice Gutwirth

Ahhh, I guess we'll let you off the hook, Real Life Comics, since you came up with it first. But for shame, Real Fact Comics. You should have more original imagintion, like they do at EC Comics.


from Picture Stories from American History #4 (EC, Summer 1947), script by Jerry Coleman, pencils and inks by Allen Simon

OH FER CRYIN' OUT LOUD EC