Thursday, January 05, 2023

Today in Comics History, January 5: Happy birthday, Zebulon Pike!

Born on this day in far-off 1779: American brigadier general and explorer Zebulon Pike, who discovered the source of the Mississippi River and Pike's Peak. He is also the inventor of the name "Zebulon."

from Ben Bowie and His Mountain Men #9 (Dell, November 1956), creators uncredited and unknown

Although he did not invent the comic book text story, Zebulon Pike was widely considered a master of its usage and his publicity agent managed to sell quite a few text pages to the four-color comic book industry, a placement which netted the wily Pike an eighth of a cent per 1,000,000 copies sold.

"Zebulon Pike" from Prize Comics Western v.12 1 (#98) (Prize, March 1953), creators uncredited and unknown

When Zebulon Pike was 26, he set out with an exploratory team and discovered a money-saving coupon for a great price on a subscription to True Comics!

from "Zebulon Pike" in True Comics #2 (Parents' Magazine Press, June 1941), pencils and inks by John Daly

Although he was not the first white man to do so, Pike is notable to be among the prominent Americans who have lied to the native Americans and stolen their sports culture.

American history has honored this intrepid explorer by naming after him the mountain previously known by the Ute Tabeguache natives as Tava, a word meaning "surely the white man will not be so arrogant as to actually name this mountain after himself."

Zebulon Pike boldly rode into Spanish territory and did some stuff, then boldly rode out again. Look, I dunno, I'm readin' the same comic book you are.

Still, gotta love that mountain, huh?

Happy birthday, Zebulon Pike! As the theme song to your popular 1950s DuMont Network action-adventure series goes:

Riverboat, ring your bell
Fare thee well, Annabel
Discoverin' is the lady he loves best
Wrasslin' a big bear
Findin' mountains already there
Zebulon is a legend of the west
Zebulon is the legend of the west!

1 comment:

Blam said...

Just kinda skimmed this page, saw what looked like a team-up between Tomahawk and Sgt. Pepper vs. the Devil, have decided not to read and thereby dispel my fantasy.