Saturday, May 06, 2023

Today in Comics History, May 6, 1917: Yeah, you'd down 39 enemy planes if you too were using the Nintendo Game Genie

"The Ace of Aces" in Aces High (1955 series) #2 (EC, May 1955), creators uncredited and unknown

Today in Comics History, May 6: Happy birthday, Robbie Carosella!

Born on this day: Robbie Carosella, Marvel's Photostat Supervisor (and occasional colorist) in the 1980s and '90s! Without him, your favorite Marvel Comics wouldn't even exist!

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

Today in Comics History, May 6, 1937: "So, what would you say if I told you that your mother made a phony bomb threat just to get a free ride on a blimp?"

Somebody asked me, "Hey Bully, are you gonna do a Today in Comics History about that big blimp from the 1930s?" And I said, "I already did a post about Orson Welles!"

Okay, okay! Today in Comics History, May 6: Born on this date: Tom Raymond, the Golden Age Human Torch's sidekick Toro!

Oh, and a big balloon blew up.

from The Torch #1 (Marvel, November 2009), co-plot by Alex Ross, co-plot and script by Mike Carey, pencils and inks by Patrick Berkenkotter, colors by Carlos Lopez, letters by Todd Klein

It's the Hindenburg! Yes, a tragic moment in aeronautics for the humanity, but on the other hand, it was a Nazi airship.

from "News Snapshots - Past and Present" in It Really Happened #10 (Pines, August 1947), creators uncredited and unknown

Friday, May 05, 2023

Today in Comics History, May 5, 1931: Intricate villainous plan somehow involves bowling

from "The Incarnadine Bridge!" in Ghosts (1971 series) #97 (DC, February 1981), script by Mimai Kin, pencils by Dick Ayers, inks by Rodin Rodriguez

So what happened next? Why, for that you'll have to wait until September 8!

This post was suggested by faithful reader and frequent commenter Blam, who's provided a lot of date references in comics that I'll spotlight throughout 2023 in this series. Thanks, Blam!

Today in Comics History, May 5: Happy birthday, Jann Jones!

Celebrate with us today's birthday of comics editor Jann Jones (Manhunter from Mars?), who's worked at DC, VIZ Media and Disney/Pixar! (Here she is with DC's ex-publisher Dan Didio.)

from Ambush Bug: Year None #4 (DC, December 2008), plot and pencils by Keith Giffen, dialogue by Robert Loren Fleming, inks by Al Milgrom, colors by Tom Smith, letters by Pat Brosseau

Happy birthday, Jann!

Today in Comics History, May 5: Happy birthday, Michael Palin!

This is an expanded and updated version of a post originally published May 5, 2014.

Panel from Comics: Monty Python one-shot (April 2014), script by Chris Canibano, pencils and colors by Juan Luis Rincón, letters by Gary Scott Beatty

Michael, as he appeared in Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits...comic adaptation.

from Time Bandits #1 one-shot (February 1982), script by Steve Parkhouse, pencils by David Lloyd, inks by John Stokes, colors by Don Warfield, letters by Irving Watanabe

Happy birthday, Sir Michael!

Today in Comics History, May 5: Happy birthday, Inez Jozlyn!

...hope you survive the experience!

from Tephlon Funk! graphic novel (Dark Horse, November 2022), written by Stephane Metayer, illustrated by David Tako and Bicolas Safe

Today in Comics History, May 5: Happy birthday, Stan Goldberg!

Born this day in 1932: comic book artist and colorist Stan Goldberg! Among his many accompaishments, he was the uncredited colorist for a huge number of the 1960s Marvel books!

from (left) Marvel Tales Annual #1 (Marvel, September 1964);
(right) Fantastic Four Annual #7 (Marvel, November 1969), photograph by Al Hewetson

Today in Comics History, May 5, 1605: Shakespeare refuses to cross the picket line because he is a Unionne Manne

from "If Famous Authors Wrote The Comics" in MAD #46 (April 1959), script by Frank Jacobs, pencils and inks by Wally Wood

Today in Comics History, May 5: Happy birthday, Aunt May! (Or: Aunt May's birthday present from Peter is a five-pack of Dos Equis and a sombrero)

This is an expanded and updated version of a post originally published May 5, 2016.

Today (ignore the caption that sez "Tomorrow"...dunno what that's doin' there): it's the two hundred and eighth birthday of everybody's favorite Marisa Tomei impersonator, Aunt May Reilly Parker Octavius Terwilliger Jameson!

from Amazing Spider-Man Annual (1964 series) #20 (Marvel, November 1986), script by Christopher Priest (as Fred Schiller and Ken McDonald), pencils by Mark Beachum, inks by Bob Wiacek, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Jim Novak

Yes oh yes, but which day is Aunt May's birthday on?

Today in Comics History, May 5, 2023: Lunella Lafayette waits for months for an event and then three come along at once

from Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2023 series) #4 (Marvel, May 2023), script by Jordan Ifueko, pencils by Alba Glez, inks by José Marzan Jr., colors by KJ Díaz, letters by Travis Lanham

(Although it doesn't say the the year in the comic, I'm arbitrarily assigning it to 2023 because the comic book is published in 2023; today is Friday the Fifth, and there is a Full Moon tonight!)

Today in Comics History, May 5, 1372: We interrupt this Batman comic to bring you a Brother Cadfael mystery

from Batman: Killing Time #3 (DC, July 2022), script by Tom King, pencils and inks by David Marquez, colors by Alejandro Sánchez, letters by Clayton Cowles

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

Today in Comics History, May 3: Happy birthday, Bing Crosby!

Born on this date in 1903: Bing Crosby, actor, singer, comedian, and comic book star. In fact, Bing's been in comics almost since their invention!

from "Star-Light" in Action Comics (1938 series) #5 (DC, October 1938), pencils and inks by Sheldon Moldoff

Today in Comics History, May 3: Happy birthday, Darren Auck!

Born on this day: comics scripter, artist and letterer Darren Auck (What If?, What The--?!, Barbie, and, of course, the Marvel Age calendars)!

from Marvel Age #101 and 109 (Marvel, June 1991); text by Chris Eliopoulis and Barry Dutter (#101) and Mike Lackey (#109); pencils and inks by Ron Zalme (#101)and Darren Auck (#109), colors by Renee Witterstaetter (#101)

Can you spot Darren out of the thousands of Marvel Bullpenners? Sure you can! If not you, then maybe his mom will!

from Marvel Age #120 (Marvel, January 1993), art by Rick Parker
(Click top picture to Bullpen-size)

Happy birthday, Darren!

from Marvel Age #111 (Marvel, April 1992)

Today in Comics History, May 3, 1978: Humanity is giggling too hard to defend Earth

from "They Came from Uranus" in Realms (Catalan, July 1987); script, pencils, inks, and letters by Paul Kirchner

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Today in Comics History, May 2, 1936: That last panel really requires a Plop!

According to Wikipedia, the winner of the 62nd Kentucky Derby, which took place on May 2, 1936, was Bold Venture ("horse," Wikipedia kindly informs us), so that must be him there in this here one-page gag comic!

"Mr. Doodle" from All Great Comics (1945 series) (Fox, 1945), by Pat Adams

No word on which various races Penelope Pig has won, though.

Today in Comics History, May 2, 2022: Pound sinks as Peggy Carter pounds Nazis! Plus, horrible cow violence.

A fairly tedious headline from Marvel's Earth-616 equivalent of England's Financial Times. Why, the newspaper isn't even printed on pink paper!

from Captain Carter #4 (Marvel, September 2022), script by Jamie McKelvie, pencils and inks by Marika Cresta, colors by Matt Milla, letters by Clayton Cowles

Let's put the Business Times into a larger perspective, shall we? Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station day's typical London newsstand. What, no Beano or Dandy?

You might note that all the other papers are dated Friday, May 20 rather than 5/2. (and 5/2/22 was not a Friday.) So I'm choosing to believe that the Business Times masthead is actually a typo rather than the real thing. And we'll see these front pages again opn May 20! Aren't you lucky?

Still, none of these terrible headliens about our beloved Capt. Pegy Carter can compare to the sheer horror and fright of this British newspaper:

Monday, May 01, 2023

The 1989 2023 Love and Rockets Calendar: [Mad Patrick] May

"May" from Love and Rockets 1989 Calendar (Fantagraphics, 1988), main artwork by Jaime Hernandez, calendar block artwork by Gilbert Hernandez
(Click picture to Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity-size)

Today in Comics History, May 1: Who wears short shorts?

Hey, here's a Warren W. Worthington the Whird comic book one-shot in which this gal has forgotten her past! That's pretty bad, but not as bad as Marvel forgetting to color this.

from Archangel [: Phantom Wings] #1 one-shot (Marvel, February 1996), script by Peter Milligan, pencils and inks by Leonardo Manco, letters by Jon Babcock

The calendar suddenly remidns her of something! That must mean her name is May, right?


"Who Wears Short Shorts" commercial for Nair (1975), originally sung by The Royal Teens (ABC-Paramount, 1958), written by Tom Austin, Bill Crandell, Bill Dalton, and Bob Gaudio

This post was suggested by faithful reader and frequent commenter Blam, who's provided a lot of date references in comics that I'll spotlight throughout 2023 in this series. Thanks, Blam!

The 1978 2017 2023 DC Calendar of Super-Spectacular Disasters: May-Hem

This is an expanded and updated version of a post originally published May 1, 2017.

It's May! For real this time, folks! (Thus contradicting Rocky, who told me that trick never works). And while you're out dancing around the maypole I've been slaving over a hot keyboard (owie! ouch! that's hot!) to bring you the constant variety of comics...the thrill of heroes...and the agony of villains...the superhuman drama of monthly big-ass brawls... This is The DC Calendar of Super-Spectacular Disasters!

"May: Batgirl and Robin" in The 1978 Calendar of Super-Spectacular Disasters; artwork by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin
(Click picture to sequoiadendron-giganteum-size)

What's this?!? Our boistrous Boy Wonder and dominoed Dare-Doll perniciously pestered by pestilent plants powered by Poison Pivy? I mean Ivy. She's threatening beautiful downtown District of Columbia, and she has absolutely zero regard for those clowns in Congress who were voting today to cut down all the national forests to put up a really big parking lot. Also, they're voting to roll back the rights of women and children, stifle the press, raise our taxes, and give the President cushy not-so-much under the table kickbacks!

Hey wait, why are Batgirl and Robin fighting her?!? Some self-described social justice warriors they are.

To remind you of the Pre-Crisis distance in age between Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon (no relation to Gotham's famous Commissioner James Gordon*), this is the period when Dick attended the hallowed halls of Hudson University (good old H.U.! Home of the Fighting Robins!), and when Barbara was a United States Congresswoman! She represented her state which was... um... well... yeah, whatever state Gotham City was in. North Delafornia!

During the summer vacation, Dick worked as a congressional aide. WHOA HANDS OFF THE CONGRESSPERSON, GRAYSON!

Don't forget we've gotta get out our fine-line El Markos and blacken in all the squares on the JLA Satellite Computer Printout (© 1974 Wayne Industries)... get ourselves a head-start on figuring out the super-secret genius behind all these disasters throughout 1978. Frankly, I'm just betting it's Outsiders foes The Masters of Disaster, which would be their cleverest trick yet, as they were not created until 1984.

Seriously, I've got to give it to the designers of this calendar: even though I have an inkling of who the answer is, I really can't tell yet from this graph and I can't even quite see where're they're going with this. Stay tuned and find out as I do!

Just in case, here's also May's entry in the Clue of the Month Club:


* No, wait, Batgirl is a relation to Jim Gordon. I've made another one of my silly mistakes.

The 1978 2017 2023 Amazing Spider-Man Mighty Marvel Comics Calendar: May Misery

This is an expanded and updated version of a post originally published May 1, 2017.

Geez, Peter don't know enough to come in out of the rain! What'll Aunt May say when you swing walk home soaking wet?

"May is a Dear Old Aunt" in The Amazing Spider-Man Mighty Marvel Comics Calendar 1978 (1977); pencils by Larry Lieber, inks by Frank Giacoia
(Click picture to Rainy-Day-Mondays-Always-Get-Me-Downsize)

SPIDER-MAN NO MORE! Until the next issue, at least. This month's calendar girl picture recreates the one of the most famous images in Marvel comics, the classic John Romita Sr. full page where Peter gives up being Spidey, tossing his costume into the trash. Earlier in the day, the same thing was done by Bottle-of-Wine-Man, Bottlecap Girl, Mr. Pack of Matches, and Captain Cigarette Butt.

Page from Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #50 (July 1967), script by Stan Lee, pencils by John Romita, Sr., inks by Mike Esposito, letters by Sam Rosen

How iconic is this iconic scene that is an icon? So iconic that it's been referenced by more Spider-Man comic book covers than you can count on one hand! That is, six:

Why, it was even immortalized in real life, in the excellent movie Spider-Man 2: Electro Boogaloo:

It's such a classic that frankly, comic books themselves can't stop homaging the image:

Okay, fair enough, that last one doesn't really count: instead of a costume in a barrel and the hero running away, the costume is running away and the hero's in a barrel! It's a switcharoo!

Plenty of comic books do the same on interior pages. And I thought these things copied Romita...on the outside!

And let us not forget Mike Haseloff's (of comics blog Secret Wars on Infinite Earths!) revealing classic "Namor No More!"

Yes, "Spider-Man No More" has even crossed over to all those destroyed-since-2015 alternate Earths that the Watcher used to peep in on. What If... trash cans throughout the multiverse got used for uniform disposal?!?

You can even toss away...BWAH!...your human skin! Ick! Stop that, Zombie Peter!

Yes, it's a comic book tradition everyone has to try once in a while! Even though it doesn't always work.

So, Spider-Man No More, won't you?