Saturday, July 22, 2023

Today in Comics History, July 22: Happy birthday, Emma Lazarus!

Born on this day in 1849: American poet and activist Emma Lazarus, author of the poem "The New Colossus," installed as a plaque inside the Statue of Liberty in 1903:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

That said, betcha can guess the subject of today's political puzzler from comics, right?

from "Our American Heritage," DC public service announcement comic, from DC Comics cover-dated February 1961

Didja read that, Eric Adams? Oh, how I loathe you.

Happy birthday, Emma Lazarus, but where have you gone? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Today in Comics History, July 22, 1861: The ice cream van is here! The ice cream van is here!

from West of Sundown #1 (Vault, April 2022), script by Tim Seeley and Aaron Campbell, pencils and inks by Jim Terry, colors by Triona Ferrell, letters by Crank!

Today in Comics History, July 22: Happy birthday, Sonny Liston!

Born on this day in 1930 (possibly; there's no official record; see Wikipedia): Sonny Liston, pro boxer and heavyweight champion of the world. An inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, many sports journalists and analysists consider him among the top boxers of the twentieth century.

Despite that, Liston is also infamous for losing his title in 1964 to Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) and his failed attempt to win back the title from Clay that ended in just over two minutes. But listen, you probably heard about Liston's most ignominious defeat at the fists of Pablo Popsicle, the Cuban champion. Sure, you all read it in the papers, right?

from "Herbie Beards Castro!" in Herbie #1 (ACG, April 1964), script by Richard Hughes as Shane O'Shea, pencils and inks by Ogden Whitney, letters by Ed Hamilton

Silly names aside, you may be forgiven if you think this is a serious sports story so far. But all bets are off when Sonny sports a disturbing prescence in the audience while he's training:

You know, of course, this means war.

Herbie easily defeats Sonny, and he didn't even have a foreign object (i.e., a lollipop) in the ring!

And that's why Pablo Popsicle was, for a time, heavyweight champion of the world.

Happy birthday, Sonny Liston!

Today in Comics History, July 22, 1956: Get ready for hijinks!

from Steve Canyon (Publishers-Hall Syndicate, July 22, 1956), by Milton Caniff; reprinted in Steve Canyon v.24: Taps for "Shanty" Town (Kitchen Sink, December 1989)

Today in Comics History, July 22: Happy birthday, Hal Forrest!

Born on this day in 1895, Hal Forrest, aviator and comic strip artist, creator of the popular flying strips Artie the Ace and Tailspin Tommy!

from Single Series #23/1 (United Feature, 1940)

However, he is not this guy, as the carytoonist Hal Forrest was neither a screen star nor a conceited jackass.

from "I've Got to Do Something for Her!" in My Romantic Adventures #136 (ACG, December 1963), creators uncredited and unknown

Happy birthday, Hal!

Today in Comics History, July 22, 1986, 4:22 AM (or maybe PM): It's a New, New U / Comin ' right at you

New Universe teaser house ads in Marvel Comics (1986), art by John Romita, Jr.

Friday, July 21, 2023

IT'S COMING and we're totally in the pink

from "Bullpen Bulletins" in Marvel Comics cover-dated April 1986, by Jim Shooter

IT'S COMING (we promise)

from "Bullpen Bulletins" in Marvel Comics cover-dated August 1986, by Jim Shooter



New Universe house ad from Marvel Comics cover-dated May 1986

Today in Comics History, July 21: Happy birthday, Officer Brunalti!

from Justice Warriors #3 (AHOY, August 2022); co-script and letters by Matt Bors; co-script, pencils, and inks by Ben Clarkson; colors by Felipe Sobreio

Hope you survive the experience!


Happy birthday anyway, Brunalti, ya big blob.

Today in Comics History, July 21: Happy birthday, Gary Whitta!

A very happy birthday today to screenwriter (The Book of Eli, Undying, After Earth, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Abomination), author (Star Wars: The Last Jedi Adaptation, OLIVER), game designer (Duke Nukem Forever, Prey, Gears of War, The Walking Dead games), video game journalist (PC Gamer, ACE magazine), and (the most important one to us) comic book writer Gary Whitta (Batman: the Fortress, a story in The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular)!

"DC Nation" from DC Comics cover-dated July 2022

Happy birtrhday, Gary!

Toiday in Comics History, July 21: Happy birthday, Edwina Dumm!

Born on this day in 1893: Edwina Dumm, creator of the syndicated comic strip Cap Stubbs and Tippie, which ran from 1918 to 1966. The strip has been reprinted in Sensation Comics, Wonder Woman, Popular Comics, Tiny Tits Tots Funnies, Nemo: The Classic Comics Library and more.

from Ace Comics #54 (David McKay, September 1941)

Happy birthday, Edwina!

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Today in Comics History, July 18: Happy birthday, Screamin' Jay Hawkins!

Born today in 1929: Screamin' Jay Hawkins, singer-songwriter and musician ("I Put a Spell on You," "Alligator Wine," "Constipation Blues" (because no one had written a blues song before about "real pain"), "Orange Colored Sky," and more)! And also actor (American Hot Wax, A Rage in Harlem, Mystery Train, more)! And film producer! And...did I read this right? Boxer? He was the middleweight boxing champion of Alaska?!? Wowzers, I never knew screaming could be such a lucrative career! (goes around apartment screaming at the top of my lungs, or at least until John and Randi make me stop)

from "Loathsome Lore" in Creepy (2009 series) #8 (Dark Horse, April 2012), script by Dan Braun, pencils and inks by Kyle Baker, letters by Nate Piekos


"I Put a Spell on You" performed by Screamin' Jay Hawkins (Okeh, 1956), song written by Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Herb Slotkin

Today in Comics History, July 18: Happy birthday, John Glenn!

Born on this date in 1921: a cat who's really far out there! I mean, he's totally up in the air, folks! You might even say that this freakzoid was the first American to orbit the Earth, in 1962! TAnd yeah, this hoopy frood was the third American in space! And a U.S. Senator (okay, that one's less cool). And he went back into space in 1997 at the age of 77! Okay, that one's totally awesome! I'm talkin' of course, about fighter and test pilot/astronaut John Glenn! Also, if you grew up in Syracuse like I do, you might know him from the totally excellent but extremely short John Glenn Boulevard, which also gave name to the area around it, thus the frequent refrain heard in our household "I'm going over to the John Glenn Wegman's." Yeah, baby!

cover of Newsday's Comics on the News with Chip Tracer #1 one-shot (Newsday, 1998); pencils, inks, and colors by Steve Geiger; background photos by NASA and Associated Press

Today in Comics History, July 18: Happy birthday, Dion!

Born on this day: Dion DiMucci, better mononymically known as Dion, singer/songwriter ("Runaround Sue," "The Wanderer," "Ruby Baby," "Lovers Who Wander," and more)!

"Harvey Pekar's Lost and Found" from Entertainment Weekly (Time-Warner, 2003), reprinted in from American Splendor: Our Movie Year (Random House, December 2004); script by Harvey Pekar; pencils, inks, and letters by Gary Dumm

Happy birthday, Dion!

"Runaway Sue" by Dion (Laurie, 1961), written by Dion DiMucci and Ernie Maresca

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Today in Comics History, July 16: Happy birthday, Stewart Copeland!

Born on this day: American drummer and composer Stewart Copeland of The Police (the only exception to ACAB)! Stewart has also scored many movies and TV shows including Talk Radio, Wall Street, Highlander II: The Quickening, She's Having a Baby, Good Burger, The Equalizer, Star Wars: Droids, Babylon 5, The Life and Times of Juniper Lee and more!

from Simpsons Comics #210 (Bongo, March 2014), script by Max Davison, pencils by Phil Ortiz, inks by Mike DeCarlo, colors by Art Villanueva, letters by Karen Bates

Happy birthday, Stew!

Today in Comics History, July 16: Happy birthday, Roald Amundsen!

Born on this date in 1872: Roald Amundsen, sailor, author, explorer, discoverer of the South Pole, first navigator of the Northwest Passage, and history's only acceptable Roald!

"Pioneers of Science: Roald Amundsen, Discoverer of the South Pole" from Classics Illustrated #76 (Gilberton, October 1950), creators uncredited and unknown

He probably also discovered penguins.

Today in Comics History, July 16: Happy birthday, Ida B. Wells!

Born on this day in 1862: Ida B. Wells, American investigative journalist, educator, and early leader in the civil rights movement. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

from "Ida B. Wells: Tell the Whole Truth" in The CBLDF Presents Liberty Annual 2016 (Image, November 2016); co-script, pencils, inks, and colors by Paul Guinan; co-script and letters by Anina Bennett

It's important to not only celebrate the legacy of Ida B. Wells but continue it. C'mon, it's her birthday!

from Step Aside, Pops (D+Q, September 2015), by Kate Beaton

Happy birthday, Ida B. Wells!

Today in Comics History, July 16: Happy birthday, Mattson Tomlin!

Born on this day: Mattson Tomlin: screenwriter, producer, director, and also comic book writer (Batman: The Imposter, A Vicious Circle)!

"DC Nation" from DC Comics cover-dated June 2022

Happy birthday, Son of Matt!