Saturday, August 05, 2023

Today in Comics History, August 5: Happy birthday, Reginald Owen!

Born on this day in 1887: quintessential British actor Reginald Owen (Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet, Mrs. Miniver, The Canterville Ghost, National Velvet, Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and much more)!

from "Seein' Stars" in Ace Comics #20 (David Mckay, November 1938), by Feg Murray

Pip pip and happy birthday, Reggie, old chap!

from Movie Love #13 (Eastern Color, February 1952), pencils and inks by Frank Fogarty

Today in Comics History, August 5: Jean Grey finally watched the movie Gaslight

from X-Factor (1986 series) #13 (Marvel, February 1987), script by Louise Simonson, pencils by Walter Simonson, inks by Dan Green, colors by Petra Goldberg, letters by Joe Rosen

Friday, August 04, 2023

What's Bully Watching?: Seventies Carol Danvers is on Match Game '76!

Today in Comics History, August 4: Happy birthday, Charlie Adlard!

Born on this day: British comic book artist Charlie Adlard, who's drawn Judge Dredd, The X-Files, Astronauts in Trouble, Mars Attacks, Batman: Gotham Knights, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, and a little book you may love called The Walking Dead (tho' not me, that thing's too scary!).

Charlie has apparently not appeared in any comic books, but here he is name-checked (and called off of bench to draw some a Harley Quinn "football" (we over here call it soccer just to bug the rest of the world) page!

from Harley Quinn (2014 series) #0 (DC, January 2014), script by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, pencils and inks by Charlie Adlard, colors by one'a these guys, letters by John J. Hill

Happy birthday, Charlie!

Today in Comics History, August 4: Back in the fifties, paneling the living room was more complicated than you think

from "Frozen Assets!" in Crime SuspenStories (1950 series) #18 (EC, August 1953), co-ploy and script by Al Feldstein, co-plot by Bill Gaines, pencils and inks by Jack Kamen, colors by Marie Severin, letters by Jim Wroten

Thursday, August 03, 2023

Today in Comics History, August 3, 1850: Reichuss Mansion burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp

from House of Secrets (1996 series) #7 (DC/Vertigo, April 1997), script by Steven T. Seagle, pencils and inks by Teddy Kristiansen, colors by Bjarne Hansen, color separations by Heroic Age, letters by Todd Klein

Today in Comics History, August 3: Happy birthday, Jim Fitzsimmons!

Born on this day in 1917: Jim Fitzsimmons, production manager during the 1930s and '40s for Funnies Inc., the Golden Age comic book packager. Funnies Inc. supplied artwork and editorial material to publishers for comics, including Martin Goodman's Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1 and Marvel Comics #1, the first Marvel Comics! But can you spot him in the panel below?

from "Hot Stamp Mob!" in All-Winners Comics #6 (Marvel/Timely, Fall 1942), script by Mickey Spillane (yes, that one!), pencils by Harry Fisk (?), inks by Edd Ashe (?)

Nope, that's not him in the center of the frame...that's Jim Hammond and Tom Raymond, aka The Golden Age Human Torch and Toro! Look immediately above HT&T and you'll spot "Upholstering by Fitzsimmons," which is a reference to Jim. The other shop names in the panel are too! Check out this essay:

from Golden Age All-Winners v.2 (Marvel, December 2006)

Happy birthday, Jim Fitzsimmons!

Wednesday, August 02, 2023

Today in Comics History, August 2, 1947: Entire plane joins in refrain to serve Stendec Beer, the all-natural light beer with a fuller taste

from "Stendec" in UFO Flying Saucers #4 (Western/Gold Key, November 1974), pencils and inks by Frank Bolle

Today in Comics History, August 2, 1919: The Chicago Defender's motto would be a good one for today, too

"Foolish talk is no good. Stop it.":

from "Sky's the Limit" in Milestones in History #1 one-shot (DC, August 2022), script by Melody Cooper, pencils and inks by Dominike Stanton, colors by Emilio Lopez, letters by Steve Wands

Read more about Bessie Coleman!

Today in Comics History, August 2, 1988: This text is an insult to any actual dead skunks in a bag* of spoiled milk

from "Hard Copy" in Psi-Force #26 (Marvel/New Universe, December 1988), text by Fabian Nicieza, pencils by Graham Nolan, inks by Chris Ivy, colors by Nel Yomtov, letters by Rick Parker
(Click picture to large-print-size this book)

*Despite this, curiously enough, Fabian Nicieza is not from Canada.

Today in Comics History, August 2: Happy birthday, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi!

Even tho' he was born today in 1834, just who does Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi think he is? Whym, he's a French painter and sculptor. Ooh la la! No, wait, not that kinda artiste. This la dude is only the man responsible for designing La Liberté éclairant le monde (1886), better know to yahoos like you an' me (well, you, anyway) as The Statue of Frickin' Liberty. Trivia factoid: her metal structure was built by Gustave Eiffel! Yes, the Tower guy.

For an appearance by F.A.B. in the comics, we have to look at the most educational, factual, true-to-life comic book publisher on the face of the Earth: Archie Comics.

from "Miss Liberty's Torch" and "Liberty Haven" in Life with Archie (1958 series) #255 (Archie (natch!), July 1986), script by George Gladir, pencils by Stan Goldberg, inks by Mike Esposito, colors by Barry Grossman, letters by Bill Yoshida

But just what else did F.A.B. build that we know and love? Why, the Archie/Betty romance, of course!

cover of Life with Archie #255; pencils by Dan DeCarlo

Bon anniversaire, M. Bartholdi! May your copper never tarnish!

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

The 1989 2023 Love and Rockets Calendar: [Arena] August

"August" from Love and Rockets 1989 Calendar (Fantagraphics, 1988), main artwork by Jaime Hernandez, calendar block artwork by Gilbert Hernandez
(Click picture to Wrestlemania '89--size)

Today in Comics History, August 1: Dreadful birthday, dear Joker!

This is an expanded and updated version of a post originally published August 1, 2022.

According to the Super DC Calendar 1976, today's the birthday of the Clown of Crime: you know him, you love him, you're terrified out of your wits by him: The Joker!

from Super DC Calendar 1976 (DC, 1975), letters by Ben Osa

Today in Comics History, August 1, 1950: Anthropomorphic bunny rides to the Holy Land to conquer Jerusalem

from Comic Book History of Animation #4 (IDW, February 2011); script by Fred Van Lente; pencils, inks, and letters by Ryan Dunlavey; colors by Adam Guzowski

The 1978 2017 2023 DC Calendar of Super-Spectacular Disasters: August Ablaze

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

"August: Black Lightning" in The 1978 Calendar of Super-Spectacular Disasters (DC, 1977); artwork by Rich Buckler and Vince Colletta
(Click picture to I'm-just-talkin'-'bout-Black-Lightning-size)

The 1978 2017 2023 Amazing Spider-Man Mighty Marvel Comics Calendar: August Arm-extraning

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

"August Is an Amazing Amalgamation of Arms!" in The Amazing Spider-Man Mighty Marvel Comics Calendar 1978 (Marvel, 1977); pencils by Sal Buscema, inks by John Verpooten, colors by George Bell
(Click picture to polymelia-size)

While we're all getting ready to go back to school, Peter Parker is going straight to heck, just like the spider that bited (bait? bitaten?) him so radioactively! That boy ain't right, 'coz he's got eight arms to hold Gwen! Well, six arms and two legs...just like a normal spider. This back in black illustration from Sal Buscema is based on the classic Amazing Spider-Man #100, which had this blow-your-little-=spidery-mind cover by legendary Peter-artist Spider-artist John Romita, Sr. He drew it on a chalkboard!

cover of Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #100 (Marvel, September 1971); pencils by John Romita, Sr.; inks by Frank Giacoia; letters by Morrie Kuramoto (?)

Obviously Marvel doesn't wanna spoil the surprise of an abounding-armed arachnid, so they say that reveal for the very last page of the story. Go ahead, tell me this wouldn't get you to pick up the next issue, True Bulliever!

final page of Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #100 (Marvel, September 1971); script by Stan Lee, pencils by Gil Kane, figure inks by Frank Giacoia, background inks by Tony Mortellaro, letters by Artie Simek

Hey, make sure to celebrate all the birthdays of the Marvel greats listed in this month's calendar, but on August 28 please set aside a special cake 'n' fireworks for Jack Kirby's birthday later this very month!

And note: since the dates on the calendar contain references to the stories in Amazing Spider-Man issues #87-100, why don't we check in with Spider-writer the amazing Stan Lee?

How's that workin' out for ya, Stan?

Anticipate the Awesome in August!

It's the first of the month! But we already know about August, don't we?

from "Listening to the Mockingbird" in Action Comics Weekly #601 (DC, May 24, 1988), script by Martin Pasko, pencils and inks by Dan Spiegle, colors by Carl Gafford, letters by Carrie Spiegle

But that doesn't help with our yen for an August Calendar, does it? (Hint: it does not.) Here's a lovingly rendered illustrated from a romance story that includes both of the elements of love: an August calendar and peanut butter. Clip it out and stick it to your wall not with peanut butter.

from "Mix-Up Manor" in Sweet Sixteen (1946 series) #12 (Parents' Magazine Press, December 1947), story by Ruth Dorval Jones, pencils and inks by Edd Ashe

Well, obviously that won't do. So stay tuned for actual comic book calendars you can actually use in 2023!

Boy, I went a little dark on the alt-text on this one, I think.

Monday, July 31, 2023

Today in Comics History, July 31, 1949: Are we not doing phrasing anymore, Don Newcombe?

from Don Newcombe one-shot (Fawcett, 1950), script by Charles Dexter