Saturday, September 16, 2023

Happy Gotcha Day, Kitty Pryde 🐈‍⬛!

Kitty Pryde 🐈‍⬛, our wonderful, wonderful, occasionally annoying but still wonderful cat, came to live with us two years ago today: her gotcha day!

Nancy comic strip by Ernie Bushmiller (United Feature Syndicate, April 13, 19??), dialogue by a little stuffed bull

We're so glad you're here, Kitty Pryde 🐈‍⬛! Stick around in our home with us for many more years!

Today in Comics History, September 16, 1957: I heartily endorse any holiday on which Sergio gets to march and I get to eat Mexican food

from "Heroes" in Solo #11 [Sergio Aragonés ] (DC, August 2006); script, pencils, and inks by Sergio Aragonés; letters by Stan Sakai

Today in Comics History, September 16: Happy birthday, B. B. King!

Born on this day in 1925: B. B. King, the late, (very) great American blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His timeless and sublime songs include (and this is only the tip of the iceberg) "Three O'Clock Blues," "You Upset Me Baby," "You Know I Love You," "Woke Up This Morning," "Please Love Me," "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer," "How Blue Can You Get," "Every Day I Have the Blues," "Sweet Sixteen," "The Thrill Is Gone" and many more.

"B.B. King" from American Splendor: Our Movie Year (Random House, 2004); script by Harvey Pekar; pencils, inks, and letters by Gary Dumm; originally published in Gambit Weekly (a New Orleans alt-paper) in 2001)

Happy birthday, Mr. King!

B.B. King on Late Night with David Letterman (NBC/Worldwide Pants, February 28, 1985); "Caledonia" written by Fleecie Moore

Today in Comics History, September 16, 1948: Section 36 is impressed

from Larry Doby, Baseball Hero one-shot (Fawcett, 1950), script by Charles Dexter

Today in Comics History, September 16: Happy birthday, Andy Russell!

Born on this day in 1919: singer and entertainer Andy Russell (née Andrés Rábago), "the Original Latino Crossover Artist." His popularity in the day rivalled Sinatra and Como as a heartthrob vocalist on popular bestsellingf songs like "Bésame Mucho," "Amor," "What a Diff'rence a Day Made" and many more. He even got his own (short) comic book story:

"Andy Russell" from Juke Box Comics #3 (Eastern Color, July 1948), creators unidentified and unknown

There's even an ad on the back cover of the same comic book. Gee, whaddaya think convinced Capitol Records that this was a good place to run their record album advertisements, I wonder, hmmm?

Capitol Records advertisement from Juke Box Comics #3

"Bésame Mucho" by Andy Russell with Al Sack and His orchestra (Capitol, 1944); written by Consuelo Velázquez, English lyrics by Sunny Skylar

Happy birthday, Andy!

Friday, September 15, 2023

Today in Comics History, September 15, 1948: Galactus vows vengeance on Earth after it beats him at bowling

from Fantastic Four (2023 series) #1/694 (Marvel, January 2023), script by Ryan North, pencils and inks by Iban Coello, colors by Jesus Aburtov, letters by Joe Caramagna

Today in Comics History, September 15: Happy birthday, Richard Somers!

Hey, let's run it up the flagp[ole and see if anyone salutes today's birthday of Richard Somers, born 1778, so he missed out not only on the Bicentennial but the Ennial. Dick was a US naval officer and commander of the schooner USS Nautilus, its five year mission: to explore strange new islands which defended Tripoli from Barbary pirates and rose to the rank of Master Commandant and commanded a division of gunboats against attacks on Tripoli during the First Barbary War.

"Daredevils of Destiny: Richard Somers" from Reg'lar Fellers Heroic Comics #1 (Eastern Color, August 1940), script by Frank Rentfrow, pencils and inks by Don Dickson; reprinted from the Daredevils of Destiny Sunday syndicated comic strip

In September 1804, Somers became commander of the Intrepid completely manned by Vulcans of Starfleet, a "fire ship" loaded with explosives and intended to massively detonate and take our the corsair fleet in Tripoli. Unfortunately, the Intrepid blew up early, killing Somers and his entire crew. D'oh! You're suppoosed to get off the ship before it blows up!

"Highlights of History: The Barbary Pirates" in Famous Funnies #61 (Eastern Color, August 1939); text, pencils, and inks by J. Carroll Mansfield; reprinted from the Highights of History Sunday syndicated comic strip

And people say blogs aren't educational! Happy birthday, Richard Somers! Careful with those celebratory fireworks.

If I had my own comic book... might look something like this.

from Robin Annual #2 (Hulton Press Ltd. UK, 1955), creators uncredited and unknown

Today in Comics History, September 15, 1950: Geez, the Marines just seem to have anger management issues

from "Inchon or Bust" in FIghtin' Marines (1955 series) #61 (Charlton, December 1964), pencils by Charles Nicholas, inks by Vince Alascia

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Today in Comics History, September 14, 1814: Comic books would like to remind you that today's the anniversary of the writing of "The Star Spangled Banner," our traditional, unsingable, racist national anthem

This is an expanded and updated version of a post originally published September 14, 2012.

cover of Magic Comics #36 (David Mckay, July 1942), painting by Edgar Franklin Wittmack

Today in Comics History, September 14: Happy birthday, Kate Millett!

Born on this day in 1934: feminist writer, educator, artist, and activist Kate Millet, author of Sexual Politics, The Prostitution Papers, The Loony-Bin Trip and more, none of which I am allowed to read.

But you'd hardly expect Ms. Millett to pop in a comic book, huh? Well, maybe hanging around with Doctor Strange or Daredevil during the 1970s, but no: she was feaured in her very own team in this comicky-style magazine! That's her smack-dab in the middle.

from "Utopia Four Comics: in National Lampoon #15 (June 1971), script by Sean Kelly, art by Joe Orlando, letters by John Costanza

Today in Comics History, September 14, 1985: Epistolary comic book story also includes logos

from "The Secret Origin of the Golden Age Hourman" in Secret Origins (1986 series) #16 (DC, July 1987), script by Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas, pencils by Michael Bair, inks by Mike Gustovich, colors by Carl Gafford, letters by David Cody Weiss and Agustin Más

Today in Comics History, September 14: Happy birthday, Donny Cates!

Born on this date: comic book scripter and artist Donny Cates (Venom, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Absolute Carnage, Star Trek and more, plus his own co-creations Interceptor, God Country, Redneck, Crossover, Vanish, Babyteeth, plus others)! Here he is meta-writing himself into the second story arc of Crossover:

from Crossover #11 (Image, February 2022), script by Donny Cates, pencils and inks by Geoff Shaw, colors by Dee Cunniffe, letters by John J. Hill

Today in Comics History, September 14, 1989: Step to me it's third degree / You're all committing perjury

from Doctor Fate (1988 series) #14 (DC, February 1990), script by J. M. DeMatteis, pencils and inks by Shawn McManus, colors by Lovern Kindzierski, letters by Todd Klein

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Today in Comics History, September 13: Happy birthday, Lynn Cohen!

Born on this day: Lynn Cohen-Koehler, Administrative Manager at Marvel in the 1980s — and Jim Shooter's personal assistant!

from Marvel Age #33 and 57 (Marvel, December 1985 and December 1987), text by Jim Salicrup (#33) and Mike Carlin (#57), pencils and inks by Ron Zalme, colors by Adam Philips (#33) and Paul Becton (#57)

Today in Comics History, September 13: Happy birthday, Mike Grell!

Born on this day: comics writer/artist Mike Grell (Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Warlord, Superboy, Action Comics, Jon Sable: Freelance, Legion of Super-Heroes, Starslayer, and much more)! He co-created Jon Sable, Warlord, Dawnstar, the Calculator, Shado, and Tyroc (we won't hold that last one against you, Mike).

from 1st Issue Special #8 [Warlord] (DC, November 1975), self-portrait by Mike Grell

Today in Comics History, September 13: Happy birthday, Gary Kwapisz!

Born on this day: comics scripter, penciller, and inker Gary Kwapisz (Conan, Savage Sword of Conan, Punisher War Journal, Marc Spector: Moon Knight, Doctor Zero, more!)

from Marvel Age: Punisher Anniversary Magazine #1 one-shot (Marvel, February 1994)

Happy birthday, Gary!

Today in Comics History, September 13: Happy birthday, Gary Barnum!

Born on this day: 1990s Marvel Comics scripter and editor Gary Barnum (Incredible Hulk, Marvel Comics Presents, The Avengers, New Warriors, West Coast Avengers and more)!

from Marvel Age #93 (Marvel, October 1990), text by Chris Eliopoulis and Barry Dutter, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme, colors by Renee Witterstaetter

Happy birthday, Gary!

from "Bullpen Bulletins" in Marvel Age #88 (Marvel, May 1990), art by Rick Parkeer

Today in Comics History, September 13, 1918: Well, you can wish in one hand and poop in the other and see which piles up first

from "His War, Chapter II" in Savage Tales Winter Special one-shot (Dynamite, December 2022), script by David Avallone, art by Hamish Munro-Cook, colors by Jorge Sutil, letters by Taylor Esposito

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Today in Comics History, September 12: Happy birthday, Neal Peart!

A very happy birthday today to the late great Neal Peart, drummer and primary lyricist for Canada's only band, Rush, born on this day in 1952! He was also a big fan of Ayn Rand, but as it's his birthday, we shan't hold that against him today.

But what, you may be asking around now, has Neal Peart got to do with the focus of this here puppet-town cow-blog about comic books? Well, that's a very good question, and I can answer it with a reference to the fact above that Neal was a fan of Ayn. I could also say to you a four-letter word: 2112.

cover of John Byrne's 2112 (Dark Horse, November 1991), pencils and inks by Inks John Byrne, colors by Steve Oliff (?)

No, no, no, get outta here, John Byrne, I didn't call you. I meant this 2112:

cover of 2112 by Rush (Anthem, 1976), artwork by Hugh Syme

Today in Comics History, September 12, 1992: Yes, she Mae go into space

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

Today in Comics History, September 12: Happy birthday, Johnny Long!

Johnny Long! Sounds like a forgotten hero from a third-tier Golden Age comic book, doesn't he? Johnny Long: the Man Who Can Stand Thirteen Feet Tall! But I tell a lie. Johnny Long (born today in 1914) is actually an American violinist, bandleader, and actor, also as "The Man Who's Long on Music"...clever, Johnny, clever! A rare right-handed violinist with an origin that rivals Spider-Man: he learned violin at the age of six, but injured two fingers on his left hand when he was bitten by a pig. He then learned to use his right hand to play the violin.

from Juke Box Comics #5 (Eastern Color, November 1948), by Phil Berube

Johnny also received his own short feature story in comics...

from "Johnny Long" in Juke Box Comics #3 (Eastern Color, July 1948), pencils and inks by Ruth Atkinson

...which riffed on the fact that Johnny got no respect. No respect at all.

A very happy birthday to you, Mister Johnny Long! I'd shake your hand, but I can't reach up that far.

"A Shanty in Old Shanty Town" by Johnny Long and His Orchestra (Decca, 1946), by Ira Schuster and Jack Little with lyrics by Joe Young

Today in Comics History, September 12, 1942: Mickey Spillane writes tough-as-nails, gritty crime drama in which the crooks are caught because they paid their electric bill

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

Monday, September 11, 2023

Today in Comics History, September 11: Happy birthday, Brian De Palma!

Happy birthday today to Brian De Palma, director of a lotta scary 'n' violent movies I'm not allowed to see, like Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Scarface, The Untouchables, Phantom of the Paradise, and more. But I am allowed to look for gratuitous cameos of Brian De Palma in comic books, so here you go!:

from "Verti-Go-Areeno" in Simpsons Comics #115 (Bongo, February 2006), script by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Jason Ho, inks by Mike Rote, colors by Art Villanueva, letters by Chris Ungar

PS: I did get to see his Mission: Impossible movie. Ya did Jim Phelps dirty, Mr. De Palma, but happy birthday anyway!

Today in Comics History, September 11, 2009: Eight days later, regret sets in

from F.A.R.M. System (Top Shelf, November 2022), by Rich Koslowski

Today in Comics History, September 11: Happy birthday, Bill Parker!

Born today in 1911: let's wish a happy birthday to comic book writer/editor Bill Parker, co-creator with C. C. Beck of the World's Mightiest Mortal, Captain Marvel. (You young whippersnappers may know him as "Shazam.") Here's a (slightly fictionalized) portrayal of Beck ("C.C.") an' Parker ("B.P.") doin' just that thing:

"How It Happened (More or Less)" from The Steranko History of Comics, Volume 2 (Supergraphics, 1972), by C. C. Beck

Parker also co-created Spy Smasher, Ibis the Invincible, Golden Arrow and other famous Fawcett...uh, fun guys!

A very marvelous birthday to you, Bill Parker!

Sunday, September 10, 2023

The Adventures of Bully: In Which I Fell Down

I fell down in the middle of the night and hurt my head.* We went to the emergency room!

*Technically, John did too. We're both fine now.