Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Today in Comics History, February 6: Happy birthday, Rick Astley!

Born on this day in 1966: singer/songwriter Rick Astley ("Never Gonna Give You Up," "Together Forever," "Whenever You Need Somebody," "Take Me to Your Heart," "Hold Me in Your Arms" and many more)!

But did you know that Rick Astley was one of the hundreds of guests at the wedding of Deadpool? Can you find him? Click the wide-screen cover below to zero in on him!

cover of Deadpool (2013 series) #27 (Marvel, June 2014), pencils and inks by Scott Koblish, colors by Val Staples
(Click picture to Billboard #1 Hit-size)

Happy birthday, Rick!

Monday, February 05, 2024

Today in Comics History, February 5: Happy birthday, William S. Burroughs!

Born on this day in 1914: Beat writer and artist William S. Burroughs (Junkie, Queer, Naked Lunch (I can think of two things wrong with that title), The London Trilogy, The Red Night Trilogy and more), who, along with Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and others, built the tropes, literature, and ideas of the Beat Generation. Without which we wouldn't have had the Beatles. Reminder to myself: must double check this possible fact in my research.

Perhaps most notably, The Beat Generation battled Generation X! I mean literally! Burroughs is the rectangular-spectacled chap in the fourth and sixth panel. Guess his agent didn't deal with Marvel as well as Ginsberg's and Keruoac's!

from "Generation X vs. The Beat Generation" in Generation X Underground #1 one-shot (Marvel, May 1998), by Jim Mahfood

Today in Comics History, February 5: Happy birthday, Corinna Bechko!

Born on this day: comics writer Corinna Bechko (Star Wars: Legacy, Angel Season 11, Invisible Republic, Heathentown, Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm, Green Lantern: Earth One and lots more)!

from Batman: Black and White (2021 series) #2 (DC, March 2021)

A couple of Corinna's nature essays that accompanied the series Invisible Republic:

from Invisible Republic #3 and 9 (Image, May 2015 and February 2016), by Corinna Bechko

Happy birthday, Ms. Bechko!

Sunday, February 04, 2024

Today in Comics History, February 4: Happy birthday, Norman Wisdom!

Born on this day in 1915, prolific English actor, comedian, musician and singer Norman Wisdom (On the Beat, A Stitch in Time, What's Good for the Goose, Coronation Street and many, many more)! He was a major star in, of all places, Albania, where his Mr Pitkin films wre phenonally popular and he was made an honorary citizen of Tirana, Albania's capital.

masthead from Radio Fun #1039 (Amalgamated UK, 6 September 1958)

Also: British comic book star of his own strip feature!

from Radio Fun #1039; creators uncredited and unknown

Today in Comics History, February 4: Happy birthday, Nigel Bruce!

Born on this day in 1895: stage and screen actor Nigel Bruce of The Scarlet Pimpernel, She, Under Two Flags, Kidnapped, Lassie Come Home, The Two Mrs. Carrolls and more, but especially as the lovable and bumbling version of Doctor John H. Watson in each of the fourteen Fox and Universal Sherlock Holmes pictures starring Basil Rathbone!

from "Clodumbo" in MAD #156 (January 1973), script by Lou Silverstone, pencils and inks by Angelo Torres

Nigel Bruce appeared in Lassie Come Home with Elizabeth Taylor and Roddy McDowell, and since I once met Roddy McDowell ar a convention, I'm only one Kevin Bacon away from Nigel! (And only three, via Hillbillys in a Haunted House, from Ferlin Husky!)

from "Elizabeth Taylor" in Famous Stars #5 (Ziff-Davis, Winter 1951), creators uncredited and unknown

Happy birthday, Nigel Bruce!

from Dressed to Kill (Universal, 1946), starring here Nigel Bruce and Topsy Glyn, written by Frank Gruber and Leonard Lee, directed by Roy William Neill

Today in Comics History, February 4, 1981: Being a plant psychologist bores doctor to narcolepsy

from "Dig the Plant, Man!" in Secrets of Haunted House #43 (DC, December 1981), plot and pencils by Rodin Rodriguez, script by Robin Snyder, inks by Andy Mushynsky, colors by Jerry Serpe, letters by Pierre Bernard Jr.

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 2024 in this series. Thanks, Blam!