Friday, March 01, 2024

The Adventures of Bully: I Am Now Wearing a Kilt

Hoot mon! Guid gear comes in sma' bulk, ye ken!

Today in Comics History, March 1, 1954: Well, that'll happen, but we oughta be safe for the rest of the monOH FOR PETE'S SAKE

from "Recent Developments" in Weird Science-Fantasy (1954 series) #26 (EC, December 1954), script by Al Feldstein, pencils and inks by Wally Wood, colors by Marie Severin, letters by Jim Wroten

Today in Comics History, March 1, 2023: Personally, I blame Max Dillon

from Rogue & Gambit (2023 series) #1 (Marvel, May 2023), text by Stephanie Phillips

Today in Comics History, March 1, 1949: Fans come runnin' for the great taste of Dobyball

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

Today in Comics History, March 1: This should be a big draw

Hey, did you knwo that March is Youth Art Month (formerly Children's Art Month)? It's true: would Charlie Brown lie to ya?

Peanuts (United Feature Syndicate, March 9, 1985), by Charles M. Schulz

Since it is March and I am a yout', here's one I prepared earlier.

Make art today!

The March 1968 2024 Calendar for This Menacing Year

I love Spring. It's my favorite season of the year, especially when the ground starts to thaw and you can smell the earth, and the warmer winds whip at your jacket and make you believe you could fly like Ororo Munroe, if only you had a bigger jacket.

This year March comes in like a lion and goes out like a ham (Easter, that is), and my best pal John's birthday is on that last day, too. Another excellent month!

"March 1968" from Dennis the Menace Giant #51 [Dennis the Menace Christmas Special] (Hallden/Fawcett, Winter 1967), creators unidentified and unknown
(Click picture to everyone knows it's Windy-size)

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Today in Comics History, February 30, 1712: Time to buy a new calendar

from "Scott's Scrapbook: News in Pictures" in King Comics #42 (David McKay, October 1939); script, pencils, and inks by R. J. Scott

Today in Comics History, February 29: Hal Jordan Ruins Leap Day

Well, 'round about now is when our ol' pal Hal Jordan starts to have mighty big trouble on Leap Day, and doesn't look like that plastic cereal box prize ring is gonna help him get outta this mess o' the Giant Green Goblin with a Red Speedo, no how, no way.

from cover of DC Special #21 (DC/National, April 1976), pencils and inks by Ernie Chan, colors by Tatjana Wood, letters by John Workman (?)

Note: this story takes place during a Leap Year but not necessary on LEap Day. But it's my blog, so ya boo, this is where it goes.

Today in Comics History, February 29: Happy birthday, Willi Smith!

Born on this day in 1948: Willi Smith, noted designer and innovator in the fashion industry.

What does Willi have to do with comics? Well...

covers of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 (Marvel, September 1987), pencils and inks by John Romita, Sr.

What's Bully Reading? 2024 #18 (During Jury Duty): Last Chance Texaco by Rickie Lee Jones

It's afternoon and I'm back from lunch in the jury duty waiting room, wondering if or when they're going to announce "BULLY, THE LITTLE STUFFED BULL" to report to the bailiff, whose name, despite my television expectations, will probably not be also named Bull. In the meantime I have finished another book (yes, I'm a fast reader!), Rickie Lee Jones's autobiography The Last Chance Texaco.

I (and John) have been big fans of Rickie Lee since her 1979 debut album (remind John to tell you how he rode his bike from Clay to Cicero to buy the LP at a record store on Route 11...well, actually, that's just about the entire story right there), and I really enjoyed her autobio. She's had a tough life not only as a woman in the music business but growing up with inattentive or hostile parents, with lots of family tragedies and runaway stories. But it's not downbeat, and I really whipped through it eagerly this afternoon.

Today in Comics History, February 29: Happy birthday, Pepper Martin!

Born on this day in 1904: Major League baseball player and manager Pepper Martin, who not only sounds like he'd taste good on a sandwich, but also was a leading player for the St. Louis Cardinals in the thirties and forties and a factor in the Cards' win of the 1931 World Series! He was a member of the Cardinals' infamous "Gashouse Gang" and also known as "Wild Horse of the Osage," which is a bit of a mouthful to shout from the bleachers. Go ahead, just try it! See? Also, his face emitted blinding rays of light:

"Sports Features" from King Comics #42 (David McKay, October 1939), pencils and inks by Jack Burnley; reprinted from the newspaper feature Sport Features Sunday (King Features Syndicate, 1938

However, never forget that in his managing years, Martin was kind of a dismissive jerk to up-and-coming Cardinal player Red Schoendienst:

from "Red Schoendienst...The Most Under-Rated Second Sacker in Baseball!" in Sports Action #4 (Marvel/Sports Action Inc., October 1950), pencils (and inks?) by Edd Ashe

A happy birthday to ya, Pepper! But I wouldn't be hanging around tyour mailbox waiting on a present from Red Schoendienst.

Today in Comics History, February 29: Happy birthday, Anne Ide...or is it?

Born on this day in 1876...or was she?!?...Anne L. Ide, daughter of U.S. Senator Henry Clay Ide (1844-1921). Or so the story goes...or does it? Why yes. Yes, it does. To wit, Anne complained to Robert Lousi Stevenson that she only got a birthday every four years (which seems to point towards dull, cheap and unimaginative parents more than a vagary of the calendar) so Stevenson gave her his birthday (November 13). Thus this so-called-story goes:

from "Robert Louis Stevenson" in Real Life Comics #33 (Pines, July 1946), creators uncredited and unknown

The event was immortalized in a poem "that every child should know" (and believe me, it's no "Milk, Milk, Lemonade") by Katherine Miller. It starts out
"How I should like a birthday!" said the child,
⁠"I have so few, and they so far apart."
She spoke to Stevenson — the Master smiled —
⁠"Mine is to-day; I would with all my heart
That it were yours; too many years have I!
Too swift they come, and all too swiftly fly."
The whole thing is right here, and it's about as wet as this verse.

Truth is, Ms. Ide was born not today but on Christmas Day — December 25, 1876 — but the vague lyrics of this piece of nonsense gave rise to the historical legend that is repeated in this comic: that Anne was born on Leap Day. (See here.)

So, for being at the center of false history, today you get nothing, Anne Ide! You lose! Good day, sir miss!

However, you can't deny the historical truth that Anne Ide was known as "Levei-malo" to the Samoans, which only goes to show.

Happy not birthday, Anne Ide! Ya big cheater.

Today in Comics History, February 29: Happy birthday, Nel Yomtov!

Born on this Leap Day: Nel Yomtov, potential anagram and comic book writer, colorist, letterer and editor! The many comics he's worked on include Transformers, Iron Man, Conan the Barbarian, Captain America, Fantastic Force, G.I. Joe Special Missions, and more, plus writing scripts for Wolverine and Hawkeye in Marvel Comics Presents, Spider-Man Adventures, A Midsummer Night's Dream and others!

from Marvel Age #50, 87 (Marvel, May 1987, April 1990, March 1991, and March 1992); text by Mike Carlin (#50), Chris Eliopoulis and Barry Dutter (#87 and 98), and Mike Lackey (#110); pencils and inks by Ron Zalme; colors by Gregory Wright (#87) and Renee Witterstaetter (#98)

Today in Comics History, February 29: Happy birthday, Bennie Woodcock!

Happy birthday today to Minky Woodcock's brother Bennie Woodcock, born in 1920.

from Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Electrified Tesla #3 (Titan, July 2021); script, pencils, inks, and colors by Cynthia von Buhler; letters by Jim Campbell

Happy birthday, Bennie! Over the next four years, we'll completely forget about you between your birthdays.

Today in Comics History, February 29: Happy birthday, Gioachino Rossini!

Yes, here it is, the event we've all waited four years for: Gioachino Rossini's birthday, born on this day in 1792, which means he's only... (does math with hoofs, wishes I had more that four hoofs)...fifty-eight years old this year! That's mighty young at heart for the classic composer of the famous operas William Tell aka The Lone Ranger, Otello (please don't be mad at him just because he misspelled Shakespeare's tragic Moor), and of course The Barber of Seville, a hair-raising comic opera:

from "Famous Operas: The Barber of Seville" in Classics Illustrated #55 (Gilberton, January 1949), creators uncredited and unknown

Of course, we're all familiar with the plot and music of The Barber of Seville thanks to that famous short cartoon featuring a wascally animal character, right? And here it is!

excerpt from Looney Tunes "Rabbit of Seville" (Warner Bros., 1950), story by Michael Maltese, directed by Chuck Jones, starring the voices of Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan, with the music of Gioachino Rossini

Okay, actually the original gag of that last paragraph was going to lead you unexpectedly to not a Bugs Bunny cartoon, but one with Woody WOodpecker, until I actually watched it and went yeeeeeesh at its dodgy depiction of a Native American. (Look at it at your own risk.)

Happy birthday, Gioachino Rossini!

What's Bully Reading 2024 #17 (During Jury Duty)?: And Four to Go by Rex Stout

Greetings, pals, from the big-ass waiting room (filled with hundreds of people and yet only one bull) at Kings County Supreme Court in Downtown Brooklyn. Yes, that's right, I'm on jury duty! I asked for an exemption on accounta me being 1) a stuffed animal and 2) only seven, but they wouldn't allow it under the new "Stuffed Animals Must serve Jury Duty" legilature they put through last year. That's okay, Pal John had to serve on jury duty at the same time, so he's keeping me company while we wait to see if we'll be called to serve on a jury. I'm preparing my ACAB arguments in my head even now as we speak.

Because a bull's solemn motto is "be prepared," John and I have arrived with our messenger bag full of snacks, a thermos of cocoa, an iPad crammed full of comic books, and three, count 'em, three books. Because we are both really fast readers and I just know I'll be here all day; might as well make hay while the sun shines. I don't understand that adage, so I got some reading done instead.

First book: I have read Rex Stout's And Four to Go, a collection of four holiday-themed Nero Wolfe mysteries. If you ever wanted to read about Wolfe dressed up like Santa Claus, this is the book for you. I love Rex Stout's writing and I haven't read them in many years, so any of them I pick up now (you can see how used this one was when I got it from the thrift shop) are a lot of fun.

Also, I figured I could pick up some of Archie Goodwin's fast talk if I hafta deal with cops like Sergeant Purley.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

What's Bully Not Reading? 2024 #1: Island Stories by David Reynolds

There's some books on my gotta-read-'em-all-in-2024 bookshelves that I pluck out, but then decide not to read after all. Here's the first of them.

I got this (for $4.95 at Hamilton Books, ultra-cheap) because I liked the cover and I thought it was much more of a casual history than it turned out to be.

But it turns out to be an examination of Brexit (well, at least it's faintly anti-Brexit), using historical context to explain how Britain got to Brexit. I must have misread or was misled by the online description when I bought it. Really beautiful cover, though! But the book isn't my cuppa tea (ha ha). I read a couple chapters but now it's going into the donation bin.

As a bull of seven, I'm definitely too old to finish reading a book I'm not really into.