Saturday, April 27, 2024

Today in Comics History, April 27, 1949: Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft

In 1954, EC ("Educational Comics! Plus Injury-to-Eye Motifs!") published a complete issue of Weird Science-Fantasy about UFOs, all presented with the intensity of a Reddit post. Young Foxy Mulder, purchasing this comic at the local five-and-dime, looked up to the skies and proclaimed "I want to believe!" Sadly, his voice had not dropped yet and all he succeded in was frightening the cat.

from "The United Air Lines Emmett, Idaho Case" Project Saucer Case No. 10]" 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

Lots of quotes and footnotes from secret government "redacted" files allowed EC Comics to propose the idea that aliens had invaded our space. As we've seen from all other EC Comics, that's never good news.

By the end of the year, however, the government was backtracking because they'd just found out Ed Wood was filming Plane 9 from Outer Space the next field over.

I dunno...they sobered up?

Today in Comics History, April 27, 1945: World War II is no time to hold a singles mixer, you guys!

from Last Days of the Justice Society Special #1 one-shot (DC, July 1986), co-plot and script by Roy Thomas, co-plot by Dann Thomas, pencils by David Ross, inks by Mike Gustovich, colors by Carl Gafford, letters by David Cody Weiss

Today in Comics History, April 27: Happy birthday, Friedrich von Flotow!

Born on this day in 1812, so very possibly he was rock-a-byed to the soothing sounds of The 1812 Overture: German composer Friedrich von Flotow, whose best-known opera is Martha. Which is, I believe, about a similarity in mothers' names. Let's check:

"Famous Operas" from Classics Illustrated #84 [The Gold Bug] (Gilberton, June 1951), pencils and inks by Alex Blum

Well, they certainly "saved Martha" in that one there, didn't they?

Happy birthday, Friedy!

Friday, April 26, 2024

Kitty Pryde ๐Ÿˆ‍⬛: Well hello! I didn't see you standing there.

Today in Comics History, April 26: Happy birthday, John Paul Leon.

Comic book artist John Paul Leon was born today in 1972, but it doesn't seem like much of a celebration because he's not here for us to throw a party. He passed away in 2021 at the age of 49 following a 14-year battle with cancer. That's far too young. But he left us an impressive and grogeous body of work on titles such as DMZ, Earth X, Shadow Cabinet, Challengers of the Unknown, Static, John Constantine: Hellblazer, Sheriff of Babylon, Detective Comics, Action Comics, The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, RoboCop: Prime Suspect and many more. Though his art enlivens many books, there aren't a lot of portrayals of him in comics, the usual approach these birthday posts take. But here's a portait of John Paul with Batman:

from Batman/Catwoman Special #1 one-shot (DC, March 2022); pencils, inks, and colors by Lee Bermejo

Today in Comics History, April 26, 1948: Wood cracks

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

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Bully and His Pals: Squirrel Girl and Tippy-Toe endorse the great taste and refreshment of Polar Seltzer™!

Meanwhile, at Bully's backyward barebcue...

Kitty Pryde ๐Ÿˆ‍⬛: More fun with the catnip pickle

Bully Eats Food: Jell-O

Because there's always room for Jell-O™!

Today in Comics History, April 25: Happy birthday, Ella Fitzgerald!

Born on this day in 1917: the Queen of Jazz Ella Fitzgerald! One of my favorite vocalists, her jazz vocalizations and scat rhythm singing provide us with a large library of popular and entertaining recordings across six decades. And yes, she even got her own comic book feature! And without the usual racist, stereotypical portrayals of Black persons in comics (Bravo, Alex Toth!).

from "Ella Fitzgerald: The Cinderella of Song" in Juke Box Comics #3 (Eastern Color, July 1948), pencils by Alex Toth, inks by Alex Toth (?) or Frank Giacoia (?)

Today in Comics History, April 25: Happy birthday, Justice!

Born on this day in 1950: the guy who thought he was an alien cop until Marvel remembered he was supposed to live in the world outside your window: John Tensen, Justice!

from Justice (1986 series) #22 (Marvel/New Universe, August 1988), creators unidentified and unknown

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Well goodnight, from me and my retirement fund

I'm rich! Richer than astronauts!

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Today in Comics History, April 23, 1970: Batman dies; DC Comics shuts down; Bob Kane disavows any knowledge of the Caped Crusader now that it has become unprofitable

from The Brave and the Bold (1955 series) #90 (DC/National, June 1970), script by Bob Haney, pencils by Ross Andru, inks by Mike Esposito, letters by John Costanza

This panel was brought to my attention on Bluesky by pal Gracious Greg A! Thanks, Greg!

Today in Comics History, April 23: Happy birthday, Sandra Dee!

๐ŸŽตLook at me, I'm a L.S.B.๐ŸŽต...and I'm here to wish a very happy birthday to Miss Sandra Dee, born on this day in 1942! You may remember Sandra from such fine movies as The Reluctant Debutante, A Stranger in My Arms, Gidget, That Funny Feeling, The Daughters of Joshua Cabe, and of course that "Tammy" movie that didn't star Debbie Reynolds or Beulah Bondi: 1961's Tammy Tell Me True, which was adapted into an ish of Dell's perpetual Four Color series.

cover and inside front cover of Four Color #1233 [Tammy Tell Me True] (Dell, September 1961)

Stuff Bully Got: Tormented: The Special Edition

At last! After pre-ordering it months ago, now at last I can shout in triumph "TOM STEWART KILLED ME!" with the newly-restored, ultra-feature-crammed edition of Tormented (1960), starring Hollywood Actor Richard Carlson!

It even includes the full Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffing of the movie! Now that's entertainment!

Mystery Science Theater 3000 "Tormented," season X, episode X (Comedy Central/Best Brains, January 25, 1994), directed by Kevin Murphy

Tormented, won't you?

Today in Comics History, April 23: Happy birthday, Michael Moore!

Born on this day: film director, producer, screenwriter and author Michael Moore of fame for Roger & Me, Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, and let us not forget, Canadian Bacon (and more). Moore's movies have attracted controversial attention for his extreme liberal views and weighting his narrative through editing, which makes him a perfect character to appear in recent-years' issues of MAD magazine:

from "Idiotic Anti-Gun Control Arguments The NRA Hasn't Used - Yet!" in MAD #483 (November 2007), script by Jacob Lambert, pencils and inks by Peter Kuper

Today in Comics History, April 23: Happy birthday, Stephanie Phillips!

Born on this day: comics scripter Stephanie Phillips (Harley Quinn, Grim, Wonder Woman: Evolution, Taarna the Last Taarakian, A Man Among Ye, Nuclear Family, Capwolf & the Howling Commandos and many more)!

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

Happy birthday, Stephanie!

Today in Comics History, April 23, 1945: It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Earth-2

from Last Days of the Justice Society Special #1 one-shot (DC, July 1986), co-plot and script by Roy Thomas, co-plot by Dann Thomas, pencils by David Ross, inks by Mike Gustovich, colors by Carl Gafford, letters by David Cody Weiss

Today in Comics History, April 23: Happy birthday, James Buchanan!

Born on this day in 1791: the 15th President of the United States James Buchanan, who, let's face it, wasn't all that great. More to the point, it's nigh-impossible to find actual references to him in comic books because search results are clogged up by you know who. But I did find a couple comic appearances. Hey, comic books: can you sum up the entirely of his career in two pages? You bet they can!:

from Life Stories of American Presidents one-shot (Dell, November 1957), pencils and inks by John Buscema, letters by Ben Oda

Following his death, General Cรณrdova was pressed flat and turned into a stamp of a lion by Colonel Gumm.

"All-American Stamp Page" from All-American Comics (1939 series) #25 (DC/J.R. Publishing, April 1941), creators uncredited and unknown

Much later, like all Presidents, he became a zombie and fought Deadpool.

from Deadpool (2013 series) #4 (Marvel, March 2013), script by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, pencils and inks by Tony Moore, colors byt Val Staples, letters by Joe Sabino

There. That's all you need to know about James Buchanan.

Today in Comics History, April 23, 1948: Blue Man Group Day at Briggs Stadium is a big success

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

Today in Comics History, April 23: Happy birthday, J. M. W. Turner!

Born on this day in 1775: Romantic painter (you mean, like Pepe le Pew?) J. M. W. Turner, known for his pastoral landscapes and his dramatic paintings of ships at sea. And not known for his appearances in comic books, of which I could find none, altho' he might be on the inside of this book, which I don't have.

On the other hoof, remember when yours little stuffed truly went to the Turner exhbit in Mystic, Connecticut? That was fun! See more here!

Happy birthday, J. M. W.! For your birthday, I hope you get some names to go with your initials.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Kitty Pryde ๐Ÿˆ‍⬛: Pow!

Today in Comics History, April 22: Happy birthday, Ralph Byrd!

Born on this day in 1909: actor Ralph Byrd, who appeared in dozens of movies and film serials across two decades, including The Trigger Trio, S.O.S. Tidal Wave, The Howards of Virginia, The Mark of Zorro, North West Mounted Police, The Son of Monte Cristo, Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, Radar Secret Service, Jungle Goddess (those last two riffed on TV's Mystery Science Theater 3000), and lots more, but he's especially know as Chester Gould's square-jawed detective Dick Tracy in four serials. When the role was recast at RKO in 1945 with Morgan Conway, movie exhbitors protested and Byrd returned to the role to do two more features in 1947!

photo cover of Ralph Byrd on A Cop Called Tracy #7 (Avalon, 1999)

Byrd played another comics character role portraying cowboy crimefighter Greg Sanders/Saunders in 1947's movie serial The Vigilante: Fighting Hero of the West from Columbia.

cover of Real Fact Comics #10 (DC/National, September 1947), pencils and inks by Mort Meskin

DC Comics didn't adapt the story, but they did publish a making-of-the-movie-series story in Real Fact Comics!

from "How a Movie Serial Is Made!" in Real Fact Comics #10; script by Jack Schiff, Mort Weisinger, and/or Bernard Breslauer; pencils by Mort Meskin, inks by George Roussos

Happy birthday, Ralph Byrd!