Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles and ends, this time for November 30 through December 6, 2018...
130 years ago December 3, 1888 Comic strip and political cartoonist Stan Cross is born. He’s known for Wally and the Major and The Potts.
100 years ago November 30, 1918 Artist John Rosenberger is born. Sometimes working as John Diehl, he is especially known for his work for ACG. He co-creates The Jaguar (with Robert Bernstein) and Lady Cop (with Robert Kanigher).
95 years ago December 1, 1923 Maurice de Bevere is born. Under the name “Morris,” he creates Lucky Luke.
90 years ago December 3, 1928 Themo Logos is born. Born Themistocles Nazario Lobos Aguirre, the Chilean writer-artist-publisher creates the characters Máximo Chambónez and Ferrilo and is best known for stories about Mampato.
70 years ago December 6, 1948 In response to threats of governmental censorship, the Association of Comics Magazine Publishers (ACMP) announces the creation of its Advisory Committee to offer recommendations to improve comic books.
60 years ago November 30, 1958 Award-winning manga artist and Edo researcher Hinako Sugiura is born.
55 years ago December 1, 1963 Cartoonist Jimmy Hatlo dies of a stroke at age 66. The award-winning creator of They’ll Do It Every Time and Little Iodine credited readers who participated, adding, “Thanx and a tip of the Hatlo Hat.”
45 years ago November 30, 1973 Mini-comics creator Matthew Kelleigh is born.
40 years ago December 4, 1978 British artist and animator Brian Lewis dies at age 49.
30 years ago December 3, 1988 French artist Jean David dies at age 82 or 83. His strips included the wordless Monsieur le Marquis.
30 years ago December 6, 1988 Charles Saxon dies of heart failure at age 68. The award-winning cartoonist and Dell magazine editor was especially known for his New Yorker cartoons.
15 years ago November 30, 2003 Award-winning writer-artist Kin Platt dies at age 92. He created Supermouse and the advertising strip “Pepsi Cola Cops.”
15 years ago December 5, 2003 Writer-artist Bob Gregory dies of pneumonia at age 82. He was known for his work on Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Warner Bros., and Walter Lantz comic books.
10 years ago December 4, 2008 Famous Monsters of Filmland editor in chief Forrest J. Ackerman dies at age 92. Among his credits is the invention of the term “sci-fi.”
10 years ago December 4, 2008 Award-winning German-Dutch political cartoonist Fritz Behrendt dies at age 83.
10 years ago December 6, 2008 French artist Gérard Lauzier dies at age 76. He created “Zizi Panpan” and “Les Chroniques de l’île Grande.”
5 years ago December 4, 2013 British artist Charles Grigg dies at age 97. He contributed features to The Dandy.
And here are the anniversaries spanning the month of December...
65 years ago December 1953 Harvey’s Captain 3-D #1 (and only) introduces Captain 3-D. And gives readers free “2 pairs of magic specs no extra cost”! Woo hoo! Contributors include Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Mort Meskin, and Steve Ditko.
60 years ago December 1958 Marvel’s Strange Worlds #1 provides a science fiction anthology of “tales of the strangest worlds of all!” (Some of the stories are retold elsewhere in Marvel’s anthologies, according to the Grand Comics Database. Wouldn’t it be keen to have anthologies consisting of variant versions of the same Marvel story? Just saying.)
60 years ago December 1958 ACG’s Forbidden Worlds #73 introduces Herbie Popnecker in “Herbie’s Quiet Saturday Afternoon!” drawn by Ogden Whitney and probably written by Editor Richard Hughes.
55 years ago December 1963 Marvel’s Fantastic Four #21 introduces The Hate-Monger (wearing purple Klan-type garb). Can you guess who he turns out to be in the story by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and George Roussos? Ooo! (And, hey! Sgt. Fury – “more exciting than ever!!” – is a guest star!)
55 years ago December 1963 He is cover-featured as “unbeatable,” when The Human Top [who later becomes Whirlwind] first appears in Marvel’s Tales to Astonish #50, battling Giant-Man and Wasp. The story is by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Don Heck. How’d that “unbeatable” label work out for you, Tops?
55 years ago December 1963 “See the new Iron Man!” Marvel’s Tales of Suspense #48 introduces Iron Man’s red and gold armor in “The Mysterious Mr. Doll!” by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Dick Ayers.
55 years ago December 1963 DC’s The Flash #141 introduces Rogue’s Gallery tailor Paul Gambi. Hey, just because they’re villains doesn’t mean they don’t want to be well-dressed. “The Mystery of The Flash’s Third Identity!” is by John Broome, Carmine Infantino, and Joe Giella.
55 years ago December 1963 “The Mysterious Mister Hyde!” (also known as Calvin Zabo) is introduced in Marvel’s Journey into Mystery #99 in a story by Stan Lee and Don Heck. Not such a great idea to attack a surgeon, if that doctor happens to be the alter ego of, um, a god of thunder. Even if you are “stronger than a dozen men!” Just saying.
50 years ago December 1968 DC’s Showcase #79 introduces Jay Scott Pike’s Dolphin, who will eventually join The Forgotten Heroes, hang out with Aquaman, and have a variety of other watery adventures.
50 years ago December 1968 Readers learn that Daily Bugle Editor Robbie Robertson has a son (who will become a buddy of Peter Parker before long). Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man #67 introduces Randy Robertson in “To Squash a Spider!” by Stan Lee, John Romita, and Jim Mooney.
50 years ago December 1968 The cover says it: “His Name Is … Yellowjacket!” Marvel’s The Avengers introduces Yellowjacket in #59, when Goliath (also known as Hank Pym) becomes Yellowjacket; it’s not his first identity change. The story’s by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and George Klein.
50 years ago December 1968 Oh, no! What demonic obsessive might menace the sweet Shalla Bal? Marvel’s The Silver Surfer introduces Mephisto in #3 in “The Power and the Prize!” by Stan Lee, John Buscema, and Joe Sinnott.
45 years ago December 1973 Trapped in a world he never made! “Finding yourself in a world of talking hairless apes – now that’s absurdity!” Marvel’s Fear #19 introduces Howard the Duck. “The Enchanter’s Apprentice!” is by Steve Gerber, Val Mayerik, and Sal Trapani.
45 years ago December 1973 Marvel connects its stories to a pop culture icon, when Special Marvel Edition introduces Shang-Chi, Master of Kung-Fu in #15. The tale by Jim Starlin, Steve Englehart, and Al Milgrom introduces Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu, Dr. Petrie, and Sir Denis Nayland Smith to the Marvel Universe. (Manchu was introduced in 1913; 60 years later, it turns out he has a son named Shang-Chi.)
45 years ago December 1973 Marvel’s Millie the Model ends with #207 (reprinting stories from Mad about Millie #11).
40 years ago December 1978 Marvel’s Spectacular Spider-Man #25 introduces Carrion, initially as the clone of Professor Miles Warren (though the existence of clones in the Marvel Universe can be a tricky topic). “Carrion, My Wayward Son!” is by Bill Mantlo, Jim Mooney, and Frank Springer.
35 years ago December 1983 WaRP Graphics introduces Colleen Doran’s A Distant Soil.
30 years ago December 1988 Comico’s The Maze Agency kicks off the detective series with “The Adventure of the Rogue’s Gallery” by Mike W. Barr, Adam Hughes, and Rick Magyar.
25 years ago December 1993 “The end!” Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian #275 is the last issue of the series.
5 years ago December 2013 Vertigo’s The Sandman: Overture begins. “Chapter One” of the Sandman prequel is by Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III. The miniseries will win the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story.
5 years ago December 2013 DC kicks off Superman/Wonder Woman with “Power Couple” by Charles Soule, Tony Daniel, and Matt Banning.