Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for May 22-28, 2020...
145 years ago May 22, 1875 Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro introduces Zé Povinho, the first Portuguese comics character.
140 years ago May 26, 1880 Artist and animator John Terry is born. The creator of Scorchy Smith is the brother of Terrytoons founder Paul Terry.
130 years ago May 27, 1890 Pioneering Japanese artist Kobayashi Eitaku dies at age 47.
120 years ago May 27, 1900 Frank Crane’s Willie Westinghouse Edison Smith, the Boy Inventor begins.
115 years ago May 28, 1905 Gustave Verbeek’s The Terror of the Tiny Tads begins.
110 years ago May 28, 1910 Golden Age artist Klaus Nordling is born. He draws Lady Luck and The Barker and is part of Will Eisner’s Spirit team.
105 years ago May 22, 1915 Animator and Sad Sack creator George Baker is born.
105 years ago May 22, 1915 Tintin magazine founder Raymond Leblanc is born.
105 years ago May 23, 1915 The Italino comic strip by Antonio Rubino begins in Il Corriere dei Piccoli.
95 years ago May 24, 1925 Award-winning artist and editor-publisher Carmine Infantino is born. The DC editorial director especially comes to fans’ attention with his groundbreaking work on DC’s Flash (kicking off the Silver Age), though his comic book work begins in the Golden Age.
80 years ago May 25, 1940 Writer William Conselman dies of a liver ailment at age 43. The screenwriter co-created Ella Cinders with artist Charles Plumb.
75 years ago May 22, 1945 Artist Carlos Garzón is born. He’s especially known for work on science fiction and fantasy comics.
70 years ago May 26, 1950 Colorist Marcus David is born.
65 years ago May 27, 1955 Writer-editor Charles Santino is born. He adapts Aesop’s Fables and Ayn Rand’s Anthem to comics form.
60 years ago May 27, 1960 Artist James Montgomery Flagg dies at age 82. Though best known for his 1917 “Uncle Sam Wants You” poster, he was also a comics artist, creator of the Judge strip Nervy Nat.
60 years ago May 28, 1960 The British comic book Buster begins and introduces Buster Capp (a spinoff of Andy Capp) by Bill Titcombe.
50 years ago May 25, 1970 Artist Kyle J. Bertelsen is born.
50 years ago May 26, 1970 Writer-artist and cartooning teacher Nick Bertozzi is born. He’s best known for Rubber Necker and Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey.
35 years ago May 22, 1985 Animator and director Wolfgang Reitherman dies in a car accident at age 75. Hired at Walt Disney Productions in 1933, he was one of Disney’s “Nine Old Men” and named a Disney Legend.
30 years ago May 25, 1990 Writer-artist William Overgard dies at age 64. He worked on comic books in the early 1950s, eventually drawing Steve Roper and Rudy comic strips, and scripted episodes of ThunderCats. His comic book work included material for the Lev Gleason and Dell lines of comics.
25 years ago May 27, 1995 Actor, director, producer, writer, and Superman star Christopher Reeve is thrown from his horse in an accident that leaves him a quadriplegic.
20 years ago May 25, 2000 Australian artist Elizabeth Durack dies at age 84.
20 years ago May 27, 2000 More than 100 comic strips pay tribute to Charles M. Schulz and his Peanuts strip.
20 years ago May 27, 2000 Boner’s Ark ends.
20 years ago May 28, 2000 Bringing up Father ends after 87 years.
15 years ago May 23, 2005 Award-winning writer John Albano, co-creator (with Tony DeZuniga) of Jonah Hex, dies at age 82 following a heart attack and stroke.
10 years ago May 25, 2010 Award-winning Mexican artist Gabriel Vargas dies at age 92. He created La Familia Burrón.