Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for July 31 through August 6, 2020...
170 years ago August 3, 1850 Francisco Augusto Noguiera da Silva’s Aventuras sentimentais e dramáticas do senhor Simplício Baptista appears in the Portuguese magazine Revista Popular #18. It’s based on Stop’s Les Aventures de Monsieur Verdreau.
160 years ago August 5, 1860 Louis Wain is born. The British artist is known for cat cartoons.
145 years ago August 5, 1875 Comic strip pioneer Clare Briggs is born. Among his creations are A. Piker Clerk, When a Feller Needs a Friend, and Mr. and Mrs.
110 years ago August 1, 1910 Writer-editor-publisher Raymond A. Palmer is born. The influential science fiction figure becomes the namesake of The Atom in the Silver Age.
100 years ago August 2, 1920 UPA and Jay Ward animator, producer, and story man Bill Scott is born. His voice artistry is on display in his performances as Bullwinkle.
90 years ago August 3, 1930 Cartoonist and animation artist Rowland B. Wilson is born. His career begins with the Texas Ranger, and he’s known for cartoons for Playboy, a New England Life Insurance campaign, and episodes of Schoolhouse Rock.
85 years ago August 5, 1935 Michal Demarets is born. The Belgian artist specializes in drawings of vehicles.
75 years ago August 5, 1945 Daily “Giles Family” cartoons by Carl Giles begin in The Sunday Express.
70 years ago August 1, 1950 Belgian-French writer-artist Raoul Thomen dies at age 74. He created Les Aventures Acrobatiques de Charlot.
70 years ago August 4, 1950 First Comics co-founder, DC editor, ComicMix co-founder, and Hero Initiative Humanitarian Award-winner Mike Gold is born.
65 years ago August 1, 1955 Colorist Ray Fehrenbach is born.
65 years ago August 2, 1955 Writer Robert E. McTyre is born.
65 years ago August 3, 1955 French cartoonist (born Jean-Charles) Charlie Schlingo is born.
65 years ago August 5, 1955 Dutch artist André Vlaanderen dies at age 73.
60 years ago August 5, 1960 Artist Bob Orzechowski is born.
55 years ago July 31, 1965 It’s the first day of Academy Con 1 in New York City, presided over by Dave Kaler. It runs for two days.
55 years ago August 2, 1965 Writer-artist Ving Fuller dies at age 62. He was especially known for Doc Syke.
50 years ago July 31, 1970 Artist N. Blake Seals is born.
50 years ago August 1, 1970 Golden State Comic-Con begins at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego. Guests are Forrest J. Ackerman, Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby, and A.E. van Vogt. It’s the first three-day comics con in San Diego and follows a one day con earlier in the year.
50 years ago August 1, 1970 Mickey Finn creator Lank Leonard dies at age 74.
50 years ago August 2, 1970 Screenwriter, actor, producer, director, podcast host, and retailer Kevin Smith is born. His pop culture fame includes (but is far from limited to) his Clerks (1994), Mallrats (1995) and Chasing Amy (1997), films that focus on the world of comics.
45 years ago August 5, 1975 Writer Bob Karp dies at age 64. He was known for his scripts for the Donald Duck newspaper strip and other Disney comics.
35 years ago August 6, 1985 Artist Ken Ernst dies of a heart attack at age 67. He began his career in Golden Age comic books and was known for his work on the Mary Worth newspaper strip.
30 years ago August 3, 1990 Disney’s DuckTales – The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp opens. It’s a spinoff from the animated TV series, a first for Disney, and the first animated film produced by Disney MovieToons.
25 years ago August 1, 1995 French artist Daniel Chauvin dies of stomach cancer at age 56.
25 years ago August 1, 1995 French artist Noel Gloesner dies at age 77. He drew Les Indégonflables de Chantovent.
20 years ago July 31, 2000 Artist and cartoonist Lars Jansson dies at age 73. The brother of creator Tove Jansson, he wrote and drew the comic strip featuring her Moomin characters after she left the project.
15 years ago August 1, 2005 Dutch artist and animator Wim Boost dies at age 87. He worked as “Wibo” and was a staff cartoonist for De Volkskrant.
10 years ago August 6, 2010 British artist Ted Rawlings dies at age 89. He was known for his work for D.C. Thomson.
5 years ago July 31, 2015 French artist Jean-Jacques Loup dies, age 78 or 79.
And here are the anniversaries spanning the month of August…
80 years ago August 1940 Centaur’s Keen Detective Funnies #23 introduces Hawkman imitation Air Man in a story drawn by Harry Sahle. Just to top things off, the cover calls Air Man “A Brand New Character.” Well, he does use “his secret pellets,” whereas Hawkman (by Gardner Fox and Dennis Neville, introduced in DC’s Flash Comics #1, January 1940) uses antique weapons.
80 years ago August 1940 Dell’s Popular Comics #54 introduces Doctor Hormone drawn by Robert Bugg. Yeah, it’s the character’s only appearance, and he doesn’t even get a cover acknowledgement, but wouldn’t you like to read more? What a great name!
80 years ago August 1940 Speaking of great names, Weird Comics #5 from Fox cover features “the fiendish Dr. Mortal.” But the issue is listed here because it introduces The Dart and Ace Barlow in a story drawn by Louis Cazeneuve. (Oh, also in the issue: a story (drawn by Don Rico) about Sorceress of Zoom. Mind you, she’s been in the series since its beginning. Nevertheless, time for a 2020 update?)
80 years ago August 1940 Marvel’s Red Raven Comics #1 is the only issue of that series, but it introduces The Human Top (by Dick Briefer) and Red Raven (by Joe Simon and Louis Cazeneuve). (Hey, Red Raven also has wings, and the cover proudly announces, “Out of the skies swooped a powerful figure.” So Hawkman really did push some buttons out there, didn’t he? Mind you, the next time Red Raven pops up in a Marvel comic, it’s in X-Men #44, May 1968.)
80 years ago August 1940 Eastern Color’s Reg’lar Fellers Heroic Comics #1 introduces Hydroman by Bill Everett. What would you do, if you were turned into a water spout? Hydroman decides to fight alien invaders.
80 years ago August 1940 “The Hour Man Presents Minute Man Martin and the Minute Men of America” says the cover of DC’s Adventure Comics #53. The story (drawn by Bernard Baily) introduces Jimmy “Minuteman” Martin and his team of ham radio operators.
80 years ago August 1940 Fox’s Mystery Men Comics #13 introduces Lynx and Blackie in a story drawn by Jim Mooney. And, by the way, this issue is the first time readers learn that it’s Vitamin 2X that gives Dan Garret the powers of Blue Beetle.
70 years ago August 1950 The cover is designed to grab science fiction fans. There’s a photo from the film Destination Moon (based in part on Robert Heinlein’s Rocket Ship Galileo) with the plug, “Scoop! A thrilling preview of Hollywood’s smash interplanetary epic.” [Was it interplanetary? I don’t think so. Just to the moon and back, right?] A box listing the contributors announces “astounding stories” [the title of a science fiction magazine of the day] by Edmond Hamilton, Gardner F. Fox, and David V. Reed: science fiction writers, all. DC’s Strange Adventures begins, and Grand Comics Database says that, while Whitney Ellsworth is credited as the editor, it’s science fiction’s Julius Schwartz and Mort Weisinger at the helm.
65 years ago August 1955 DC’s The Brave and the Bold begins. It introduces Silent Knight, (“Duel in Forest Perilous” is by Robert Kanigher and Irv Novick), Viking Prince (“Battle for the Dragon Ship!” is by Kanigher and Joe Kubert), and Golden Gladiator (“The Thunder of the Chariots!” is by Ed Herron and Russ Heath).
65 years ago August 1955 Charlton’s Atomic Rabbit #1 introduces Atomic Rabbit, drawn by Al Fago.
60 years ago August 1960 Marvel’s Strange Tales #76 introduces Dragoom (“the flaming intruder”) in a story drawn by Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers. “Who, or what is this monstrous invader?? Why is mankind helpless against him?? Let mankind beware!” Indeed!
60 years ago August 1960 In “The Crimes of the Clock King,” DC’s World’s Finest Comics #111 introduces Green Arrow foe Clock King. The story is by Ed Herron and Lee Elias.
60 years ago August 1960 “Is The Rawhide Kid really a cold-blooded gunman?? Why do they fear his guns from Abiline [sic] to Tombstone?? In this great first issue … see how The Kid became an ‘Outlaw!’ ” Marvel revives The Rawhide Kid with #17 (the first 16 issues came out in 1955-1957) in a story by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers.
60 years ago August 1960 After creating Mad, then Trump, satirist writer-artist-editor Harvey Kurtzman takes his skills to Warren’s Help! (subtitled “for Tired Minds”). The first issue describes itself as “An instant humor magazine for fast acting relief” and contains a blend of comics and captioned photographs.
60 years ago August 1960 Harvey’s Wendy, the Good Little Witch begins with #1. Casper joins her on the cover – and stories include ones with Nightmare and Spooky.
60 years ago August 1960 DC’s Action Comics #267 features the third appearance of The Legion of Super-Heroes – and introduces Legion members Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, and Invisible Kid in “The Three Super-Heroes!” by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney. [Reep Daggle!]
60 years ago August 1960 “A great glowing thing – a Living Lava Creature! Head for the Mole Machine!” You betcha! DC’s The Brave and the Bold #31 introduces Cave Carson and his adventures “Inside Earth.” “The Secret beneath the Earth” is by Ed Herron and Bruno Premiani.
55 years ago August 1965 “Marvel proudly announces ‘The Coming of … The Swordsman! The newest, most daringly different swashbuckler from The House of Ideas!” The story in The Avengers #19 is by Stan Lee, Don Heck, and Dick Ayers. (Bonus in that story: Hawkeye’s origin.)
55 years ago August 1965 It’s just a back-up story in Marvel’s Journey into Mystery #119, but “Gather, Warriors!” by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Vince Colletta introduces Hogun the Grim, Fandral the Dashing, and Volstagg the Voluminous.
55 years ago August 1965 The cover of DC’s Justice League of America #37 questions the contents: “What?! Not a single member of the mighty Justice League on this cover?” and “Why are the super-heroes of the legendary Justice Society battling the menace of a living lightning bolt on – ‘The Earth – without a Justice League!’ ” It’s a JLA-JSA crossover, cover featuring the Golden Age Green Lantern, Doctor Fate, Mr. Terrific, The Atom, and The Flash. The story is by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Bernard Sachs. And it’s the first Silver Age appearance of Mr. Terrific. Let’s hear it for Fair Play!
55 years ago August 1965 Marvel’s Strange Tales #135 brings Nick Fury to a new role as Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. – with the present day Fury (and the reader) being introduced to S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, and the Heli-Carrier in “The Man for the Job!” by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers.
55 years ago August 1965 Gold Key releases just one issue of Astro Boy, which introduces anime character Tetsuwan Atomu to U.S. readers as Astro Boy. The comic book contributors are not identified in the issue.
55 years ago August 1965 Adventure Comics #335 introduces Starfinger (“the 30th century villain more dangerous than Goldfinger!” – but that’s not all) in a story by Edmond Hamilton, John Forte, and Sheldon Moldoff.
55 years ago August 1965 Giant-Man has been sharing the cover of Marvel’s Tales to Astonish with The Hulk, but now, in #70, it’s The Sub-Mariner that takes over G-M’s spot with The Hulk. “We bow to your demands! His own series … at last!!” “The Start of the Quest!” is by Stan Lee, Gene Colan, and Vince Colletta.
50 years ago August 1970 The second volume of Marvel’s Amazing Adventures begins, cover featuring Inhumans and Black Widow.
50 years ago August 1970 The second volume of Marvel’s The Outlaw Kid begins.
50 years ago August 1970 The second volume of Marvel’s Western Gunfighters begins, cover featuring Gunhawk, Fort Rango, Renegades, and Ghost Rider.
50 years ago August 1970 Marvel’s Astonishing Tales begins. The cover features Ka-Zar (in a story by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Sam Grainger) and Dr. Doom (in a story by Roy Thomas and Wally Wood).
45 years ago August 1975 He’s got Darts of Doom! Marvel’s Daredevil #124 introduces Copperhead in a story by Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan, and Klaus Janson.
45 years ago August 1975 Marvel cancels Giant-Size Man-Thing with the fifth issue. “Fear Times Three!” is by Steve Gerber, Ed Hannigan, and Dan Adkins – but the prize of the issue may be the back-up Howard the Duck story by Gerber, Frank Brunner, and Tom Palmer: “Hellcow!”
45 years ago August 1975 “Can even a werewolf battle a man clad in solid silver – and survive?!” Marvel’s Werewolf by Night #32 introduces Moon Knight in a story by Doug Moench and Don and Howard Perlin.
45 years ago August 1975 Marvel’s Skull the Slayer #1 introduces (How’d you guess?) Skull the Slayer. The cover of the “fear-fraught first issue!” announces, “Now it begins – as a fugitive from the concrete jungle is thrust into a world of prehistoric fury!” “The Coming of Skull the Slayer” is by Marv Wolfman and Steve Gan.
45 years ago August 1975 What the heck? The X-Men quit? But wait! Marvel’s The X-Men #94 brings together the new team in their own series, having been introduced in Giant-Size X-Men #1. “The Doomsmith Scenario!” is by Len Wein, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, and Bob McLeod.
45 years ago August 1975 “The greatest superheroes of World War Two!” Marvel’s The Invaders series begins, continuing the story from Giant-Size Invaders #1 (June 1975). (They are Namor, Human Torch, Toro, Captain America, and Bucky.) [Cap’s cover exclamation is “Okay, Axis – Here we come!” That was the title of Don Thompson’s 1961 All in Color for a Dime article on these Golden Age greats.] The story is by Roy Thomas, Frank Robbins, and Vince Colletta.
45 years ago August 1975 Marvel’s Super-Villain Team-Up begins. You know there could be problems, if a bunch of not so nice guys consider getting together, right? Storytellers are Tony Isabella, George Tuska, Bill Everett, George Evans, Fred Kida, and Frank Springer.
45 years ago August 1975 Charlton’s Scary Tales begins. Contributors to the anthology title are Nicola Cuti, Joe Staton, Joe Gill, Sanho Kim, and Demetrio Sánchez Gómez. The issue introduces Countess Von Bludd.
45 years ago August 1975 Marvel cancels Dead of Night with #11. It cover features the introduction of The Scarecrow in a story by Scott Edelman and Rico Rival.
40 years ago August 1980 Scalphunter stars on the cover of DC’s Weird Western Tales #70, the last issue (unless you count #71 in the “Blackest Night” event in March 2010, which I’m not going to do). “A Cold Way to Die” is by Gerry Conway, Dick Ayers, and Romeo Tanghal.
40 years ago August 1980 Marvel’s Captain America #248 formally introduces Bernie Rosenthal in “Dragon Man!” by John Byrne, Roger Stern, and Joe Rubinstein.
35 years ago August 1985 DC’s Green Lantern #191 reintroduces Star Sapphire in “Macho!” by Steve Englehart, Joe Staton, and Bruce Patterson.
35 years ago August 1985 “Rebirth”: Eclipse releases Miracleman #1, which sorta introduces Miracleman in a story by Alan Moore and Garry Leach. But, see, here’s the thing: The character is sporting an alias, because, when introduced in American reprints, his original name is changed. The stories first appeared in the British Warrior #1 (March 1982), reviving the British Golden Age character Marvelman. See the problem?
35 years ago August 1985 Jinx is introduced in DC’s Tales of the Teen Titans #56 in “Fearsome Five Minus One!” by Marv Wolfman, Chuck Patton, and Mike DeCarlo.
35 years ago August 1985 The first two month-dated releases of Bruce Hamilton’s Gladstone imprint are Disneyland Birthday Party and Uncle Scrooge Goes to Disneyland.
30 years ago August 1990 King Hell releases the first issue of Rick Veitch’s Bratpack.
30 years ago August 1990 Marvel’s Spider-Man #1 begins. Written and drawn by Todd McFarlane, it indirectly helps lead to the formation of Image Comics. Remember all the details in last month’s entry? It was in July 1990 that the issue set the record for the highest recorded paid circulation [via advance orders] for a comic book to that point (2,350,000 for the first printing).
30 years ago August 1990 The last issue [for a while] of DC’s Secret Origins is #50, and the cover features Batman, Robin, two Flashes, Johnny Thunder, Black Canary, and Dolphin loading its elements onto a horse-drawn cart (the horse being ridden by Thunder). Because there are “6 all-new stories” in the issue.
30 years ago August 1990 DC’s Suicide Squad #44 introduces Atom IV in “Grave Matters” by John Ostrander, David M. DeVries, and Luke McDonnell. Bye bye, Ray Palmer!
30 years ago August 1990 DC’s Doom Patrol #35 introduces Danny the Street in “Down Paradise Way” by Grant Morrison, Richard Case, and John Nyberg. He’s a street. And he has superpowers.
30 years ago August 1990 DC’s Firestorm the Nuclear Man #100 introduces Firestorm II in “Blaze of Glory” by John Ostrander, Gerry Conway, Tom Mandrake, Al Milgrom, Joe Brozowski, and Tom Grindberg. Oh, and it’s the last issue of the series. Going out in a …
30 years ago August 1990 Marvel’s The New Warriors #2 introduces Silhouette in “Mirror Moves” by Fabian Nicieza, Mark Bagley, and Al Williamson.
30 years ago August 1990 “Enter the mutant called Gambit!” Marvel’s The Uncanny X-Men #266 by Chris Claremont, Mike Collins, and Joe Rubinstein introduces Gambit assisting Storm. Mind you, fans already saw Gambit in Annual #14, but that story technically took place after this one, so …
25 years ago August 1995 Jhonen Vasquez’ Johnny, the Homicidal Maniac begins from Slave Labor. You want dark and funny Goth stuff? Here ’tis.
15 years ago August 2005 Jose Cabrera’s online strip Crying Macho Man goes live.
15 years ago August 2005 An alternate Marvel universe is on display in its House of M tales, including House of M #1 and #2 this month. There are a bunch of other chapters spread out in the event; just saying.
10 years ago August 2010 DC’s Superman #700 is a “giant-sized anniversary issue!” Contents include “The Comeback” by James Robinson and Bernard Chang.
5 years ago August 2015 OK, we all know the complex history of the appearance of Groot in Marvel comics over the years, right? In any case, he gets his own title at last in Groot #1 in a story by Jeff Loveness and Brian Kesinger.
5 years ago August 2015 Unsurprisingly, Marvel offers a whole bunch of variants for Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1, which takes place during the “Secret Wars” storyline in an alternate reality.
5 years ago August 2015 A new series of DC’s Justice League of America begins with a focus on the team of Batman, Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Superman. “Power and Glory, Part One” is by Bryan Hitch, Daniel Henriques, Wade von Grawbadger, and Andrew Currie.
5 years ago August 2015 Marvel’s Armor Wars miniseries by James Robinson and Marcio Takara begins with “Spyder-Man No More!”