Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for April 2-8, 2021...
130 years ago April 2, 1891 Max Ernst is born. The German artist, pioneer of the Dada movement, helps to develop abstract expressionism.
130 years ago April 4, 1891 French writer Paul Gordeaux is born. He is a pioneer of the vertical comic strip format with Le Crime ne Paie Pas.
130 years ago April 7, 1891 British political cartoonist David Low is born. He creates Colonel Blimp.
120 years ago April 2, 1901 Dutch artist Willy Smit is born. She’s best known for drawing Tijs Wijs de Torenwachter.
105 years ago April 5, 1916 Writer, artist, and editor Bernard Baily is born. He co-creates Tex Thomson (who becomes Mister America and Americommando), Spectre, and Hourman; writes and draws the Gilda Gay strip; and contributes to Cracked.
95 years ago April 6, 1926 Award-winning writer-artist Gil Kane is born. He co-creates the Silver Age Green Lantern (with John Broome), Atom (with Gardner Fox), and Iron Fist (with Roy Thomas) and pioneers the graphic novel art form with His Name Is … Savage and Blackmark.
85 years ago April 2, 1936 Artist Bert Cobb dies of pneumonia at age 66 or 67. He created comic strips including Ambitious Teddy.
85 years ago April 6, 1936 Mickey Finn by Lank Leonard begins.
80 years ago April 5, 1941 Teacher and Archie Comics editor in chief Victor Gorelick is born.
75 years ago April 7, 1946 Special effects pioneer Stan Winston is born. He designs the screen version of Iron Man.
70 years ago April 5, 1951 British artist and voice actor Harry Hemsley dies of a heart attack at age 73. He was especially known for the radio show Ovaltiney’s Concert Party, which spawned its own comic book in 1935: Ovaltiney’s Own Comic.
70 years ago April 7, 1951 French artist Gustave-Henri Jossot dies at age 84.
65 years ago April 6, 1956 Creator, producer, and co-writer of Prisoners of Gravity Mark Askwith is born.
55 years ago April 4, 1966 Award-winning artist Dave Johnson is born. He’s especially known for his minimalist covers on 100 Bullets and for his art for Superman: Red Son.
55 years ago April 7, 1966 Smurfette (Schtroumpette) and Poetry Smurf are introduced in Peyo’s Les Schtroumpfs in Spirou #1460.
50 years ago April 3, 1971 IPC’s Smash! #257 is that series’ last issue.
45 years ago April 6, 1976 Ruth Plumly Thompson dies at age 84. Though best known as the writer of many Oz novels after L. Frank Baum’s death, she was also the first editor of the King Comics comic book series, which brought King Features newspaper strips to the comic book format, as well as of the Ace Comics series a year later.
35 years ago April 2, 1986 Artist and animator Jack Manning dies at age 65. The funny animal artist worked for Dell on Disney, Warner Bros., Walter Lantz, and Hanna-Barbera characters.
30 years ago April 3, 1991 Batman and Green Hornet TV producer William Dozier dies of a stroke at age 83.
30 years ago April 4, 1991 Artist and art teacher Graham Ingels dies of stomach cancer at age 75. He was especially known for his work on EC’s horror titles.
25 years ago April 5, 1996 The term “Done in One” is introduced in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1168 to differentiate between stories that are complete in a single issue and those that are installments in a serialized story.
25 years ago April 7, 1996 The pilot for the ABC sitcom Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is aired, starring Melissa Joan Hart.
20 years ago April 3, 2001 Artist Ray Osrin dies at age 72 of complications of heart disease and diabetes. The Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial cartoonist also had a comic book career that started in the Golden Age and included freelancing for Archie, Charlton, Dell, and Gold Key.
20 years ago April 4, 2001 Artist Ed “Big Daddy” Roth dies of a heart attack at age 69. He created the hot rod “Rat Fink” character.
15 years ago April 7, 2006 Erotic comics artist John Blackburn dies at age 66.
10 years ago April 6, 2011 Dutch artist Gerard van Straaten dies at age 86. He worked for the Toonder Studios.
5 years ago April 2, 2016 Award-winning Italian artist Gallieno Ferri dies at age 87. The second most productive artist of Bonelli created Zagor and was considered one of the grand masters of Italian comics.
5 years ago April 3, 2016 Artist Richard D. Hodgins Jr. dies at age 84 from complications of lung cancer treatment. The award-winning editorial cartoonist drew Hank Ketcham’s Half Hitch and worked on Henry and Hagar the Horrible.
5 years ago April 6, 2016 Croatian writer-artist Oto Reisinger dies at age 88. He was estimated to have produced more than 70,000 cartoons.
5 years ago April 8, 2016 Artist Paul Fung Jr. dies at age 93. The son of cartoonist Paul Fung drew the Blondie comic book and created Flash Foley.
5 years ago April 8, 2016 Writer-artist William Hamilton dies in a car accident at age 76. He was known for his New Yorker cartoons.