Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for October 15-21, 2021...
125 years ago October 18, 1896 The American Humorist is introduced by Publisher William Randolph Hearst as a section of the New York Journal. “Eight full pages of color that make the kaleidoscope pale with envy” include The Yellow Kid by Richard Outcault (under the title McFadden’s Row of Flats).
115 years ago October 20, 1906 Crockett Johnson is born as David Leisk. The cartoonist creates, writes, and draws the Barnaby newspaper strip but is probably better known for his children’s book series featuring “Harold and the Purple Crayon.”
115 years ago October 21, 1906 Hairbreadth Harry begins. Charles Williams Kahles’ strip is syndicated by The Philadelphia Press.
110 years ago October 18, 1911 The Flemish children’s comic book Het Mannekensblad begins.
105 years ago October 17, 1916 Cartoonist Virgil Partch is born. Often signing his work as “VIP,” he creates the Big George and The Captain’s Gig comic strips and writes New Yorker gags.
100 years ago October 15, 1921 Prolific Golden Age artist Bob Fujitani is born. He co-creates Doctor Solar.
100 years ago October 20, 1921 Writer-artist Bob Gregory is born. He’s known for his work on Disney comic books, as well as Hanna-Barbera, Warners, and Walter Lantz comics.
95 years ago October 16, 1926 Treasure Chest and Marvel artist-inker Joe Sinnott is born. He’s especially known for work on the Spider-Man comic strip and Fantastic Four comic books.
90 years ago October 16, 1931 Tess Trueheart’s father is [Spoiler!] murdered in Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy comic strip – which, Wiki says, is “the first instance of a cold blooded murder appearing uncensored in a comic strip.”
90 years ago October 19, 1931 Judge Dredd letterer Tom Frame is born.
80 years ago October 16, 1941 Milton Caniff’s Terry and the Pirates newspaper strip features [Spoiler!] the death of Raven Sherman.
80 years ago October 17, 1941 [Spoiler continues! OK, that’s enough with the Spoilers, already.] Terry Lee and Dude Hennick bury Raven Sherman in Terry and the Pirates.
75 years ago October 21, 1946 Lena the Hyena’s face (drawn by Basil Wolverton) is revealed in Al Capp’s Li’l Abner.
65 years ago October 20, 1956 Writer-artist Jim Engel is born. He creates Dick Duck, Duck Dick.
65 years ago October 21, 1956 Fan, writer, historian, and editor Paul Levitz is born. He’s DC’s president from 2002 to 2009.
60 years ago October 16, 1961 Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas’ Sam’s Strip begins.
60 years ago October 19, 1961 Artist and animator Mike Manley is born. He co-creates Marvel’s Darkhawk (with Tom DeFalco) and edits Draw! magazine.
35 years ago October 15, 1986 American Splendor’s Harvey Pekar makes his first appearance on Late Night with David Letterman.
30 years ago October 16, 1991 Dutch artist Henricus Kannegieter dies at age 93. Lambiek calls him “one of the most productive artists of Dutch newspaper comics in the 1930s.”
30 years ago October 18, 1991 Dark Horse announces it is acquiring the trademark and copyright for Nexus so as to return ownership to co-creators Mike Baron and Steve Rude.
30 years ago October 21, 1991 The Wall Street Journal announces the first first quarter Marvel results (from September 30) after its listing on the American Stock Exchange: $38,300,000 revenues; net income $6,700,000.
20 years ago October 16, 2001 Smallville begins on The WB, featuring Tom Welling as a young Clark Kent, Michael Rosenbaum as a young Lex Luthor, and Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang.
15 years ago October 18, 2006 Animator, cartoonist, illustrator, writer, and inventor Don Christensen dies at age 90. (He was also well known as “Don Arr.”)
15 years ago October 20, 2006 Swiss artist Pascal Habegger (who worked as “Ab’Aigre”) dies at age 57.
15 years ago October 20, 2006 Underground comix artist R.K. Sloane dies from complications of advanced lung cancer at age 57.
15 years ago October 21, 2006 Award-winning Dutch writer Paul Biegel dies at age 81.
5 years ago October 20, 2016 New Yorker cartoonist Robert Weber dies at age 92.