Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for November 24 through December 2, 2021...
135 years ago November 28, 1886 Artist Violet Moore Higgins is born. She draws Drowsy Dick and provides art for Treasure Chest.
120 years ago December 1, 1901 Muggsy by Frank Crane begins.
120 years ago December 1, 1901 British writer-artist for Provincial Comics and Target Publications Albert Hill is born. His creations include Sammy Spry, Tommy Trot, and Willie Scribble, and he contributes to the Denis Gifford-edited Comic Cuts newsletter of The Association of Enthusiasts.
115 years ago November 28, 1906 Oskar Emil Andersson commits suicide at age 29. “OA” was an influential Swedish artist, creator of the pantomime strip Mannen Som Gor Vad Som Faller Honom In and of a strip about prehistoric characters.
110 years ago November 24, 1911 The German-British artist Walter Goetz is born. He’s known for Colonel Up and Mr. Down, Dab and Flounder, and cartoons for Punch.
110 years ago November 25, 1911 Paul Murry is born. The Disney animator becomes a Disney comics artist, especially on Mickey Mouse. The first to draw Super Goof, he also draws such other Dell comics as Woody Woodpecker.
105 years ago November 24, 1916 Forrest J. Ackerman is born. A pioneering science fiction fan, he becomes influential as editor-in-chief of Warren’s Famous Monsters of Filmland, where he popularizes his term “sci-fi.” Also for Warren, he develops the comics character Vampirella.
105 years ago November 30, 1916 Disney animator and ACG, Standard, DC, and Fawcett artist Owen Fitzgerald is born.
105 years ago December 2, 1916 Hart Amos is born. The Australian artist draws for K.G. Murray Publishing Company and Climax Comics.
95 years ago December 1, 1926 Belgian artist Jules Renard (who worked as “Draner”) dies at age 93.
90 years ago November 26, 1931 Dick Tracy kills for the first time in Chester Gould’s strip.
90 years ago November 27, 1931 The Spanish comics magazine Pinocho ends.
85 years ago November 30, 1936 “Island in the Sky” by Floyd Gottfredson and Ted Osborne begins, introducing Doctor Einmug to the Mickey Mouse comic strip.
85 years ago December 2, 1936 Croatian artist and animator Zarko Beker is born.
85 years ago December 2, 1936 Cartoonist Dick Guindon is born.
80 years ago November 24, 1941 Gus Arriola’s Gordo comic strip begins from United Features.
80 years ago November 25, 1941 French Charlie Hebdo staff cartoonist Philippe Honoré is born.
80 years ago November 26, 1941 Dutch artist Patrick Kroon dies at age 79.
80 years ago November 28, 1941 Bob Davis dies at age 31 in an auto accident. Born Robert Bishop Sedgwick Davis, the artist was known for creating Dick Cole (with a debut in Blue Bolt #1) and drew Philo Vance.
70 years ago November 30, 1951 Artist Jean-Claude St. Aubin is born. He works for such companies as Marvel, DC, and Valiant.
70 years ago December 2, 1951 Artist J. Paul Arnot dies at age 64. His “Helpful Henry” character for King Features was reported to be an influence on Oliver Hardy’s “Ollie” character.
60 years ago November 30, 1961 Brian Pulido is born. The president of Chaos! Comics writes and co-creates a variety of comics, including Lady Death and Evil Ernie.
60 years ago December 1, 1961 Horse racing editorial cartoonist Remi Bellocq is born.
55 years ago December 2, 1966 Entertainment writer and editor and DVD documentary director Andy Mangels is born.
50 years ago November 26, 1971 This is the first day of the first Creation Convention, organized by Adam Malin and Gary Berman in New York City. The event runs for three days at the New Yorker Hotel.
50 years ago November 28, 1971 Bulgarian artist Vasil Zahariev dies at age 76.
50 years ago November 29, 1971 Writer-creator Marc Bernardin is born. He works on such titles as Genius, Static Shock, and The Highwaymen.
45 years ago December 1, 1976 The twin sister of Captain Britain, Psylocke, is introduced in Captain Britain #8. Mind you, she’s just Betsy Braddock for the time being (and doesn’t even get a cover mention), but Things Will Happen. “Riot on Regent Street” is by Chris Claremont, Herb Trimpe, and Fred Kida.
40 years ago November 26, 1981 Dutch artist Lou Visser dies at age 70. He developed the Fred Penner comics series.
40 years ago December 1, 1981 Artist Russ Manning dies of cancer at age 52. He was especially known for stories featuring Tarzan, The Aliens, and Magnus Robot Fighter. The Russ Manning Award was established in 1982 to pay tribute to each year’s most promising comics industry newcomer.
35 years ago November 24, 1986 Al Smith dies at age 84. The syndicate owner, art editor, National Cartoonists Society president, and cartoonist drew Mutt and Jeff for 48 years.
35 years ago November 27, 1986 Writer Colin Dawkins dies at age 64. The J. Walter Thompson ad agency vice president wrote ads and comics and in comics may be best known for his EC scripts. He co-created Prize Comics Western’s “American Eagle” stories and Two-Fisted Tales’ “Ruby Ed Coffee” stories with John Severin.
30 years ago November 25, 1991 Oscar winning 1989 Batman movie designer Anton Furst commits suicide at age 47.
20 years ago November 25, 2001 Artist Harry Devlin dies at age 83. The Collier’s magazine editorial cartoonist co-created the Fullhouse (later renamed Raggmopp) comic strip with his wife, Wende.
20 years ago November 28, 2001 Writer-artist Bob Gustafson dies at age 81. The Mort Walker staffer also contributed to Dell comic books.
20 years ago December 2, 2001 Chase Craig dies of complications after surgery at age 91. The writer, animator, artist, and West Coast Dell and Gold Key editor created Mary Jane (of Mary Jane and Sniffles). He also co-created Odd Bodkins with Fred Fox.
15 years ago November 25, 2006 Luciano Bottaro dies at age 75. The artist of Italian Disney comics and co-founder of the Bierreci studios created Pon Pon, among other features.
15 years ago November 25, 2006 Italian artist Gianluca Lerici dies of cardiac arrest at age 43.
15 years ago November 26, 2006 Artist and character designer Dave Cockrum dies of diabetes at age 63.
15 years ago November 29, 2006 Writer-artist Jean Dulieu dies at age 85. Born as Jan van Oort, he created Paulus the Woodgnome.
15 years ago November 30, 2006 Award-winning Brazilian cartoonist Hélio Lage dies at age 60. He was the house artist of Tribuna de Bahia.
15 years ago December 2, 2006 Director, publisher, and artist Don Dohler dies of cancer at age 60. He created Pro Junior.
10 years ago November 30, 2011 Argentine artist Carlos A. Killian dies at age 64. He created Perloto.
10 years ago December 2, 2011 French animator, director, producer, and artist Bruno Bianchi dies of cancer at age 56. The co-creator of Inspector Gadget founded his own studio, Gingko Animation.
5 years ago November 27, 2016 Spanish artist Juan Enrique Bosch Quevedo (who worked as “Micharmut”) dies at age 63.
5 years ago December 2, 2016 Italian artist Liliana Fantoni dies at age 96.
And here are the anniversaries spanning the month of December…
85 years ago December 1936 Flash Gordon Strange Adventure Magazine #1 (and only) is a dime pulp magazine from Harold Hersey offering “a full length novel,” “The Master of Mars,” by James Edison Northford. The cover is by Fred Meagher.
85 years ago December 1936 Detective Picture Stories #1 from Comics Magazine Company features an early story by Bert Christman.
80 years ago December 1941 Fawcett’s Master Comics #21 introduces Albrecht Krieger – Captain Nazi – in a Bulletman story by Bill Woolfolk and Mac Raboy. Hitler sends Krieger to America to fight U.S. heroes.
80 years ago December 1941 And Fawcett’s Whiz Comics #25 picks up the tale in a story by Ed Herron, Woolfolk, C.C. Beck, and Raboy. To save the life of a newspaper boy injured by Captain Nazi, Billy Batson passes on some of his powers to Freddy Freeman, creating Captain Marvel, Jr. (who can’t say his own name because: origin).
80 years ago December 1941 She’s not even mentioned on the cover of DC’s All-Star Comics #8, which is gloating about two new members of The Justice Society of America. (They’re Dr. Mid-Nite and Starman, in case you were curious. Even Hooty is cover-featured.) Nevertheless, the reason this issue is considered a key is that it contains a story by William Marston and Harry G. Peter introducing Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor, and that whole storyline.
70 years ago December 1951 Flippity and Flop get their own comic book title in DC’s Flippity & Flop #1 in stories by Hubie Karp and Jim Davis. (No, not that Jim Davis.) (The cat and canary appeared in Screen Gems cartoons starting in 1945.)
70 years ago December 1951 Mind you, the bigger Screen Gems cartoon stars are The Fox and the Crow, who first appeared on-screen in the 1941 Frank Tashlin cartoon “The Fox and the Grapes.” In any case, after featuring them for quite some time in Real Screen Comics, DC gives them their own title with The Fox and the Crow #1.
70 years ago December 1951 The first issue of DC’s House of Mystery features “Wanda Was a Werewolf,” “I Fell in Love with a Witch,” “The Curse of Seabury Manor,” and “Man – or Monster?”
65 years ago December 1956 Quality Comics folds, selling its characters and trademarks to DC. The December issues of the four titles DC picks up are the last to carry the Quality logo: Blackhawk #107, G.I. Combat #43, Heart Throbs #46, and Robin Hood Tales #6.
60 years ago December 1961 Marvel renames Amazing Adventure as Amazing Adult Fantasy with #7 and announces that it is “the magazine that respects your intelligence” and contains “fantastic thrillers for the more mature reader.” It’s not the last time the series will change its title. Just saying.
60 years ago December 1961 In Top Cat #1, Dell introduces the Hanna-Barbara character (drawn by Phil de Lara) to comic books.
55 years ago December 1966 “She’s Hip! She’s Mod! She’s Boss!” She’s Bunny Ball – who gets her own title in Harvey’s Bunny #1 in stories by Warren Harvey and Hy Eisman.
55 years ago December 1966 Dell’s Werewolf #1 says it’s a “Collectors Issue” and features “the only super hero … super spy in the world.” Werewolf is introduced in stories by D.J. Arneson, Bill Fraccio, and Tony Tallarico.
55 years ago December 1966 The first of four DC villains named Spellbinder is introduced in Detective Comics #358. The forger of pop art (Comic books strike back?) sports an outfit that seems to include the “DC go-go checks” theme in “The Circle of Terror!” It’s by John Broome, Sheldon Moldoff, and Joe Giella.
55 years ago December 1966 Yikes! It’s a Super-Beast! A maddening menace, no less! Man-Beast and the mutated New Men are introduced in Marvel’s Thor #135 in a story by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Vince Colletta.
50 years ago December 1971 Oh, hey, remember how Marvel raised its cover price to 25¢ in November? Marvel reduces its price to 20¢, along with its page count. Whew! Who’d pay more than that for a comic book? That’s crazy talk!
50 years ago December 1971 In Marvel’s The Avengers #94, Mandroid armor is introduced. Thanks, Tony Stark! What could go wrong? “More than Inhuman!” is by Roy Thomas, Neal Adams, and Tom Palmer.
50 years ago December 1971 “This is it! The awesome origin of The Defenders the most fabulous fighting team of all!” In Marvel Feature #1, the team of Roy Thomas, Ross Andru, and Bill Everett brings together the team of The Hulk, Dr. Strange, and The Sub-Mariner.
50 years ago December 1971 “They whipped the Green Lantern – Now let ’em try me!” Green Lantern #87 introduces “an unforgettable new character who really means it when he warns … ‘Beware My Power!’” The story by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, and Dick Giordano introduces John Stewart.
45 years ago December 1976 “First issue! Collector’s Edition! By popular demand Spidey stars in an all-new action series!” Marvel launches its third ongoing Spider-Man series: The Spectacular Spider-Man.
45 years ago December 1976 In a spinoff from the Stanley Kubrick movie, Marvel’s 2001: A Space Odyssey begins. As in the film, “Beast-Killer!” by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer starts in prehistory.
45 years ago December 1976 Superhuman Captain Ultra is introduced in Fantastic Four #177, yearning to join the villainous Frightful Four. But he has problems. “Look Out for the Frightful Four!” is by Roy Thomas, Mike Friedrich, George Pérez, and Joe Sinnott.
40 years ago December 1981 DC’s The New Teen Titans #14 introduces Plasmus, Houngan, and Phobia of The Brotherhood of Evil in “Revolution!” by George Pérez, Marv Wolfman, and Romeo Tanghal.
35 years ago December 1986 Marvel’s The ’Nam #1 begins. “’Nam: First Patrol” is by Doug Murray, Michael Golden, and Armando Gil.
35 years ago December 1986 The Dreamery #1 from Eclipse introduces Stinz, created by Donna Barr. The centaur is a war hero in the valley of Gieselthal.
35 years ago December 1986 DC ends Blue Devil with #31, a “special giant-sized final issue.”
35 years ago December 1986 Comico ends Mage with #15. (Matt Wagner’s story of Kevin Matchstick will continue in 1988 in Comico’s Grendel.)
35 years ago December 1986 Marvel ends Amazing High Adventure with #5.
35 years ago December 1986 Vortex picks up what had been Chester Brown’s self-published Yummy Fur series, starting again with #1.
35 years ago December 1986 “We who are about to die”: Marvel introduces the team in Strikeforce: Morituri by Peter B. Gillis, Brent Anderson, Whilce Portacio, and Scott Williams.
30 years ago December 1991 Eternity’s Evil Ernie #1, “created and written by Brian Pulido, illustrated by Steven Hughes,” introduces Lady Death and (yes) Evil Ernie.
25 years ago December 1996 DC’s cover proclaims the one-shot “the event of the century.” It’s Superman: The Wedding Album “by Superman writers and artists past and present.”
25 years ago December 1996 DC’s Batman: The Long Halloween #1 kicks off “A Dark Knight Halloween Special in Thirteen Parts” following three earlier Halloween specials. As was the case with those, “Crime” is by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale.
25 years ago December 1996 Wynonna Earp #1 from Image introduces (you guessed it) Beau Smith’s Wynonna Earp in “Violent Territory” by Smith, Joyce Chin, and Mark Irwin. A three-page character profile provides the background of the Wyatt Earp descendant who works as a U.S. Marshal who fights monsters.
20 years ago December 2001 “Marvel Comics Presents The 100 Greatest Marvels of All Time” in 10 December issues. It kicks off with X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and Daredevil.
20 years ago December 2001 “This one’ll really kill you!” Joker: Last Laugh #1 begins a DC-wide storyline. “Stir Crazy” is by Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, Pete Woods, and Andrew Pepoy.
15 years ago December 2006 In Vertigo/DC’s one-shot Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, “A Frog’s Eye View” is by Bill Willingham and James Jean. It wins the Eisner Award for Best Short Story of the year.
15 years ago December 2006 “Revealed at last! Everything you need to know about Spider-Girl!” Amazing Spider-Girl #0 and #1 star May Parker in a feature by Tom DeFalco (with illustrations by Pat Olliffe, Ron Frenz, John Romita, J. Scott Campbell, Al Williamson, Sal Buscema, Bill Sienkiewicz, Scott Koblish, and Tim Townsend) and a story by DeFalco, Frenz, and Buscama.
15 years ago December 2006 Yep, that’s the title. Marvel’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter in Guilty Pleasures begins. The adaptation by Stacie Ritchie and Brett Booth is based on the Laurell K. Hamilton fantasy.
15 years ago December 2006 Deathblow appeared from Image in 1993-1996. Now, DC kicks off Deathblow with “And Then You Live!” by Brian Azzarello and Carlos D’Anda and includes a commentary by Jim Lee regarding the revival of his creation.
10 years ago December 2011 “The hunt is on!” Marvel’s Fear Itself: The Fearless #1 is by Cullen Bunn, Matt Fraction, Chris Yost, Paul Pelletier, Mark Bagley, Danny Miki, and Andy Lanning.
10 years ago December 2011 Marvel has had more than one The Incredible Hulk series. This one begins with “Hulk: Asunder Part One” by Jason Aaron, Marc Silvestri, Michael Broussard, Joe Weems V, Rick Basaldua, and Sal Regla.
5 years ago December 2016 Hey! We thought he was famous. But Marvel’s Infamous Iron Man kicks off with – well – not Tony Stark. “The Rise of Doom” is by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev.
5 years ago December 2016 Merlin gets a bunch o’ sorcerers together in Marvel’s Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #1 in a story by Robbie Thompson, Javier Rodriguez, and Alvaro Lopez. Lotsa variant covers. Just saying.
5 years ago December 2016 You want variants? Marvel gives you variants. Jessica Jones #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos begins with Jessica’s return to her private detective business.
5 years ago December 2016 Oh, you wanted variants and those others weren’t enough for you? Just saying. The first issue of this run of Champions is by Mark Waid, Humberto Ramos, and Victor Olazaba. And it has lots of different covers. Lots. Collect them all!