Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for February 3-9, 2023...
175 years ago February 5, 1848 Charles Philipon publishes the first issue of the satirical comics and cartoons magazine Le Journal pour Rire.
135 years ago February 7, 1888 Belgian comedian Jeanne Hovine is born. Also known as Anne-Marie Ferrières, she is considered to be the first female Belgian comics artist and co-creates the comic strip Nic et Nac with her sister.
115 years ago February 6, 1908 Warner Brothers artist and story man Michael Maltese is born. Not only does he create or co-create (often collaborating with Chuck Jones) such characters as Pepe le Pew, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, and Michigan J. Frog, but he also writes comic books for Gold Key.
110 years ago February 7, 1913 Captain Roscoe Fawcett is born. The writer of the cartoon panel Screen Oddities is the son of “Captain Billy” Fawcett and is vice president and circulation manager for Fawcett Publications.
95 years ago February 3, 1928 Italian writer, historian, and cartoonist Mino Milani is born.
95 years ago February 9, 1928 Influential heroic fantasy illustrator Frank Frazetta is born. Creator of Thun’da for comic books and Johnny Comet for comic strips, he begins his career in Bernard Baily’s studio and then freelances with comics work including assists on Li’l Abner and Little Annie Fanny.
85 years ago February 7, 1938 Macedonian animator, director, and artist Petar Gligorovski is born.
80 years ago February 6, 1943 Walt Disney’s live-action and cartoon combination Saludos Amigos opens in the United States. Donald Duck and Goofy are featured in the South American anthology, as is the animated airplane Pedro, and Joe Carioca is introduced.
70 years ago February 3, 1953 Writer-editor-translator Randy Lofficier is born. She also publishes material with her husband, Jean-Marc Lofficier.
70 years ago February 5, 1953 Walt Disney’s Peter Pan opens, starring voice artists including Bobby Driscoll (the first boy to play the title role), Kathryn Beaumont, and Hans Conried. It also marks the introduction of Tinker Bell, who (as more than a beam of light) becomes something of a host of many Disney productions.
70 years ago February 7, 1953 Artist and designer Richard Bruning is born.
70 years ago February 7, 1953 D.C. Thomson begins publication of The Topper and in it introduces David Law’s Beryl the Peril.
60 years ago February 5, 1963 Writer-artist Mark Bloodworth is born. He specializes in horror comics.
60 years ago February 7, 1963 The first episode of “Asterix and the Banquet” appears in Pilote. The story by Goscinny and Uderzo introduces Obelix’s dog Dogmatix. (And, yes, his name in the French Astérix strip is Idéfix.)
50 years ago February 4, 1973 Hagar the Horrible by Dik Browne begins.
45 years ago February 4, 1978 Writer Leah Moore is born. The daughter of Alan and Phyllis Moore co-writes Wild Girl.
45 years ago February 5, 1978 Belgian artist Frans Van Immerseel dies at age 68. He was known for De Lotgevallen van Janssens.
45 years ago February 7, 1978 Argentine artist Enrique Rapela dies at age 66.
45 years ago February 8, 1978 Artist Steve Rolston, whose credits include Queen & Country, is born.
45 years ago February 8, 1978 Marvel UK begins Star Wars Weekly as a black and white anthology.
45 years ago February 9, 1978 Award-winning political cartoonist Warren King dies at age 62. His career included working on MLJ comic books and assisting Rube Goldberg.
45 years ago February 9, 1978 Woody Gelman dies of a stroke at age 62. The writer-artist, Nostalgia Press publisher, and Topps editor and art director co-created Bazooka Joe, Mars Attacks, and Popsicle Pete. He also created and wrote “The Dodo and the Frog.”
35 years ago February 4, 1988 Artist Frank Giacoia dies at age 63. He drew several comic strips and worked for Marvel and Archie.
30 years ago February 7, 1993 Belgian animator and artist Nic Broca dies at age 60.
30 years ago February 9, 1993 Dutch animator, artist, and teacher Jacques Verbeek dies at age 46.
25 years ago February 8, 1998 Award-winning British cartoonist John Miles dies at age 63. He was known for the Perkins pantomime strip.
20 years ago February 9, 2003 The first Emerald City ComiCon in Seattle attracts 2,500 attendees.
10 years ago February 3, 2013 Belgian artist Pierre Defoux dies at age 88. He was known for Xavier.
10 years ago February 9, 2013 Spanish artist Emilio Frejo Abregón dies at age 81.