Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for May 19-25, 2023...
165 years ago May 24, 1858 Dutch political cartoonist Johan Braakensiek is born.
155 years ago May 23, 1868 Kit Carson dies of an abdominal aortic aneurysm at age 58. The scout became a pop culture favorite via dime novels; appearances included a seven-issue comics series from Avon.
140 years ago May 23, 1883 French artist Gustave Blanchot is born. Working as “Gus Bofa,” he is known for Chez les Toubibs.
130 years ago May 21, 1893 Walter McDougall creates the first cartoon that is printed in color in a U.S. newspaper. “The Possibilities of the Broadway Cable Car” appears in the New York World. As a Sunday comics supplement, it launches Sunday funnies.
130 years ago May 23, 1893 Canadian artist Charles R. Snelgrove is born. He draws the Robin Hood and Company newspaper strip written by Ted McCall.
115 years ago May 25, 1908 Swedish artist Lucie Lundberg is born.
110 years ago May 19, 1913 Pete Costanza is born. The artist worked on Fawcett’s Captain Marvel comics in the Golden Age and on ACG’s Magicman.
110 years ago May 24, 1913 German artist Roland Kohlsaat is born. He creates the Jimmy das Gummipferd comic strip.
110 years ago May 25, 1913 Writer-artist and animator Carl Wessler is born. He’s on the staff at Atlas Comics in the 1950s and writes stories for EC.
105 years ago May 25, 1918 Argentine artist Oscar Blotta is born.
100 years ago May 22, 1923 Swedish writer-artist Eugen Semitjov is born. He specializes in science fiction.
100 years ago May 22, 1923 The Nebbs by Sol Hess and Wallace Carlson begins.
95 years ago May 21, 1928 Room and Board by Sal Bostwick begins.
90 years ago May 21, 1933 Wolfgang Reitherman is hired at Walt Disney Productions. The animator and director is one of Disney’s “Nine Old Men” and will be named a Disney Legend.
90 years ago May 23, 1933 Award-winning Dutch artist Jan Steeman is born. He draws the Noortje strip written by Patty Klein, which runs more than 40 years; Wiki says that makes it the longest running Dutch comic strip by the same artist.
85 years ago May 19, 1938 Belgian writer Karel Verleyen is born.
75 years ago May 19, 1948 Artist Herbert Morton Stoops dies eight days before his 61st birthday.
70 years ago May 25, 1953 Golden Age artist Charles Quinlan (also known as “Carl Quinn”) dies at age 52. He freelanced for such companies as Better, Fawcett, Fiction House, Magazine Enterprises, and Quality.
70 years ago May 25, 1953 Award-winning writer-artist Stan Sakai is born. He creates rabbit ronin Usagi Yojimbo.
65 years ago May 22, 1958 Artist Jim Rohn is born.
65 years ago May 24, 1958 Golden Age artist Tillman Goodan dies of a heart attack at age 62, riding his horse as grand marshal of a Tulare rodeo. He drew Gene Autry comic books in the 1940s.
60 years ago May 19, 1963 Artist Reggie Byers is born. He creates Shuriken and Kidz of the King.
60 years ago May 25, 1963 Awesomedude writer-artist Bud Rogers is born. He is also an editor and creates a number of Christian comics.
55 years ago May 19, 1968 Letterer and artist Robert Bostick is born.
50 years ago May 21, 1973 Ukrainian political cartoonist Yuliy Ganf dies at age 74.
50 years ago May 23, 1973 Artist Coulton Waugh dies at age 77. He wrote the pioneering (1947) comics reference The Comics and was one of the artists of the Dickie Dare comic strip.
45 years ago May 19, 1978 Scripps merges Newspaper Enterprise Association and United Feature Syndicate to form United Media Enterprises.
45 years ago May 21, 1978 Dutch artist Joseph Spier dies at age 77.
40 years ago May 25, 1983 Award-winning newspaper cartoonist Cyrus Hungerford dies at age 94.
35 years ago May 19, 1988 Actor Daws Butler dies of a stroke at age 71. He voiced a wide variety of characters, from Chilly Willy and Huckleberry Hound to Yogi Bear and Cap’n Crunch.
35 years ago May 24, 1988 Action Comics Weekly #601 changes the title from Action Comics (which also has #600 as a standalone) and kicks off the series’ publication as a weekly anthology title for almost a year.
20 years ago May 23, 2003 Teacher, critic, Bronze Star recipient, and Golden Age freelance comic book artist Pierce Rice dies of complications of pneumonia at age 86.
15 years ago May 19, 2008 Retailer Rory Root dies at age 50 of complications from hernia surgery. The owner of the Comic Relief comics shop in Berkeley was awarded the Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award.
15 years ago May 21, 2008 Writer-artist Mel Casson dies at age 87. He earned five Battle Stars, two Bronze Stars, the Croix de Guerre, and two Purple Hearts. He worked in advertising, publishing, and TV scriptwriting as well as drawing newspaper strips and wrote and drew Redeye.
15 years ago May 22, 2008 Science fiction and fantasy writer Robert Asprin dies at age 61. His MythAdventures series was adapted to comics format in the 1980s.