Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for December 8-14, 2023...

225 years ago December 8, 1798 British cartoonist and illustrator Richard Newton dies of typhus at the age of 21.

175 years ago December 9, 1848 Editor, journalist, writer, and folklorist Joel Chandler Harris is born. His collections of African American oral tradition popularize the tales, some of which will be animated by Walt Disney – and some of which provide text for a newspaper strip.

150 years ago December 13, 1873 Dutch artist Pieter van Loon dies at age 72.

140 years ago December 10, 1883 British cartoonist and fantasy illustrator Richard Doyle dies at age 59. He drew the cover of the first issue of Punch and designed its masthead.

140 years ago December 12, 1883 Cartoonist Clifford Sterrett is born. He creates the Polly and Her Pals newspaper strip.

130 years ago December 9, 1893 Georges Colomb begins the comics series L’Idée Fixe du Savant Cosinus.

130 years ago December 10, 1893 Russ Johnson is born. The writer-artist creates Mister Oswald, which runs in the Hardware Retailing trade magazine. Lambiek says he shares with Jim Russell the world record as the longest running continuously active cartoonist who works without the help of an assistant (62 years).

115 years ago December 13, 1908 British artist Reg Wootton is born. He creates the strips Sporting Sam and Sporty.

110 years ago December 8, 1913 Albert Micale is born. The artist is especially known for drawing Dell’s Roy Rogers comics.

100 years ago December 8, 1923 Les Barton is born. The artist continues the “Billy Bunter” feature for IPC.

100 years ago December 8, 1923 Jungle Jinks magazine begins.

100 years ago December 11, 1923 Award-winning creator of Wee Pals Morrie Turner is born. His newspaper strip pioneers an ethnic diversity in its cast of children.

100 years ago December 13, 1923 Swiss-French Art Nouveau artist Théophile Alexandre Steinlen dies at age 64.

95 years ago December 10, 1928 Harold C. Earnshaw’s comic strip The Pater begins.

90 years ago December 9, 1933 Artist José Delbo is born. He’s known for his work on comics including many featuring such characters as Supergirl, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, Thundercats, Transformers, Buck Rogers, and Doctor Solar.

90 years ago December 10, 1933 E.C. Segar’s Thimble Theatre introduces Alice the Goon.

75 years ago December 10, 1948 Students of St. Patrick’s Parochial School in Binghamton, NY, burn comics and other magazines said to feature crime and/or sex.

70 years ago December 9, 1953 Cartoonist and One Shot Press writer-editor David C*J Bunn is born.

70 years ago December 12, 1953 Comix writer-artist-editor Mark Landman is born.

70 years ago December 12, 1953 Artist Paul McCusker is born.

65 years ago December 8, 1958 Mexican writer-artist Andres C. Audiffred (who also worked as “Pipin”) dies at age 63.

65 years ago December 12, 1958 Snoopy is first seen sleeping on his doghouse in Charles Schulz’ Peanuts.

60 years ago December 12, 1963 Clarence D. Russell’s Pete the Tramp ends.

60 years ago December 12, 1963 British-Australian-US artist Wynne W. Davies dies at age 71. He was one of the earliest creators of Australian newspaper comics.

55 years ago December 13, 1968 Disney animator and comics artist Ken Hultgren dies of a heart attack at age 53.

35 years ago December 11, 1988 British writer Frank S. Pepper dies at age 78. He created “Roy of the Rovers” and “Captain Condor.”

35 years ago December 12, 1988 Tarpé Mills dies at age 70. She created Miss Fury in addition to such other characters as The Cat Man and the Purple Zombie.

30 years ago December 10, 1993 British writer-artist Roland Davies dies at age 89. He created Come On, Steve, featuring a carthorse, which began as a strip and which he morphed into animation, setting up a studio to do so. He continued his career with a number of other features including “Sexton Blake” and “Pete Madden.” Denis Gifford called him “the epitome of the commercial artist.”

30 years ago December 12, 1993 German editorial cartoonist and illustrator Franz-Werner Richter-Johnson dies at age 81. He drew Detektiv Schmidtchen and Taró.

25 years ago December 10, 1998 Belgian cartoonist, teacher, and animator Ray Goossens dies at age 74. He was one of the founders of the AFIM animation studio and was artistic director of Beelvision Studios.

25 years ago December 13, 1998 French musician and artist Jean Vern dies at age 58.

15 years ago December 11, 2008 Voice artist, editor, and writer Maddie Blaustein dies of a stomach virus at age 48.

5 years ago December 13, 2018 Belgian writer and controversial public figure Jean-Pierre Van Rossem dies at age 73. He had cameo roles in Marc Sleen’s The Adventures of Nero and wrote his own celebrity comics series.

5 years ago December 14, 2018 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is released – the first animated feature film in Marvel’s Spider-Man franchise.