Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for May 17-23, 2024...

125 years ago May 20, 1899 Pioneering comics publisher Everett “Busy” Arnold is born. His early projects include publishing work of the Eisner and Iger studio and launching Quality Comics.

115 years ago May 17, 1909 Cartoonist, painter, and essayist Ryuichi Yokoyama is born. He is best known for his Fuku-chan strip.

110 years ago May 21, 1914 Award-winning animator John Hubley is born. Initially a Disney artist, the creator of Mr. Magoo co-founded Storyboard Studios with his wife, Faith.

105 years ago May 23, 1919 Writer Robert Bernstein (also known as “R. Berns”) is born. He co-creates Congorilla (with Howard Sherman), Aqualad (with Ramona Fradon), and The Jaguar (with John Rosenberger), among others.

100 years ago May 17, 1924 Comedy writer Lou Silverstone is born. He’s one of Mad’s “Usual Gang of Idiots” and is an editor-writer for Cracked.

100 years ago May 23, 1924 Czech artist Gustav Krum is born.

95 years ago May 17, 1929 Award-winning Dutch writer-artist Piet Wijn is born. He co-creates (with Thom Roep) the magical dwarf Douwe Dabbert for Disney comics and specializes in history and fantasy stories.

90 years ago May 18, 1934 Dwayne Hickman is born. The actor-director is known for appearing as Dobie in the (1959-1963) TV series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. It is licensed by DC, first (May 1960-October 1964) as The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and later (May-November 1969) as Windy and Willie.

85 years ago May 20, 1939 The Phantom Blot is introduced in the Mickey Mouse comic strip by Merrill de Maris and Floyd Gottfredson.

80 years ago May 21, 1944 Underground comix creator and publisher Kim Deitch is born. He creates Waldo and The Boulevard of Broken Dreams, edits Gothic Blimp Works, and co-founds Cartoonists Co-Op Press.

75 years ago May 18, 1949 Film maker Terry Zwigoff is born. His productions include Crumb, Ghost World, and Art School Confidential.

75 years ago May 22, 1949 Casey Ruggles begins, featuring the 1849 gold rush. The Warren Tufts newspaper strip becomes a daily in September.

70 years ago May 19, 1954 Essayist Neil A. Robertson is born.

65 years ago May 21, 1959 Lowell Cunningham is born. He writes The Men in Black (drawn by Sandy Carruthers), first published by Aircel in 1990.

60 years ago May 19, 1964 Writer-artist, vaudeville performer, and movie director Tom McNamara dies at age 78. He created the Us Boys comic strip.

55 years ago May 18, 1969 Chilean artist Alfredo Adduard dies at age 69 or 70.

50 years ago May 19, 1974 Artist Gene Bilbrew dies at age 50. He assisted Will Eisner on The Spirit and took over Jules Feiffer’s Clifford strip.

40 years ago May 21, 1984 Golden Age writer-artist Ruben Moreira dies of cancer at age 61. He co-created Roy Raymond and Rip Hunter for DC.

40 years ago May 22, 1984 Sports cartoonist and Golden Age Prize Comics artist Alan Maver dies at age 74.

35 years ago May 21, 1989 Artist Buford Tune (known for Dotty Dripple) dies at age 82.

30 years ago May 22, 1994 Belgian artist Michel Tacq (who worked as “MiTacq”) dies at age 66. He was especially known for “La Patrouille des Castors” in Spirou.

30 years ago May 23, 1994 Writer-editor Don Thompson dies of a heart attack at age 58. The pioneering fanzine publisher collected and wrote comics and science fiction and co-edited Comic Art, Newfangles, Movie Collector’s World, and Comics Buyer’s Guide with his wife, Maggie.

25 years ago May 17, 1999 Award-winning Dutch artist and political cartoonist Henk Gijsbers (who worked as “Gys”) dies at age 69.

25 years ago May 23, 1999 Award-winning artist John Prentice dies at age 78. He continued Alex Raymond’s Rip Kirby strip after Raymond’s death and worked for DC in the 1950s.

20 years ago May 19, 2004 The first buildings of the Stripheldenbuurt [“Comic Heroes Corner”] district of the Dutch city Almere are inaugurated. All street names pay tribute to comics characters and cartoonists.

15 years ago May 21, 2009 Italian artist Giorgio Bellavitis dies at age 72 or 73.

10 years ago May 18, 2014 Writer-artist Morris Weiss dies at age 98. His career began with lettering work, and he created “Margie” for Timely, was the final cartoonist on Mickey Finn, worked on other strips, and proposed what became the Milt Gross Fund.

5 years ago May 18, 2019 Colorist Justin Ponsor dies of cancer at age 42. He worked for CrossGen and Marvel.

5 years ago May 20, 2019 German artist Jürgen Kieser dies at age 97.

5 years ago May 23, 2019 Italian artist Alberico Motta dies at age 81.