Peter Tork, Man of Music… and of Comics

« I know she’s having a fit, she doesn’t like me a bit, no bird of grace ever lit on Auntie Grizelda » — Diane Hildebrand / Jack Keller, 1966

Now’s the time to wish Peter Halsten Thorkelson, he of the open, Nordic look, a most joyous 77th birthday, regardless of what Your Auntie Grizelda may think!

Pete was born in Washington, D.C. on February 13, 1942, which makes him the doyen of the group. Like Mike “Wool Hat” Nesmith, he was a musician first, likely the group’s most instrumentally proficient. Peter wound up auditioning for the tv show after his name was suggested by Stephen Stills, who wasn’t quite right for the part… but definitely a good sport.

Peter and his fellow Monkees were featured in their own Dell comic book (is there any greater honour?), which lasted from March, 1967 to October, 1969, seventeen issues in all (with some reprinting.) That was one of Dell’s few savvy moves in their waning days, and one of their few readable titles outside John Stanley‘s output.

FawcetteMonkeesIdea2A
Peter the muse. From ‘Way-Out’ West, The Monkees (1966, Popular Library). See below!
FawcetteMonkeesCoverA
This cute lil’ volume contained a bunch of fun (what else) Monkees romps written by Howard Liss and ably illustrated by Eisner- Iger Studio veteran Gene Fawcette.
DelboMonkeesBeezleA
José Delbo‘s splash page from Beezle, Beezle, Who’s Got the Beezle?, The Monkees no. 8 (Jan. 1968, Dell). Scripter unknown… but he’s pretty good.
Monkees3A
The issue in question: The Monkees no. 8 (Jan. 1968, Dell)
Monkees4A
The Monkees no. 4 (Sept. 1967, Dell)
Monkees14A
The Monkees no. 14 (Oct. 1968, Dell)
ClowesGrizeldaA
Ah, but Dan Clowes has known it all along! From Eightball no. 13 (Apr. 1994, Fantagraphics)

Update: Peter Tork passed away on Thursday, February 21, 2019, barely a week beyond his 77th birthday. Au revoir, Peter!

-RG

One thought on “Peter Tork, Man of Music… and of Comics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s