« Be silent in that solitude which is not loneliness — for then the spirits of the dead who stood in life before thee are again in death around thee — and their will shall then overshadow thee: be still. »
— Edgar Allan Poe (1829)
It was on this day, two hundred and ten years ago, that the great writer, poet and posthumous master of all media Edgar Poe (Jan. 19, 1809 – Oct. 7, 1849) was born in Boston, Massachusetts. I’ll spare you the usual biographical details, widely available elsewhere, and we’ll concentrate on his unflagging ubiquity in the medium of comics.
Classics Illustrated publisher Gilberton was first out of the gate with Poe adaptations, at first tentatively with a pair of poems (Annabel Lee, then The Bells)**, then more substantially with The Murders in the Rue Morgue, in Classic Comicsno. 21 – 3 Famous Mysteries (July, 1944), sharing the stage with Arthur Conan Doyle and Guy de Maupassant. Read it here. Pictured below is Classics Illustratedno. 84 (June 1951, Gilberton), cover by Alex A. Blum. Read the issue here.
« We tend to think of age only in time, but I don’t think it has much to do with time at all; there’s a whole load of other things. I’ve met 16-year-olds who are old and 90-year-olds who are young. » — Roger Daltrey
Today’s birthday number seventy-four for Sir Roger Harry Daltrey (born in London, England, on March 1st, 1944), Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, noted thespian and lead vocalist of The Who. « And what’s this got to do with soddin’ comics? », the more boorish among you may ask. Well, thanks to the efforts of the genial Michael Kupperman, Sir Roger, and his unceasing quest for birds, have been duly immortalised in comics. Read on!
Farther along, having taken his quest below ground, our intrepid bird-rogerer encounters the dauntless duo of Mark Twain and Albert Enstein (of course!).
I’ve looked under chairs I’ve looked under tables I’ve tried to find the key to fifty million fables
They call me the Seeker I’ve been searchin’ low and high I won’t get to get what I’m after Till the day I die
Happy birthday, Roger. Here’s a helpful shortcut to some of these fabled birds you seek: