ITEM! Welcome to Iron Man Week here at Everything’s Sunny in Soapbox-Land! As we all count down to Shellhead’s sizzling cinematic debut, your Uncle Stanley is gonna hit yah with more invincible insider insights that you can shake a transisitor-powered suit of steel mesh at! All that, and sentences that end in prepositions too! Who could ask for more?
For starters, the Smilin’ One isn’t ashamed to admit that it took nominal nudges from both Irving Forbush and Mark Evanier to remind me that seminal Shellhead artist extraordinaire Georgous George Tuska turned 92 yesterday! 92! That’s older than Yours Truly, pilgrims, and I remember when milk still came in glass bottles and drinking water came from a faucet. Georgey-Boy’s been around so long he was born the year BEFORE Jolly Jack Kirby!
George was a Golden-Age vet from the earliest days of the comic book biz. Most of you probably remember the Tusk from his incredible 10-year run on The Invincible Iron Man (most of Iron Man's #5 through #108 - Compleatist Stan). But George started out assisting on the syndicated AP strip Scorchy Smith and later worked in that frantic finishing school for future famous fine artists, the Eisner & Iger shop. The House of Ideas managed to snag him back into the fold in 1964, at which point I was so thrilled to have someone to draw books besides Kirby, Ditko and Heck that I featured his return on the splash page of his first story (Tales of the Watcher, Tales of Suspense #58 - Even-More Compleatist Stan)! Heck, gettin’ Gorgeous George in the bullpen let me cut Jack back to under 100 pages-a-month!
Then George went on to work for the Distinguished Corporation and had a fabulous 15-year run drawing their daily Superman syndicated strip (...should I mention that everyone's favorite whipping-boy, Vince Colletta, inked most of this 1978-1993 run? - Ridiculously Compleat Stan), finally retiring from full-time comics work, though he continues to do commissioned work to this very day! I hope I’m still that active when I’m his age... mainly because that’s only seven years from now and I have contracts going out over the next 20 years! So Happy Birthday, George, and keep on truckin’! We youngsters will keep tryin' to follow your exemplary example!