October 29th in Science Fiction and Comics
Before I began writing “On This Day in History,” I wrote a series of Facebook posts about people and events in science fiction, fantasy, and comics, which are long-standing hobbies of mine. This is one of them.
Fredric Brown (October 29, 1906 — March 11, 1972) wrote such classic science fiction novels as What Mad Universe; Martians, Go Home; and The Lights in the Sky Are Stars, though he’s best known for his “short-short” stories, one of which, “Arena,” was adapted into an episode of the original Star Trek series of the same name. He was also a mystery novelist, winning the Edgar Award for The Fabulous Clipjoint. His novel The Screaming Mimi became a 1958 movie staring Anita Ekberg and Gypsy Rose Lee.
“Hal Clement” was the pen name of Harry Clement Stubbs (May 30, 1922 — October 29, 2003). Known as a “hard science fiction writer,” his classic works include the 1954 novel Mission of Gravity, 1958’s Close to Critical, and numerous short stories. He earned an astronomy degree from Harvard and got his master’s from Boston University. During World War II, he was a B-24 pilot who flew 35 combat missions with the 44th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. Following the war, he taught chemistry and astronomy at Milton Academy in Massachusetts.
Clement was a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame and a Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America.
Pulitzer Prize-wininng editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin (October 29, 1921 — January 22, 2003) was known for his World War II cartoons featuring war-weary infantrymen “Willie and Joe.” Although enormously popular among the troops, he offended a number of senior officers, notably George Patton, who threatened to “throw his ass in jail” after Mauldin made fun of Patton’s requirement that all soldiers had to remain clean shaven at all times, even during combat.
Image: A cartoon by World War II legend Bill Mauldin.
Animator Ralph Bakshi (October 29, 1938 — ) is best known for his adult-oriented films including Fritz the Cat, Wizards, and Cool World, and for his animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.