Connie calls it quits

Connie Converse

Where is Elizabeth “Connie” Converse? Before Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell there was Connie Converse, the Emily Dickinson of singer-songwriters. Thanks to animator Gene Deitch, who was responsible for some of the TV cartoons I watched as a kid, Connie’s voice and songs were recorded for posterity.

Connie disappeared over 40 years ago, like D.B. Cooper, and she was never heard from again. Converse was born five days before Deitch, who is 90 and still living.

Rhymes with Blimpy

Hulk sketch by Herb Trimpe
Hulk sketch by Herb Trimpe

It’s been over a month since Marvel Comics artist Herb Trimpe, the master of groovy teeth*, died suddenly while out jogging, which is probably how I’ll go, eventually. Herb was a top-notch comic book artist, with a distinctive style and as good an ability to design a page and tell a story clearly as any artist. He was noted for his long run on the Hulk, during which he co-created Wolverine, a character that has been very good for Hugh Jackman’s bank account.

After a stint in the Air Force, Herb was a Marvel mainstay for almost 30 years, until 1996, when Marvel stopped giving work to its veteran artists, in favor of younger talent. (Joe Sinnott retired from full-time artistic duties in 1994.) A few years later, Herb wrote an op-ed about his struggles in The New York Times that received a lot of attention. He kept going by teaching, doing commissions, and drawing sketches at conventions, like the one I embedded above. Herb was a great guy to know, and he is missed personally, as well as professionally.

*Inside joke with Denro