Back when the internet was a text based environment suited to slow dial-up modems, I was a regular at several newsgroups, including alt.obituaries. I hated missing that someone interesting had died, so I went to the newsgroup daily. Sadly, it degenerated into a lot of noise and little signal, so I left. Now, I go to the Associated Press obituary page to keep track.
This week, there were a couple deaths of people I consider celebrities, but the fancy pants A.P. isn't so sure. The first is Captain Lou Albano, the professional wrestler best known to non-wrestling fans as Cyndi Lauper's dad in her seminal video, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Being a showman, Captain Lou milked this fifteen minutes of fame for as long as he could, even claiming that he was the person who put Cyndi Lauper on the map.
News flash: Cyndi could actually sing, and still can. She didn't make it into the stratosphere with her career, but I will proudly admit I owned Cyndi Lauper records when I was younger. I have never owned any recording by that Madge person who started recording songs at about the same time Cyndi did.
Still, it's a tip of the cap to Captain Lou. Rest in peace, ya big palooka.
Today's obituary that the A.P. doesn't think makes the cut is comic book artist George Tuska. A major part of his career at Marvel was drawing Iron Man, a comic I never liked, but he also drew Luke Cage, Hero For Hire and continued on the book when it was retitled Luke Cage, Power Man. He was also the artist for several issues of The X-Men, another comic I collected.
For a while, Tuska worked under the name Carl Larson. Name changes were fairly common back in the day, and many of them hid the fact that the comic book industry was largely populated by artists and writers who were either immigrants or the sons of immigrants, most of them Eastern European or Jewish or both. Tuska was born in 1916 in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Russian immigrants. His style borrowed heavily from the slam-bang action style of Jack Kirby, born Jacob Kurtzberg in New York City in 1917, the son of Austrian Jewish immigrants.
Best wishes to the family and friends of Captain Lou Albano and George Tuska, from a fan.