Sobre la hipócrita María Milagros Charbonier
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joe Simon, who along with Jack Kirby co-created Captain America and was one of the comic book industry's most revered writers, artists and editors, has died. He was 98.
Simon's family relayed word of his death Thursday, posting a short statement on Facebook and telling The Associated Press through a spokesman that the 98-year-old Simon died Wednesday night in New York City after a brief illness.
"Joe was one of a kind," said Steve Saffel of Titan Books, a Simon friend who worked with him on his recent autobiography, "Joe Simon, My Life In Comics."
Saffel said that Simon, born in Rochester, N.Y., in 1913, "lived life on his terms and created incredible things in the process. It was a privilege to know him and to call him my friend."
Among his creations was a partnership with comic book artist and illustrator Jack Kirby. The duo worked hand-in-glove for years and from their fertile imaginations sprang a trove of characters, heroes, villains and misfits for several comic book companies in their Golden Age of the 1940s, including Timely, the forerunner of today's Marvel Comics; National Periodicals, the forerunner of DC; and Fawcett, among others.
The characters the two created included the Newsboy Legion, the Boy Commandos and scores more, including Blue Bolt.
"Blue Bolt was the first strip Jack and I worked on together, beginning in 1940. He was a science fiction swashbuckler I created for Curtis Publishing, the company that put out the Saturday Evening Post," Simon told The Associated Press earlier this year. "They had decided to jump on the comic book bandwagon. Jack joined me with the second issue. Like Captain America, Blue Bolt got his powers from an injection, long before the baseball players were doing it."
For Timely, the duo created Captain America, debuting on the cover of "Captain America Comics" No. 1 in December 1940 with the champion of liberty throwing a solid right-hook at Adolph Hitler, an entire year before the United States entered World War II.
"Jack and I read the newspapers, and knew what was going on over in Europe. And there he was — Adolf Hitler, with his ridiculous moustache, high-pitched ranting and goose-stepping followers. He was the perfect bad guy, much better than anything we could have made up, so what we needed was to create his ultimate counterpart," Simon told AP.
"Cap is one of the great comic book icons, and as dangerous as the world is today — more than it was in the 1940s — we need him around more than ever to act as our moral compass," Simon said.
Mark Evanier, a comic industry historian and Jack Kirby biographer, noted that Simon, besides being able to write and draw, also knew how to edit comics.
"Joe himself was the first great real editor who brought to comics skills he'd learned elsewhere and had some perception of how to put a magazine together and how to make a professional looking publication," Evanier told The AP on Thursday. "He had some business acumen. He knew how to talk to publishers, he knew how to make deals."
He also knew the market, Evanier said, noting that Simon, along with Kirby, plunged head first into creating horror, crime, humor and romance comics in the aftermath of World War II.
Simon said earlier this year that creating the romance comics was a high point for him and Kirby because they "negotiated to own half of the property," something that had been an uncertain prospect in the industry.
"I'd like to think that we showed today's comic book writers and artists how they can do more than just make a living producing comic books, and hold onto the fruits of their labors," he said.
Simon is survived by two sons, three daughters and eight grandchildren.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harry Morgan wasn't a star and didn't need to be. In "M-A-S-H," ''Dragnet" and so many other TV shows and movies, the veteran character actor proved as indispensable as any marquee name.
Imagine "M-A-S-H" without the no-nonsense but fair Army Col. Sherman Potter, who knew how to traverse the line between military discipline and wartime humanity.
Here's Potter, on his first day as commander of a Korean War hospital camp, discovering the moonshine-making operation run by his brilliant but wayward surgeons and holding his fire: "Had a still in Guam in World War II. One night it blew up. That's how I got my Purple Heart."
Or go back to the 1960s version of "Dragnet" and Morgan's tour of duty as police Officer Bill Gannon, playing droll foil to laconic Jack Webb's Sgt. Joe Friday. Or consider Morgan's stalwart judge at the center of an intellectual clash in "Inherit the Wind," the dramatization of 1925's so-called Scopes Monkey Trial on evolution.
The 1960 film included tour de force performances by Fredric March, who raged as a version of William Jennings Bryan, and Spencer Tracy, a craftily impassioned take on Clarence Darrow. Morgan held his own as a smart, small-town jurist trying to balance political pressure with justice.
Morgan, who died Wednesday at age 96 at his Brentwood home after having pneumonia, was in the top ranks of actors who could take a small role, or a small scene, and bring it deftly alive. He added richness to any comedy or drama smart enough to call on him.
And that happened over and over, from gritty Westerns including 1943's "The Oxbow Incident" and 1952's "High Noon" to fluffy TV series "December Bride" and "The Love Boat."
Morgan, a Detroit native born in 1915, was studying pre-law at the University of Chicago when public speaking classes drew him to the stage. He worked with a little-theater group in Washington, D.C., followed by a two-year stint on Broadway in the original production of "Golden Boy," with Karl Malden and Lee J. Cobb.
Morgan began his television career in 1954 when the medium was young.
He was one of the "foundational pieces of the industry," said "M-A-S-H" star Mike Farrell, who tried to gain Morgan a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild. Such honors routinely go to stars but also belong to Morgan and other character actors who provide "the grit and the substance and the context" for so many films and TV shows, Farrell said Wednesday.
"Harry has been that, par excellence, for many years," he said.
Veteran writer-producer Ken Levine, who worked on "M-A-S-H" early in his career, recalled Morgan as a complete pro who left him awestruck.
"He could read a scene once, have it completely memorized, and perform it perfectly take after take," Levine said on his blog. "And then compliment a callow 26-year-old writer who wrote it and couldn't believe the great Harry Morgan was even in the same room, much less reading his words."
Morgan, a quiet scene-stealer in his work, was also modest in life. Daughter-in-law Beth Morgan said he was "very humble about having such a successful career," which included an Emmy Award for "M-A-S-H."
He'd never boast about the famed actors whom he had worked with and befriended, including Henry Fonda and Gregory Peck, but, if prompted, would happily share memories, Farrell said.
And Morgan knew what counted in life, as he proved at a news conference held when "M-A-S-H" ended in 1983. He was asked if working with the show's cast had made him a better actor, and Farrell recalled Morgan's reply: "I don't know about that, but it's made me a better human being."