Today in Comics History: Zorro creator died
Today in 1958, Johnston McCulley passed away at the age of 75 in Los Angeles, California. He is remembered for creating the pulp hero Zorro, first appearing in McCulley’s 5-part serial “The Curse of Capistrano” from All-Story Weekly in 1919. The character was a huge influence on masked super-heroes to come, and inspired the creation of DC Comics’ Batman. (Sources: The Vintage Library, Wikipedia)
Pictured above, McCulley stands second from the left on the set of the 1920 silent film The Mask of Zorro starring Douglas Fairbanks. The movie catapulted the character’s popularity and led to hundreds of pulp stories (many written by McCulley), novels, comics, and merchandise.
CORRECTION: The photograph is more likely from the set of the Disney “Zorro” TV series circa 1957. McCulley is flanked by actors Guy Williams as Zorro and Henry Calvin as Sgt. Garcia. Many thanks to Lil Niramani for catching my erroneous assumption. Any other further info is welcome.
(Photo from The Vintage Library.)