Dandy Don was born June 15, 1945.
I met Don McGregor through my buddy Cliff Galbraith, who co-founded this site with me and is the major domo of East Coast Comicon (and the forthcoming Monsters and Robots show in August). Don’s a force of nature, with one of the most winning personalities of anyone I’ve met in the world of comics.
He’s well known for his work on Sabre, Killraven and Detectives Inc. — but it’s Black Panther where he first made his mark. His early-’70s run comprises the first great T’Challa epic, and with Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther the big breakout star of Captain America: Civil War, it seemed to make sense to do a 13 COVERS birthday salute featuring the Wakandan royal.
Don’s a writer, not an artist, but all the covers below feature stories he wrote. And in a turnabout, while I picked the covers, Cliff — who’s an artist — wrote this tribute to Don, a pal of pals:
The Day I Met Don McGregor
I believe the year was 1997, at the San Diego Comic-Con, where I first encountered the human dynamo, Don McGregor. I was coming back from having one of my many cigarettes of the day out front with the human chimney, Rory Root, the late great Berkeley comics retailer.
Most likely hung over, and in no mood for anyone else’s antics but my own, there was this boisterous older guy (probably about my age now) at the booth across from us when I returned. He was waving his arms around and going on about storytelling and detective stories. At that moment, Comic Book Artist Magazine editor Jon B. Cooke was coming down the aisle and I grabbed him and said, “J.B., who does this guy think he is?” Cooke laughed and replied, “He thinks he’s Don McGregor. C’mon, I’ll introduce you.”
Before Jon Cooke could do me the honor, Don McGregor leapt, in one motion, from the floor onto a table at his booth. He was like an acrobat. To this day, the image of a 50-something-year-old man jumping up onto a table is burned into my memory banks. And that was my first encounter with Don McGregor.
Don is, to this day, the greatest entertainer at comic cons. He is the engaging, affable, passionate creator that makes comic conventions fun for fans and other creators alike. When I decided to launch my first big convention in Asbury Park, N.J., I called Don McGregor, because I knew he would bring the spirit of those conventions I’d done with him so many years ago. Since then, Don has been a staple at Asbury Park and East Coast Comicon, even if he can’t leap onto the table tops anymore.
Happy birthday, Don!
XO, Cliff and Judie
Cover images and credits from the energetic Grand Comics Database.