13 REASONS to Love TAWKY TAWNY: An OTTO BINDER Birthday Celebration

The famous talking tiger in the center ring…


Otto O. Binder was born Aug. 26, 1911 — 112 years ago — in Bessemer, Michigan, not far from the shores of Lake Superior, and is highly regarded as the most prolific writer of Captain Marvel stories in the Golden Age of Comics at Fawcett Publications. Binder’s mind co-created a wealth of characters and concepts at the home of the World’s Mightiest Mortal: Mary Marvel, Uncle Marvel, Mr. Mind, Black Adam, Ibac, King Kull, Mr. Scarlet and Pinky The Whiz Kid, Oggar, and Sabbac to name a few.

After Fawcett winded down their comics division, Binder moved over to DC Comics where he co-created Supergirl, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Bizarro, Brainiac, Krypto and Titano, as well as adding immensely to Superman’s Kryptonian lore.

Perhaps one of his best known creations at Fawcett was the character of Mr. Tawky Tawny. Tawny appeared in 26 stories in the latter run of Captain Marvel Adventures. The talking tiger was Binder’s stand-in for everyman (and perhaps himself) and it was through Tawny that Binder could address the ills of society and humanity, much like the great science fiction stories, by flying under the radar. And Captain Marvel was always nearby to help his friend who often got in trouble.

So to celebrate Otto’s birthday, here’s a gallery of covers and splash pages from Binder’s Tawny adventures — or 13 REASONS TO LOVE TAWKY TAWNY:

Otto Binder and C.C. Beck introduced Tawky Tawny in Captain Marvel Adventures #79 (cover-dated Dec. 1947) by sending him from a “wild region” to America where he immediately is misunderstood as a typical tiger.

Tawny gets cover featured for the first time in his second adventure.

Captain Marvel Adventures #96. After a nationwide contest, two lucky winners gave Tawny a first name, Tawky!

Mr. Tawny masquerades as Captain Marvel and learns a valuable lesson!

Captain Marvel Adventures #108. Mr. Tawny tries his paw at being a detective a la Sherlock Holmes!

Captain Marvel and Mr. Tawky Tawny feud!

Captain Marvel Adventures #117.  Mr. Tawny tries to find happiness in adventure but learns there’s no place like home!

Captain Marvel Adventures #121. Mr. Tawny puts on a few extra pounds but is it his own fault?

Captain Marvel Adventures #126. Tawky tries to gain fame through daredevil feats but learns that fame is often more down to earth.

Captain Marvel Adventures #128. Mr. Tawny enjoys a hedonistic lifestyle… or does he?

Captain Marvel Adventures #134. Mr. Tawny invents a popular product, but what happens when it goes wrong?

Captain Marvel Adventures #137. Tawny tries to become cultured but ends up becoming a snob. Will Captain Marvel be able to show him the error of his ways?

Mr. Tawny enjoys his last adventure at Fawcett by being cover-featured — and by becoming a hermit! Will he ever learn?


— DC’s 1984 CAPTAIN THUNDER: Dig the Great CAPTAIN MARVEL Who Never Was. Click here.

— 13 MIGHTY MOMENTS in the 50-Year History of SHAZAM! at DC Comics. Click here.

A 10-year-old Walt Grogan fell in love with the Big Red Cheese thanks to essays written by Dick Lupoff and Don Thompson in the paperback edition of All in Color for a Dime, released in 1970 and bought for him by his father off a paperback spinner rack in a liquor store on the South Side of Chicago. Walt runs The Marvel Family Web Facebook page devoted to all incarnations of the Fawcett/DC Captain Marvel and blogs about Captain Marvel at shazamshistorama.com.

Author: Dan Greenfield

Share This Post On


  1. Wonder how today’s kids would respond to Mr Tawny?

    Post a Reply
  2. Such a humble powerful character Tawky was. The story not featured among the covers in this piece and the best in my opinion Is Mr.Tawny’s New Home in Captain Marvel Adventures 90. The cover of that issues leads us almost directly into the content of the story. A message is left with the reader that applies directly to anything happening in the news today. If you can find it read it.

    Post a Reply
  3. My I add the story I referred to in CMA 90. The video can be paused and stared again for reading if need be.https://youtu.be/Ze9DEVleP2U

    And a Happy birthday to the author…

    Post a Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: