When the Comics Journal ran the first two parts of this series (which you can read here and here), we asked for readers to help us find other appearances of Ernest Hemingway in comics history. They didn’t disappoint.
The first two parts chronicled the author’s colorful appearances in Superman, Shade: The Changing Man, Cerebus and 40+ other appearances. In the selections below, readers directed us to Hemingway references, adaptations and homages across the comics publishing landscape.
Samurai Crusader (1996)
Reader Phil Rippke pointed out Hemingway’s appearance as the sidekick in Samurai Crusader, a manga series by writer Hiroi Oji and artist Ryoichi Ikegami (Crying Freeman and Mai, The Psychic Girl).
“The titular character is visiting Europe and meets the burly, two-fisted adventurer Hemingway and together they try to foil a plot to start a World War. Viz translated it into English and published a three volume series from the 90s,” Rippke wrote. “It’s definitely worth tracking down.”
Samurai Crusader: The Kumamaru Chronicles (reprinting Manga Vizion, Vol. 1, No. 1 through Vol. 1, No. 8)
Samurai Crusader: Way of the Dragon (reprinting Manga Vizion, Vol. 1, No. 8 through Vol. 2, No. 7)
Samurai Crusader: Sunrise Over Shanghai (1997, reprinting Manga Vizion, Vol. 2, No. 8 through Vol. 3, No. 5)
Dacey writes: “Whenever I see Ryoichi Ikegami’s name attached to a project, I know two things: first, that the manga will be beautifully illustrated, and second, that the plot will be completely nuts. Samurai Crusader, a globe-trotting, name-dropping adventure from the early 1990s, provides an instructive example.”
Here’s an image from Samurai Crusader that illustrates Dacey’s enthusiasm for the series.
Glory #34 (2013)
When Joe Keatinge began writing Image Comics’ Glory, he gave the series’ warrior demoness a complex origin story that included a connection to the Lost Generation of Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein and a young Hemingway.
As covered in Part 2 of this series, Hemingway appeared in Glory #30, illustrated in a short story by Roman Muradov. But Sophie Campbell, the arc’s chief artist, reached out to say that Hemingway made an unnamed cameo in the final issue of the series.
“I actually didn’t want to draw that scene at all because I feel like I’m not great at capturing real people’s likenesses and I don’t ‘get’ the whole 1920s Paris/Stein’s salon thing, which is also why Roman Muradov drew the first Hemingway flashback,” Campbell says.
But issue 34 was the finale, so Campbell dug in—she knew how important it was to Keatinge. “Looking back on the issue now I think that part came out pretty good,” Campbell says. “I’m still proud of issue 34; it’s definitely my favorite one.”
Blanche Goes to Paris #1 (2001)
A self-professed “big Hemingway fan,” Rick Geary included the author in two panels of Blanche Goes to Paris. “I felt it only natural to include him in a story that takes place in Paris in 1921,” Geary says. At age 13, Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea was the first work of “serious” literature that Geary had ever read.
“Later on I read his other novels and came to appreciate what a revolutionary influence he was on American writing,” Geary says. “But the simple power of The Old Man has stayed with me over the years, and the Hemingway ‘style’ overall has given me lessons in the art of unadorned storytelling.”
Blanche Goes to Paris was later reprinted by Dark Horse in The Adventures of Blanche hardcover collection (2009). Geary also illustrated Hemingway in one panel of Steve Vance’s Big Book of Vice (1998), covered in Part 2 of this series, and he directed our attention to this later Hemingway appearance.
Los surcos del azar (The Furrows of Fate) (2013)
Sigge Stegeman wrote in about Hemingway’s appearance in Paco Roca’s Los surcos del azar (published by Astiberri in Spain). The World War II tale follows “Spanish Republicans who, after having lost their fight against the fascist regime of general Franco, enlisted with the Free French Army of Charles de Gaulle. Their company, called La Nueve, was the first to enter Paris and as such effectively liberated Paris,” Stegeman wrote.
Stegeman is the publisher of Soul Food Comics in the Netherlands, and translated the graphic novel into Dutch as Sporen van het toeval. The book was also published in Germany by Reprodukt as Die Heimatlosen, and Fantagraphics has an English edition in the works now, tentatively titled The Rings of Chance and slated for fall 2018.
Hemingway enters the story, Stegeman explains, once La Nueve enter Paris.
“They complain about what they call tourists: people who come watch the spectacle of war, by strolling around the battlefield. They mention Hemingway as an example and add that he was drunk,” he writes. “Later some of the soldiers visit Hemingway as he is throwing a party that lasts several days and mainly revolves around drinking stupendous amounts of alcohol.”
Sigge writes that La Nueve’s contribution was more or less lost in history and has only recently been rediscovered. This book contains their story as told by one of the last remaining soldiers of La Nueve.”
Puma Blues #3 (1986)
Edward Khanna pointed out a Hemingway reference in the beginning of Puma Blues, written by Stephen Murphy and illustrated in mind-boggling detail by Michael Zulli.
“A character, Jack, has a beard at the time and looks Hemingway-esq and is describing a nightmare he had to his class, which includes a scene with Death holding up a phone and saying ‘It’s for you,’ which I assume is a reference to For Whom The Bell Tolls,” wrote Khanna. He continued: “Rereading the part, I noticed that in the sequence just prior to it, there’s a robot named, ‘Ernest,’ who leaves his master to go find himself in nature.”
Generation X #5 (1995)
Comics writer/editor Danny Fingeroth also directed us to Generation X for a villain named Hemingway. As part of Gene Nation, the hulking, spiny Hemingway terrorized both humans and mutants, making appearances across several X-Men-related series until he ran afoul of Wolverine in 2004’s Weapon X #21 (Vol. 2). Here he is, first drawn by Chris Bachalo in 1995.
National Lampoon Magazine (Vol. 2, Number 9, 1979)
Hemingway isn’t lampooned, oddly, in this April Fool’s issue of National Lampoon. Instead, he appears in caricature form for the magazine’s “Lives of the Great” column.
Among the true facts in the illustration: “In 1944, a jealous Hemingway destroyed the portrait of his lover with a submachine gun. A stray shot blew apart her toilet and flooded the apartment.”
Even when not directly featuring the author, the name Hemingway pops up in magazines and other comics. An “E. Hemingway” is listed as a contributor to Cracked #130 (January 1976), although there’s no corresponding story. Other references are less opaque.
In DC Comics' New 52 line, the name of Deathstroke’s nurse is Hemingway—possibly a reference to Hemingway’s romance with nurse Agnes Von Kurowsky during World War I. She patches up the warrior assassin in Deathstroke #8 (Vol. 2, 2012).
In Milestone Comic’s Static, teen hero Virgil Hawkins attends Hemingway High School. “I’m not sure who on the creative team actually named the school Ernest Hemingway High,” remembers artist John Paul Leon. “...I distinctly remember drawing the first establishing shot of the school around page 10 of issue 1.”
Leon says it’s likely that co-creator Dwayne McDuffie or writer Robert Washington III named the high school, though Leon can’t swear to it. McDuffie died in 2011, and Washington in 2012. Via Twitter, Static co-creator Michael Davis (@mdworld) also wasn’t sure who the Hemingway fan was, writing, “I think it was Dwayne [McDuffie] BUT it may have been [writer Christopher] Priest.”
Below is an image from a Static / Black Lightning story from Brave and the Bold #24, (2007, 3rd Series).
Lastly, a cab driver / sidekick of Doctor Druid in Warren Ellis’ 1995 series Druid is named Hemingway. He’s not treated very well.
If you know of a Hemingway appearance or reference that we didn’t feature, please email: info [at] hiddenhemingway.com, and we'll update it in this article. Otherwise:
Robert K. Elder is the author of Hidden Hemingway: Inside the Ernest Hemingway Archives of Oak Park.