The comic books are now getting into African famine relief. A group of 52 artists and writers including Stephen King and Harlan Ellison and Marvel Comics publisher Stan Lee will create a special issue of "The X-Man," who is essentially Everyman in the battle against "Entity," who feeds on each X-Man's worst fear. Out later this month, the money goes for famine relief . . .

On the hotel beat: The incomparable Ella Fitzgerald was to check in to the Watergate Hotel last night and the legendary Oscar Peterson arrives there today. They both appear at Wolf Trap tonight. And the Pointer Sisters, who are creating their own legend, are to check in there today prior to their performances at the Kennedy Center tonight, tomorrow and Sunday . . .

At the Washington home of screen writer Shelly Tromberg and his wife Jessie, they have so many visitors that they give friends and friends of their children who stay overnight a "Camp Tromberg" T-shirt. They have just learned that experienced mountain climber Sid Ballman from Dallas, a friend of their son Bruce, later this month will be climbing K-2, the second highest mountain in the world, located between Pakistan and India. If he reaches the top he plans to leave his Camp Tromberg T-shirt there. That ought to confuse future climbers when they reach the summit . . .

Responding to growing pressure from the Washington-based Parents Music Resource Center to protect adolescents from "blatant, explicit lyric content" in records, Stan Gortikov, president of the Recording Industry Association of America, announced yesterday in New York that his industry would agree in principle to label such records but would leave it to the discretion of the individual record companies. Although the PMRC was pleased with the response, a letter sent yesterday to Gortikov said the decision does not go far enough. The letter was signed by Pam Howar, Susan Baker, Tipper Gore and Sally Nevius . . .

For all those people who were wondering who was the important person those Secret Service agents were protecting at Wednesday night's opening of "Tent Meeting" at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater -- it was nobody of importance. The Secret Service was only practicing. It seems they, too, have rehearsals occasionally so they know how to protect a major figure at a public event like the theater. There was no report as to whether the playacting "important person" was as good at his role as the actors on the stage were . . .

Former Senate majority leader Howard Baker was explaining recently what it's like to be out of power and without the perks of office. He admitted to missing using the Senate gym and swimming pool, but added, "It is only my highly developed sense of decency that keeps me from chortling when I see Dole on television messing with that budget" . . .