Howard the Duck Creator dies…
I have just found out the very sad news that Steve Gerber, comics writer and satirist died the other day on Sunday 10th of February, whilst in Mountain View Hospital in Las Vegas from complications stemming from an on-going illness. In 2007, Steve was diagnosed with an early stage of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and was on a waiting list for a lung transplant. Even while in Hospital he continued to work on his latest series for DC, turning his room there into a study, full of books, magazines, and his laptop.
He was perhaps best known as the creator and writer of Howard the Duck, Man-Thing, The Sub-Mariner and Daredevil. Other titles included: Omega the Unknown, The Phantom Zone, Void Indigo, Shanna the She-Devil, Tales of the Zombie, Marvel Spotlight: Son of Satan, Defenders, Marvel Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy, Foolkiller, The Legion of Night, Marvel Comics Super Special featuring KISS, Nevada, Sludge, A. Bizarro, and Hard Time, and many, many more.
It was during the 1970s one amongst a wave of writers including Steve Englehart, Don McGregor and Doug Moench who would take on the task of writing minor characters and helped to create a revitalisation for comics writing. At the time of his death, he was writing for DC Comics on their Countdown to Mystery series: featuring, Doctor Fate, having already briefly worked with a version of the character back in 1983.
One of his fortes was including lengthy text pages in the middle of a comic book story, examples of which can be found amongst the pages of comics such as: Man-Thing, Howard the Duck, Son of Satan, Defenders, and his graphic novel, Stewart the Rat.
As a writer, he had a voice, unlike most others and created stories that mixed the standard adventure fare with social satire and crazy-styled humour. When he was writing The Defenders for marvel Comics, he took a group of Supervillains that were tired of always being beaten by the good guys, and had them go to a self-help guru for motivation…Priceless!!!
Although I never met him, the personal voice in his writing, which spoke volumes about life and its absurdities, showed me, as a young teenager that here was someone different, with something else to say. He showed just how insane the world can be and how sometimes the only way to deal with world affecting situations, totally out of our hands to control, is to laugh in its face and laugh at it loudly, so the guys that can affect the changes, maybe, just maybe hear the voices crying out to be heard. Right from the word go his work stood out to me.
Anyone wishing to read a different kind of Comicbook, one, which makes you think about life changing situations or stories concerned with larger problem, handled with a huge dose of humanity, whether it be from the viewpoint of the good guys or the bad, check out his work…It is always a great and in depth read.
Quite a few years ago now, my brother Chris got rid of his American comics collection – He gave them to me – But he kept one series, Howard the Duck, because of three guy’s work: Steve Gerber, the writer and Frank Brunner and Gene Colan, the artists.
Later in his career he wrote and story-edited for animation, on such projects as: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Dungeons & Dragons, G.I. Joe, The Puppy's New Adventures, The Transformers, Thundarr the Barbarian, and the pilot episode of Mister T.
My thoughts go out to his family and friends at this time, but like so many of my heroes that have unfortunately passed on from this plane of existence, his work makes him immortal and he lives on through it.
Like I say, get hold of a copy of his work and you’ll want more.
Rest in Peace Steve and thanks for the ride.
Until next time have fun!
February 14th 2008
1 day ago