Warren very kindly submitted some of my scripts to the folks at Marvel Editorial, but I never received a response (which, in some ways, was worse than being rejected), and he later encouraged me to submit some writing samples to Crazy magazine: Marvel’s attempt at a Mad-style humor publication. Truth is, I had no interest in writing for Crazy—I possessed zero skills in that arena—but, miraculously, editor Paul Laikin bought one of my pitches and, even more miraculously, I got a check in the mail with Spider-Man’s picture on it—so blessings to Mr. Laikin and Mr. Reece both.
I’d hoped that selling something to Crazy would get me an “in” with the comic book side of Marvel, but it didn’t. Still, it allowed me to say that I was a (kinda/sorta/maybe/but not really) professional. It took a few years of repeatedly smashing my head against some very hard walls (rejection is part and parcel of the writer's life; if you haven't got a hard head, you shouldn't even attempt it)—but I finally sold my first "real" comic book script to Weird War Tales editor Paul Levitz at the tail end of 1977 and (after still more head banging) started getting regular DC work in the spring of 1979.
I bring this up because someone pointed me to this page over on eBay, where the art (and very nice art it is, by Tony Tallarico) for one of those Crazy stories—I sold two or three of them—is up for sale. I'd hardly call my writing the height of sophisticated humor (I wouldn't call it the height of anything!), but it was a start. And for that I'm profoundly grateful.
©copyright 2016 J.M. DeMatteis