Saturday, February 23, 2019


A kind soul on Twitter brought this to my attention:  a letter teenage JMD wrote to the Sub-Mariner comic in 1970.

I have no memory of this but, man, that kid was obsessed with Doctor Strange. (Guess it paid off in the end!)


  1. The part of this that really surprises me is that you have no memory of writing or sending the letter. I would've thought you'd have been excited to see your letter printed, especially as a teen. I'll have to chalk it up to the fact that you never realized it was printed, so the memory of writing/sending the letter faded.

    The letter is so cleverly written. You can tell by reading it the writer is truly a fan of Doctor Strange. I know you get asked "who are some of your favorite characters" a lot. I listen to all of your podcasts. You typically answer with several of your creator-owned characters. Makes sense. Here's a different way to phrase it though:

    1) Who were some of your favorite comic book characters when you were growing up.

    2) Who are some of your favorite characters now that are not creator owned.

    3) Which Marvel or DC character that you haven't had a chance to write for would you be interested in writing for currently?

  2. I had quite a few letters printed in various Marvel Comics back in those days, George, and, when brought to my attention, I have memories of all of them. This one, for some reason, just isn't in the memory bank. Although I do remember really enjoying Roy's run on SUB-MARINER. It was great. As to your questions...

    1) At DC: Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Justice League. At
    Marvel: Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, X-Men, Spider-Man...and, naturally, Doctor Strange.

    2) Probably the same batch as when I was a kid...with the addition of the various supernatural characters, especially at DC.

    3) There are some—like Doc Strange and the Silver Surfer—that I'd love to return to. And I've always thought the Giffen-DeMatteis-Maguire team would be perfect for Fantastic Four. When you add in my animation work, I've had a shot at almost every character I have affection for. Which makes me a very lucky writer.

    1. We need you to come back to writing Man-Thing.

    2. I had plans for many more stories, Douglas. Liam and I could have remained on that book for years. But I think that ship has sailed.

    3. I have recently been reading some back issues of Ragman. I think you should definitely write a book for that. The one I just read was Ragman: Cry of the Dead and it took place in New Orleans and dealt with The Loa and Voodoo practices. Interesting stuff.

    4. Ragman is a character I know next-to-nothing about, Douglas. Guess I'll have to educate myself!

  3. I've been reading the new Dan Slott Fantastic Four run. He did an incredible job on the Silver Surfer...the best I've read EVER (and I love the Silver Surfer). I've read up to issue #6 of the new F4 series and so far it's good. It's not Silver Surfer good, but it's good. I think having to work with so many characters makes it a little more difficult. He just brought in Doom and Galactus though, so we'll see where the story takes us. What Slott is a master of (if you ask me) is evoking emotion, and really having the reader relate to and care about the characters. My favorite moment so far in the new F4 series has been a one page cut away, to Aunt Petunia with Alicia Masters-Grimm and Valeria and Franklin Richards. It was really poignant.

    I think the Giffen-DeMatteis-Maguire team would be great on the series. I'd imagine you'd inject some humor to the series but still have some really incredible adventures and memorable moments. The problem seems to be creators don't seem to last too long on titles these days. Slott only lasted three issues with the first artist on F4 once it debuted. I don't know if you'd get the chance to really build the stories you'd want at Marvel in the time you were allotted with Keith and Kevin. Who knows? I would like to see it though. You three work great together.

    Also, I recently tracked down ALL of your issues of Silver Surfer (the 2nd series). I've mentioned to you on this board in the past that those issues are rather expensive. They can go from $3 to $10 each, with your last issue hitting near $20. I believe it's because Marvel condensed the print run near the end making them harder to find. I know the final issue (which you didn't do) goes for $30. Regardless, I found the entire final 40 issue run (minus the last issue) at a great price and grabbed it up. I loved some of it, and some of it was not my favorite. Having SS and Alicia in a relationship made sense to me. Plus having you team up with Jon J. Muth again (Moonshadow!) was really special. I loved having them travel back in time! Having Alicia have superpowers and a suit was where you lost me....but that's ok, I bet someone else loved seeing it! Still, the issues will stay in my collection for as long as I'm alive. Thank you!

    1. You're welcome, George! Glad you enjoyed most of that Surfer run, I had a great time writing it (although there were some behind-the-scenes issues that made it occasionally frustrating) and, as previously noted, Surfer is a character I'd love to write again.

      I haven't read Dan Slott's FF run, but I have tremendous respect for Dan -- he's a terrific writer and a good guy -- so I'm sure it's excellent.