Monday, March 7, 2022


I recently took part in a podcast tribute to one of the Marvel's greatest—and, for many of us, most influential—writers:  the brilliant, iconoclastic Steve Gerber.  You can listen to it here.

And speaking of all-time greats:  Here's a tribute to George Perez, a man whose art and storytelling has shaped, and enriched, the worlds of both Marvel and DC.  George has pancreatic cancer and, tragic as that is, it's heartening to see the tributes pouring in while he's still with us.  God bless you, George.


  1. You want to know how impactful Gerber was? I was born after his Man-thing run concluded, and I still devoured the back issues as a no-good teen.

    Gerber was a unique mind in comics, that was not afraid to leave himself on the page.

    He also showed an intereting talent for world-buiding, which was not used so much. IN a lesser known...I think... mini series called The Phantom Zone, he not only crafted a great story, but usually created the idea of a new form of music called Bizarro.

    He was most comfortable throwing the fantastic and bizarre into the everyday, but in that one scene he also showed look at how a completely fictitious place would develop differently.

    It is a shame he missed his chance to pitch that Superman run. I understand wanting to see Howard the Duck begin production, but that would have been Hell of a series.

    WAIT.. I almost forgot Omega the Unknown. Of all the books where he showed the gritty down to Earth side of living Ina city in the 70s, that may have been the most clear.

    Let us also not forget, no Steve Gerber no Alan Moore. Not only is Moore's Swam Thing clearly more Gerber than Wein, but most of his works from the 80s, could easily pass for Gerber... at least plotwise. You will never convince me that Moore was not influenced by Gerber in a major way. So stop trying, Dematteis. Now.

    Admittedly, this is what I would prefer podcasts to do with creators. Instead of asking them about the same stories over and over again for the millionth time, getting input on what they are a fan. It is so much more interesting. No offense,Dematteis, but I don;t need to hear the origin of Kraven's Last Hunt again.

    I know, different audiences, but comic reading is a small world. Stuff gets around. That is admittedly a person pet peeve based on personal experience

    Point is, I like the take, and I may actually listen to this one.

    I just look forward to the day you actually let your native Brooklyn accent out in one of these kooky podcasts.

    Of course, you would probably have start talking about something from those days. Chasing fireflies through a wheat field or helping your pa with the harvest, as you stare at the autumn sun setting. You know, the kind of rural imagery that made Brooklyn iconic.


    1. We've always agreed on the Greatness of Gerber, Jack.

      Your vision of Brooklyn, though? Just a tiny bit off.
      : )

    2. I know, I know that I am wrong about Brooklyn. Wheat is harvested in June, and PLANTED in autumn. You are a writer Dematteis, you should be familiar with poetic silence.

      The IMAGERY is an autumn harvest. Other than that, I think you will I am pretty spot on.

      If it makes you feel any better, carrots being good for your eyesight is just a lie created by the British Government to hide that they developed radar.

      So... when your Neighbor's the O'Malley's were trying to sell their carrots ion town, their slogans were built on lies.


    3. You amuse me, lad. You amuse me.

    4. No, that is 100% true about the carrots. You can look it up.

      The military was asked how they could hit the targets so well at night, and the nation had an abundance of carrots at the time because of the war.

      They did not want to give away their ace in the hole, so they made up a story about carrots and eyesight.

      My fifth grade teacher even told me that not true statement, about them helping your eyes.

      I enjoy carrots, but they do not help the eyes.

      Well... I guess facts can be amusing, so sure.


    5. Re: carrots. That story about the British may be true, but...

      "Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which the body utilizes to produce Vitamin A. They are good for lowering cholesterol levels and yes, for improving vision. Vitamin A helps the eye convert light to a signal sent to the brain, allowing you to see better in low light."

      And now I must stop today's enjoyable silliness and get back to work!

  2. One day< Deamtteis, I will tell you what I think is the real life origin of Adam Warlock.


    1. Who is this Deamtteis fellow?

      I was a huge fan of the early Roy Thomas/Gil Kane Warlock stories (even had several letters printed in the book) and, of course, the later Starlin stories.

    2. So, I have mentioned here before my 1/3s theory of Fantastic Four's history . The First third was Stan Lee leading. 31-60 was glorious collaboration, and the last 1/3 was Jack Kirby leading the way.

      IN that first and last thirds, the strengths and weaknesses of each leading party were on display.

      You seemed to more or less agree.

      There is something else about Kirby's third, that begins with the into of Adam Warlock.

      Kirby is trying to rewrite stories he did with Stan, but in a way he might prefer. You yourself mentioned a type of repetitiveness, citing the very issue after Warlock;s first appearance, where Ben fights the FF... again.

      Kirby had his fair share of shortcomings as a creator (as did Stan, just to be fair)... but lack of imagination was not among them

      At this point, every comic fan knows, Kirby had a different view of what the Silver Surfer should have been. Lee got his way, with the more human, but noble route.

      Kirby's robot that learns to be human, never was...until Adam Warlock

      Thing is, in the second Surfer story, starting with #55, he is already acting like Stan's Surfer. He is stalking about his love of soaring the space-ways, showing more of an interesting Alicia, and talking about how humans are fools. It is not entirely there, but the prices has firmly started.

      I think Adam Warlock was Kirby's attempt to do it the way he really wanted... one of many.

      He even tried to do his idea by bringing HIM (later Adam Warlock) to Thor. Thor being the book Kirby REALLY was shaping.

      I think it was his attempt to do the story he wanted, and people did not respond as optimistically as he wanted. Thems the brakes.

      Of course, it is a little ironic that Starlin, a true loser of Kirby, was the one that put a stake through that continuing as was originally envisioned.

      Kirby even tried it...again. With Machine Man, a robot given a type of cosmic power by the obelisk, again did not take.

      The point is, I think it was Kirby tying to do his idea. It kicked off the first of several attempts to do the story, and started the rewriting of previous stories as he waned. Always to lesser effect...probably because the collaboration was stronger than the sum of its parts.


    3. By the way, Jack: I'm not posting the other Lee-Kirby comments, not because they're not interesting but because I don't want this space to become part of the Great Lee-Kirby Debate (which, once we start, can go on and on and on). I hold both men in highest regard and I'd rather leave it at that.

      If we see each other at a convention again, we can have this discussion in person and I'm sure I'll enjoy it!

  3. I think Jack was in complete control by the time we got to the Galactus story. There's a 1968 interview in CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN (which was actually done a couple of years before, in 1966, just as the Marvel Superheroes cartoons were about to air) where Stan says that "Jack Kirby needs no plot at all... He's so good at plots, I'm sure he's a thousand times better than I."

    This doesn't take away from Stan's contributions. I know, from my own experience, that the guy who is both dialoguer and editor has tremendous power to shape—and reshape!—a story. So I still think the ultimate credit is 50-50. But Kirby was leading the way and then Stan was (brilliantly) building on that.

  4. I think we can be thankful that some of the things Gerber wrote about back in the day have become quaint and borderline unbelievable.

    -Banning of books, and calling them communist propaganda like in "A Book Burns in Citrusville"

    -The sociological pressures, neglect, and expectations leading to a kids death, like in "Kids Night Out"

    -Ranting and raving about the new generation is to 'wusssy' like the Mad Viking

    Thank god these are all things of the past, and those stories are no longer needed.


    1. I REALLY have to go back and reread all my favorite Gerber stories. Not sure if I'd start with Howard the Duck or Man-Thing...

    2. Man-Thing obviously.

      Not only is Howard the Duck's first appearance in the Man-Thing's tales, as well has his first solo story, but with Man-Thing ending in July 1975, and Howard the Duck beginning in October, I have always considered the not-so-mild-mannered mallard to be a continuation.