Sad Announcement

I am not Steve Gerber. I’m a friend of his named Mark Evanier.

Steve died yesterday at that hospital in Las Vegas. It was not a surprise but it was a shock…to all of us who knew him.

I posted a little piece over at my weblog that I hope says what some of us are feeling.

I don’t know how long Steve’s weblog will remain but it will be here long enough for you to all read Steve’s past postings…and do pay special attention to the love and respect shown by his many commenters. I’ll bet there will be some important words posted as comments to this message.

Somewhere among his writings here, you’ll find a message where Steve thanks his friends Mary Skrenes and Harris Miller for all that they did for him. All of us would like to thank Mary and Harris for helping keep the guy around as long as was humanly possible…and maybe even a little longer than that.

If there are any announcements about memorials, tributes, etc., I will attempt to post them here, but I will certainly post them over at my site, www.newsfromme.com. That’s not a ploy to get you to visit my weblog. It just took me a while to figure out how to “break in” to Steve’s website (with permission from those close to him) to post this…and I’m not certain I can do it again.

And Steve…if you have a good Internet connection where you are and can read this, I just have to say: There are easier ways of getting out of having lunch with me.

103 Responses to “Sad Announcement”

  1. Dan Says:

    Thanks for all the many hours of enjoyment Steve. Be at peace.

  2. The other Alistair Says:

    I cried, when I read your news Mark. Man did Steve influence me. I’m still a little shocked.

  3. David Edge Says:

    I am terribly upset by this news.

    What a journey Steve Gerber took me on in the pages of Howard The Duck, Omega and The Defenders. My thoughts are with his family, friends and fans.

  4. Robert W. Getz Says:

    Thank you, Mark, for this and for the piece on your site.

    Life doesn’t deal out Steve Gerbers very often. That’s all I can say.

    Thank you, Steve, for everything.

    See you at the corner of Floss and Regret.

    Robert.

  5. L0N Says:

    Thanks for posting that Mark. I will miss his writing a lot.

  6. JB Says:

    I was having some really mixed feelings with all of the confusion on the last thread, but now there’s final word and it’s devastating.

    I haven’t been here long, but Steve has been at least an influencing force in my life for decades, I am grateful for the chance to have been able to interact with him as directly as this blog has allowed. I have a million things I want to say about Steve and the loss of both the man and the work he was still going to produce, but I’m in shock about it and I’m sure there are many more here able to do that better.

  7. Aaron Poehler Says:

    Damn. Sorry to hear the news. Gerber was one of the good ones and managed to be a unique voice within mainstream comics where so many are often seen as interchangeable. He will be missed.

  8. Mark Hale Says:

    I always felt great jealousy when I read something by Steve Gerber. (For whatever it’s worth, he’s in rare company along with Hunter S. Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut.) jealousy over the clever wordplay, jealousy over the feelings evoked, and the brilliant, deep characterization he achieved in what many feel is a cheap, trashy medium. His Foolkiller mini-series left me in a foul, bitter, depressed mood. And in a world where most stories leave you feeling not much of anything, that’s a hell of an accomplishment.

    I’ve been reading his internet writings almost as long as I’ve been on the internet, and he was a good dude. I’m sad for those he knew, and I’m sad for those of us who love his work so much.

  9. Roger VA Says:

    Shocking, awful news. I’m so sorry. :(

  10. Judith Pasko Says:

    I’m so choked up. My husband is too, but he was a friend, and our grief is different. I was in love with Howard. And years later, when Marty introduced me to Steve at a ComicCon, I regressed to a blushing, giggling, stammering fangirl, and Steve didn’t even seem to notice. I wanted him to know how much I appreciated his brilliance. I wish I could tell him now that those of us who subscribe to the Timothy Leary Theory that “Intelligence is the ultimate aphrodisiac,” know that there was no one sexier than Steve.

  11. Mark B Says:

    Thanks for the years Steve. It was all very much appreciated. The comic universe is less one voice. Rest well…

  12. Matt M. Says:

    This is the news you don’t want to hear, but you know is coming.

    Thanks to you, Mr. Gerber, for making your stories more than they had to be, for reminding readers that a human heart beats beneath those invulnerable exteriors, and for showing us that choosing to stand for something in the face of growing nihilism is always the right choice.

  13. Patrick Joseph Says:

    He was truly one of my favorite writers in any medium. I’m really sad to hear this, and hope he went with no pain.

  14. Phillip Lightfoot Says:

    How can it hurt so bad when I didn’t even know the man?

    Waaagh.

    PL

  15. Dave Phelps Says:

    Damn it. Loved the work; liked (despite hardly knowing) the man. I’ll continue to cherish the former and will miss the latter.

  16. Nik Says:

    Truly, one of the great comic writers of the past 40 years, who dazzled me with Omega, gun-toting Elves, Man-Things and ducks in love with redheads. Godspeed, Mr. Gerber.

  17. Gordon Says:

    Steve…. Everything Mark wrote, and Mark is an excellent writer, is exactly right — not just about your wonderful talents as a writer, but even more about the wonderful friend you were.

    I look forward to having many lunches and dinners with you in the future — please save a place for me at your table.

    I am glad you are no longer in pain; no longer struggling for breath.

    Gordon Kent

  18. Paul Paron Says:

    Gee, I’m so sorry to hear that. Steve was yet another part of my misspent youth, and way to young to be taken from us.

  19. Allen Smith Says:

    I’m just a bit shocked myself by this. I hadn’t read much by Steve lately, but his Howard stories, and Destroyer Duck, reflected a highly individual writer. He will be missed. The pantheon of writers in heaven has just been joined by another great writer and person.

  20. Brian Spence Says:

    This is so sad. I was checking this site everyday, hoping that his absence wasn’t the inevitable. Every time he took a few days off this blog, you had to wonder whether he was still with us. Anyone who’s read this blog for the past few years/months knew how much this illness took out of him. Many times, he’d go through hours of agony, only able to inhale short breaths. We were all hoping that we’d be able to keep him a while longer, especially with some relatively good news, but it wasn’t to be.

    Steve, you were a unique voice in the world. Mark said it better than I could, but it’s for us to repeat how much you made an impact on everyone here. I hope you now have the peace you’ve been looking for.

  21. JeffZ Says:

    Wonderful obituary on your site, Mark. My early teens were enhanced by Steve’s writing in more ways than I can say. He was one of the very few in comics who seemed to talk right to you, sharing the bizarre stuff in his head with very little filter. Years later, I cheered when he snatched Howard and ran away with him (however briefly). His brilliance deserved much more reward than he received. Hope it all comes to him now.

  22. R.R. Duran Says:

    I just read the news. I don’t know what to say. I was rooting for him all the way, trying to keep track of his condition.

    My condolences to his family and closest friends.

    R.R. Duran

  23. Dwight Williams Says:

    Dammit.

  24. Paul Levitz Says:

    Steve was one of the finest writers of a generation, and a paradoxical, gentle warrior who labored heavily under the burdens of battles for principle, for others, and all too often, for existence. Besides his signed work, even unsigned pieces as simple as letter columns were models of the art for the rest of us. He enlisted us in his crusades because of his decency, passion, and willingness to take the first bullet in the charge.

    When I’m done rereading a little of his work tonight, I’ll go this web address to remember him with a donation to the Hero Initiative, the kind of mutual aid society he believed in…
    http://partners.guidestar.org/controller/searchResults.gs?action_donateReport=1&partner=networkforgood&ein=31-1742604

  25. Brian Keene Says:

    He influenced and impacted an entire generation. He will be missed. He will be remembered. Condolences to his family.

  26. Taylor Grant Says:

    Steve and I shared an office as well as a myriad of wacky experiences at Stan Lee Media. And while the company was a bust, I am extremely grateful for a handful of friendships that evolved from that tumultuous time. My friendship with Steve, of course, was one of the highlights.

    It’s no secret that Steve was a creative genius. I had the rare opportunity to develop several projects with him, and to this day, remain in awe of how his brain worked (not that I ever figured it out).

    It was also no secret that Steve had a sharp wit, a silver tongue, and was lousy at taking care of his health. But what may not be as well known amongst his fans was Steve’s willingness to be giving of himself. He not only inspired me with his immense talent, but by his unbending principles.

    Steve had no problem voicing his opinions. And he had no problem showing his kindness either. He offered me unsolicited words of encouragement during some difficult times at Stan Lee Media–and throughout the rest of my professional writing career.

    Steve was a thoroughly unique individual. I’ll never forget him, and I’ll always miss him.

    Rest in peace, my friend.

  27. Roger B.A. Klorese Says:

    I never knew Steve well enough to call him a friend, but we had many mutual friends. And I’m not sure one could ever have a friend as true as Steve was.

    I remember when, in the mid-1970s, a gang of us were moving Tony Isabella out of the midtown fleabag in which he had the “penthouse” apartment and sending him on his way back to Cleveland. Steve was there, and Mary Skrenes and Steve’s daughter were upstairs in the apartment.

    The management of the building and their hired goons were attempting to keep us from moving Tony out — there was a rent dispute — and Steve was trying to get back in the building. The goon was trying to knock Steve out of the way when a cry came from above — “My name is Sammy Gerber — and I want my DADDY!” (You can’t make up dialogue like this…) Steve flew into action, and… well, let’s just say that he went from peaceful to 60 in 2.2 seconds.

    If there’s a fight to be fought where Steve is today, he’s there, fighting the good fight, bringing a unique insight to it… and being the guy you want on your side.

  28. earl k jones Says:

    I have been a fan of Steve Gerber since the late seventies. I was in awe of his talent, and I count myself very fortunate I had the pleasure, of meeting Mr Gerber in Las Vegas several years ago. He could not have been more pleasant, and patient while answering all of my inane questions about Omega , and the Phantom Zone series. He will be missed.

  29. ShellyD Says:

    Sorry to hear of the passing of another great artist. I didn’t know him but I appreciated his work. Condolences to his friends and family.

  30. Ty Templeton Says:

    I can’t even process this.

    Steve was one of my heroes. One of the Beatles of comics. And one of the main reasons I make comics for a living.

    Damn.

    Ty Templeton

  31. Mike W. Says:

    Rest in Peace Steve. I was introduced to your work in the Savage Dragon / Destroyer Duck crossover, which I just reread a few months ago and was excellent. God bless, condolences to your family.

  32. brian Says:

    I am saddened as well hearing this news The defenders was one of m y favorite books and now I know why I started likeing howard the duck then thought it got dumb it was because of the change in writers… if i had known then what I know now.

    I know this sounds weird but I hope he was able to finish his Dr. fate assignment. It seemed soo important to him almost like he knew it needed to be done. I hope he finished it so he could have one last moment in the sun and something to be proud of. Though for him thats like saying one more drop of water in a pool will fill it. The man had tons to be proud of.

    Well gods speed and as Cap would say Good job soilder Rest well your duty has been fulfilled and you have earned your rest.

  33. Tom F Says:

    See you later, Steve. I’ll miss your ideas.

  34. Jeff Vargon Says:

    Man … f#$% … what else I can say?

    Steve, and Howard, were both heroes to me when I was growing up and even moreso since I’ve become an adult. In Howard he created the perfect character, the perfect voice for all of the absurdities in the world, and more times than not, even when he was certain of defeat Howard faced these inanities with more power and inner strength than any of the more cosmic, radioactive or omnipotent Marvel “heroes” ever did.

    Steve, you will be missed … greatly … the world is much poorer, and makes that much less sense without you.

  35. sdstone Says:

    This is truly a sad thing. You could always count on a Steve Gerber book to give a chuckle and there are too few people out there who were dedicated on giving people a new, skewed view of the world and to put a smile on their faces. He will be missed.

  36. Wayne Says:

    This is really hard news to bear. Steve, you were my favorite living writer, and the best in comics for the last thirty-six years. I will miss you, because the world is a smaller, meaner place without you here to give us laughter and the keen insight that saw through to so much reality in our hearts.

  37. Paul Kupperberg Says:

    This is sad and a great loss to his friends and fans. I knew Steve a little back in his New York days in the early 1970s. I was one of the people (along with Steve, Paul Levitz and Marty Pasko) who put together the catalog for the Narrative Arts Alliance Benefit Auction in 1976…most of what I remember was the sheer, goofy fun we had writing descriptions of the pieces up for auction and how hard we laughed. Other evening of similar hilarity spring to mind, particularly the night cited by Roger Klorese when a dozen or so of us fans and young pros gathered at the once-chic, now fallen on hard times hotel where our mutual friend Tony Isabella lived to help Tony pack up the U-Haul for his move back to Ohio. Steve was a helluva guy and, it goes without saying, a helluva writer. We’ll miss you, man.

  38. Dan Barlow Says:

    Sad, sad news. HOWARD THE DUCK taught me that there were actually good comics in the 70s. I could have read HARD TIME until my eyes went blind. Thanks for the great comics, Steve. Have a great next part of your journey.

  39. Dan Says:

    Thank you for such great work over the years. I entered comics late, but Steve’s Hard Time was one of my favorite stories ever. I will treasure that short run for the rest of my life. And whenever I wanted a honest assessment of the comics industry or life in general, I came to this blog. You will definitely be missed Mr. Gerber.

  40. Elayne Riggs Says:

    My deepest condolences to Steve’s loved ones. He will be greatly missed.

  41. Danny Fingeroth Says:

    During the brief time I was Steve’s editor on Cloak and Dagger, I remember being blown away by the amazing plot he handed in for his first issue. I couldn’t wait to turn each page and see what happened next. Besides the high quality of his writing, he was also a lot of fun to work with. I’ll truly miss his presence on the comics scene.

  42. Richard Pachter Says:

    I’m really glad that when Mark introduced us at a San Diego con a decade or so ago I got to tell Steve how great I thought he is.

    Genius.

    So sad he’s gone now.

  43. J. Alexander Says:

    Damn. This news hurts. Steve was one of the best writers in 70’s and was one of the best writers of the past few years. HARD TIMES is a classic and his Dr. Fate was amazing.

  44. Richard Bensam Says:

    I tried more than once to tell Steve what he meant to me…and though he probably never believed it, I’m glad I had the chance. But I always hoped there would be more chances, and I know a lot of his fans feel that way right now.

  45. TwoBuckTim Says:

    When I was twelve years old, I didn’t want to be Superman, I wanted to be Howard the Duck. At 43, I can look in the mirror and see that I’ve come too damned close. But Steve Gerber did it first and far better than me. I wish him and his loved ones well deserved rest and peace.

    It was a pleasure to follow your words and ideas for three decades, Steve.

    See you in the funny books.

    Terry

  46. Julian Bernick Says:

    So many great pioneers of the industry like Marshall Rogers and Dave Cockrum passing away… this is the hardest for me. I will never forget reading Omega the Unknown when I was 10 years old and in a scary place and feeling a lot like James Michael Starling.

    Later I found Howard the Duck, the Man-Thing, and everything else (an underrated Son of Satan run!)… but I can’t say how much it meant to me that I felt like there was someone who understood and knew me and cared about people like me when I was 10 years old and alone. Some people say that art and literature accomplish nothing, but they’re wrong.

    Thank you Steve

  47. Beth Says:

    I, too, have been following the blog — thought things were improving slightly and admired his ability to keep working when I would have been feeling really sorry for myself and doing nothing but whining. I met Steve when I helped sell him a computer back in the 80s. Later we wrote an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation together. To say he changed my life is an understatement. …I don’t know whether you were right or wrong about the after-life, Steve… but now you know all the secrets.

  48. Scott Edelman Says:

    Even though I knew of Steve’s health problems, this one came as a surprise, and hit me hard. I’m a little bit stunned, so I don’t have much to say, other than that we were all better off for having had an envelope-pusher like Steve around, and we need more like him.

  49. kelly borkert Says:

    Ive been watching this blog hoping never to see this turn of events.
    He was the best in my books. Brilliant.
    Thank you Mister Gerber.

  50. Steve Leialoha Says:

    I was just reading the latest Dr Fate, thinking how nice it was to read something new by Steve. You never knew where he was going. I was a fan of his work even before I had the pleasure of working with him on Nevada and other stuff I’m not remembering at the moment and I gladly contributed to the Steve Gerber benefit book: Destroyer Duck. Best of all though, in my second month at Marvel I lucked into inking the first issue of Howard the Duck and stayed with him for his first year and a half. That was thirty-odd years back, mostly odd, and I still wish there were more.

  51. buzz Says:

    I’m just too stunned to adequately express my grief. It’s like losing a brother.

  52. Tom Smith Says:

    This sucks incredibly. I still have my GET DOWN AMERICA! button. Many condolences to Mr. Gerber’s family and friends.

  53. Tony Isabella Says:

    Maybe tomorrow I can write something. Tonight, I just want to cry. In so many ways, Steve was the best of us.

  54. Cory!! Strode Says:

    I’ll miss Steve’s inability to write a comic book without making it seem like more than just disposable entertainment. His work ALWAYS had a deep understanding of his characters, a point of view and writing that made you think about what was on the page lunger than other writers. He’ll be missed, but I’m also glad that we have as much of his work as we do.

    It was my pleasure to read what he’d written, and I’ll miss his words, his insight and his passion.

  55. Charles Eicher Says:

    I ran across Steve’s obit in some random wanderings on the web, I had to stop in to express my condolences. I haven’t thought of Steve in many years, I used to be his computer geek back in the 1980s when I worked at a computer store in Studio City (and later, downtown). Steve was always a pleasure to work with, I remember him fondly. I took care of him, and he returned the favor. The last time I saw Steve, he brought Frank Miller into my shop to buy a computer (and oh was Frank shocked when I recognized Steve but not him). Oh that seems like a lifetime ago. The world is a bit smaller now that Steve has passed, and I feel a bit smaller too.

  56. Justin Newberry Says:

    I will come back on here and make a verrrry long post, but my heart wants to let this out right now…

    Shit… Mid-sentence I received not one, but two calls that both required long conversation. Getting derailed in the midst of something like this and then having to come back and finish it feels massively awkward, but screw it. I’d like to think being brutally honest and finishing this little bit is just the kind of thing Steve would have wanted…

    I’ve posted on here previously that I live very close to the hospital-with-a-mountain-view that Steve was in. And since I’d never met him, that my id told me that I should go see him, because seriously, a man should meet his heroes if he is able. But I never did go to the hospital, because upbringing/society/self-inflicted understanding of “common sense” all told me that especially because of the fact that I did not know him, I should not show up there.

    I never should have listened to my own better judgment.

  57. Joan Hilty Says:

    A good man, a great writer, nowhere near enough time.

    I hope you’re up there causing a helluva lot of cosmic trouble, Steve. I will miss you.

  58. Doc Martian Says:

    so long steve. you quacked me up.

    Doc

  59. Jim Bosomworth Says:

    I never met Steve Gerber, but I probably wouldn’t be reading comics today if it weren’t for him and his Man-thing stories. I even had “Man’thing” scrawled across the front one of my t-shirts in high school (yes, I was a hit with the ladies, obviously). Years ago, I was fortunate enough to buy his synopsis for Fear #17, the origin of Wundarr issue. Attached to it is a note to Val Mayerik that includes a thought that is making me cry as I read it: “You and I are in the somewhat awkward position of being relative neophytes on what has suddenly become a major book in the Marvel line. I don’t get exact figures, of course, but last I heard, FEAR was somewhere in the top third of the books in sales. I don’t think Stan or Roy is about to let us blow it.” This means that when I was reading the book in awe of the team’s talent, he wasn’t prepared for his sudden success. Two issues later, he created Howard because, as I recall, he couldn’t think of anything more ludicrous and outrageous than warriors emerging from a peanut butter jar. As far as I’m concerned, he never blew it.

  60. Grant Goggans Says:

    I’ve just cried until I’m numb.

    Dammit, you wrote so much about what might be waiting for us next… I didn’t want you to go find out. I liked the speculation just fine.

    Thank you so much for everything, Steve.

  61. adam barnett Says:

    A great writer, and a great guy. Thanks for the great stories, Steve! You will be missed.

  62. Rick Lowell/ Casablanca Comics Says:

    Steve Gerber is one of the reasons that I have comic book stores. Back in the 1970’s I was active with fandom and a big fan of his work. I loved Howard the Duck, Defenders and Omega. Unfortunately, I was geographically removed from any type of cons or stores that carried comics and I was at the mercy of the local newsstand distributor. Each week I would take my paper route money into the city and buy my comics from Bookland, a local chain of stores run by the distributor. For some reason I missed Howard the Duck #31. I was devastated.
    My mother called the distributor and they told her that should could come to the warehouse and look through the returns to see if they had a copy. She did that for me and in fact did find a copy. In my mind I realized that there had to be a better way to buy comics and I vowed someday to open a comics store in Maine. A few years later I did just that and today we are the oldest and largest comics shops in the state. I feel that I owe this in large part to Steve Gerber and Howard the Duck.

    My condolences to Steve’s family and friends.

    Rick Lowell
    Casablanca Comics
    Portland, ME

  63. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    I had given up comics in the late 80’s; it was largely due to Steve’s correspondence with me that I returned to them. When I mentioned an idea for a comic book series to him, he didn’t just comment; he tried to sell it to his editor and chief. Thank you, Mark, for bringing this to our attention. And nice to see some other old friends show up here.

  64. Carl Pietrantonio Says:

    This is a sad loss. I hadn’t read any of the latest work by Steve but he became a friend way back in the day on the Compuserve web site and what a great guy. The industry and the world lost a bright light with his passing. Knowing that his later days were filled with struggle doesn’t really make it any better but I hope that he is at peace and if he can know it, a helluva lot of people will miss him for a very long time. God bless, Steve

  65. Nat Gertler Says:

    If it wasn’t for Steve’s writing on Man-Thing and (with Mary Skrenes) Omega the Unknown, I likely would not have been inspired to write comics.

    If it wasn’t for him reaching out to an unknown writer, and being generous with connections and explanations, I would have had much less of a career in this field. And without him throwing some work my way when times were lean, times would’ve been very different.

    The field as a whole owes him a lot. But I owe him much much more.

  66. Jack Holt (Bgztl) Says:

    Man that guy could write.

  67. Jack Holt (Bgztl) Says:

    It’s funny, but with writers there’s two ways to know them. For all of you who knew him as a person to have lunch with, I know this has to feel like a kick in the stomach–every fear realized at once.

    I know that because fans like me who only knew him from writing, email correspondence or places like this feel just a tenth of that loss and it physically hurts.

    As much as I enjoyed everything he’s ever done, I just kept enjoying every new thing more and more. He had laurels to rest on and just never did.

    I’m sorry for your loss.

  68. Roger Ash Says:

    Steve’s Howard the Duck is what started me collecting comics. His writing became my standard for good comic book writing. Today, I work in a couple aspects of the wonderful world we call comics – retailing and freelance writing. I quite literally owe a big part of what I am today to Steve. Thank you Steve. You are missed.

  69. Jim Salicrup Says:

    This really is too upsetting. Are comics fans being tested in some twisted Job-like manner? If so, this was a terrible blow indeed.

    I met Steve on my very first day at Marvel back in 1972. I was only 15, but 25 year-old Steve treated me, like he treated everyone — with respect and kindness. Steve loved comics and cared passionately about his work. Even though he was one of the best, most intelligent writers in comics, he never looked down at super-heroes. That he cared so much about writing Doctor Fate in his final days, is fitting in so many ways.

    I can’t begin to describe how much Steve Gerber and his work meant to me, all I can say is that I will miss him greatly.

  70. Jason Baron Says:

    Peace, Steve. Thank you for gifting us with your wonderful creations.

  71. Mike November Says:

    What can I say? Steve was not merely a legend in the industry but to so many people. His creations, were mirrors not only to his own views and soul but to those of his readers giving us small slices of reality in a way that only Steve Gerber could.

    I will miss his wit, his edge, his mind, but most of all… I will miss seeing something I enjoy so very much, and then seeing his name attached to it.

    God speed Mr. Gerber, you had the misfortune of being trapped in a world you did not make, but you made it yours anyway.

  72. Where the Long Tail Ends » Steve Gerber - You’ll know his work if not his name Says:

    [...] was saddened to hear today that Steve Gerber died. He certainly isn’t a big name in the comic book industry for many people, but he was often [...]

  73. Jeff Vargon Says:

    I too never met Steve in person, and our only correspondence were one email back and forth in 1997 when I wrote to congratulate him on having had Duke “Destroyer” Duck rescue Howard and Beverly from the Marvel Universe in the Savage Dragon / Destroyer team Up. He wrote back, thanked me for my comments and promised Leonard (or was it Howard) would be back. This message brought me back to why I had cared so much about Howard in the first place.

    I received my first issue of Howard the Duck, #5, in a trade for a Olivia Newton John’s new (at the time) 7″ single “I Honestly Love You.” It was the tail end of the 6th grade for me in the late spring of 1977 and after that one issue I was hooked. I soon picked up all the issues I was missing, and even gladly shelled $12 for a near mint copy of #1. Who but Howard who was “Trapped in a world he never made” could speak of the alienation and frustration I’d felt as a young adolescent among the jocks, popular kids and bullies. Forget the Hulk, Fantastic Four and Spiderman, in a very short time Howard, and his human persona Steve became my heroes.

    Steve’s being gone is a great loss to those of us who read his comics, and dug him as a writer because he got what so many other writers failed to see: the absurdities of the world and how the only sane reaction to an insane world in reading how this world is dealt with by Howard and the other characters that he made his own.

    Steve, you will definitely be missed. This world is much poorer and less sane now that you are gone. Rest in peace, man …

  74. joecab Says:

    Gosh, I had no idea. Howard the Duck was the first comic I ever collected. It was the first capital W “writer’s” comic I ever noticed, especially when he did those text pages and the excellent Dreaded Deadline Doom filler issue of HTD.

    I’m sorry the poor guy had to suffer so in the end. Wherever Steve’s at now, I hope he knows in my heart how much we admired his work.

  75. Alex Krislov Says:

    Oh, fuck.

    I met Steve on the CompuServe boards in the early ’80s. We rapidly became good friends, exchanging many ideas, many jokes, many horrors and many joys. For a time, we worked together. Like Nat, I wrote some comics for Steve. I didn’t stay in the field, but it’s a memory I prize highly. He was generous with his time, generous with his self.

    I’ll be doing a proper obituary on Netscape’s Books Forum, which I still run, just as I did when Steve and I first met. Right now, I think I’m just going to go cry.

  76. michael Says:

    I won’t claim to be a huge fan. Actually outside of Howard The Duck I wasn’t very aware of Steve’s work. Looking thru the remarks here I see Danny Fingeroth mention that Steve worked on Cloak & Dagger, a favorite of mine. So I must have read Mr. Gerber’s work at some point.

    But I did wanna add my condolences, thoughts, prayers and blessings to those already stated for his friends, family and fans. He must have been a good guy to inspire so much love.

  77. Sam Johnson Says:

    Thank you, Steve. You helped make the 1970’s go a little smoother for a kid with an big imagination. I never knew until now that you came up with Thundar. And, thanks to you Mark for sharing this with us all. I’m glad that friends, fans, and peers will have a chance to celebrate and honor the memory of a very gifted man. He will be missed.

  78. Mike Blanchard Says:

    This just sucks.

    As a kid, like many of us in the 70’s, there was something about those Gerber comics that just made me read, and re-read, and re-read them.

    They were nothing like all the other super hero comics at the time. The Defenders just boggled my mind…. You never knew what was going to happen in each issue of Man-Thing…. and Omega The Unknown was so FAR ahead of it’s time!….and that is certainly what alot of us say about Gerber’s 70’s writing.

    He was the first creator I made contact with on the internet back in the mid 90’s, and I was thrilled to be able to exchange a dozen or so emails with him. He was gracious with each reply, even though I’m sure I sounded the complete fan boy.

    He was a true hero of mine and gave me my fondest comic reading experiances.

    A very sad day.

  79. John Lynch Says:

    I am deeply sorrowed to learn of Steve Gerber’s untimely death. 60 years doesn’t seem like enough.

    I’m 43 but comics have been part of my life since I was 4 years old. I’m no historian, but it seems to me that when the history of comic books is written, Steve Gerber will be remembered as a giant who helped usher in a second golden age of comics – an age that celebrated and embraced its creators instead of shunning, neglecting and discarding them.

    From my perspective, limited though it may be, I think comics as a creative endeavor changed more in the 70s than they had since the first golden age, and Steve Gerber helped lead that change.

    Man-Thing, Howard the Duck, the Defenders, Son of Satan, Morbius – Steve Gerber always gave you something to think about. His stories might not always have worked, but I never knew him to coast, never saw him give you his second best.

    My life is better for Steve Gerber being in it although we never met.

  80. Stefan Blitz Says:

    Another childhood hero gone too soon. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

  81. Carswell Says:

    Thank you Mr Gerber. You made me laugh, cry, and cringe at the beauty you allowed me to view of your work. And I never got to tell you thank you. Soddin bastich that I am. But thank you Mr Gerber. May you find peace and happiness now.

  82. psychicsaphie Says:

    Omega the Unknown was published in 1976, before I was even born, and it was only just a few months ago that an older friend handed me the full run and said “Read this. It’s crazy and cracky and confusing as hell, but it’ll make you think about people.” And I read every issue and ate it up, and I’m sitting there reading about James-Michael Starling just shocked–SHOCKED–that a bully at school would hit him for no reason, wondering where the hell that sort of easy brutality even came from, and it’s something I’ve always wondered. And it had me sitting there thinking: “Why the hell don’t people write more comics like this anymore?”

    There’s a kind of class to some comic writers. Something that makes what they’ve created “classic,” because instead of becoming deeply entrenched in the real world, and politics, and violence and “realism,” their work is focused on making you lose yourself. Instead of imitating the harsh reality of the real world, or magnifying it, it makes you look up at the world and wonder what the hell exactly is wrong with it, with people–but also reminds you of what’s right with it, too.

    It’s class. It’s class that makes classics.

    You, Mr. Gerber, were a class act. Thank you for making me wonder.

  83. Ralph Mathieu Says:

    Jeff Vargon, I too was first introduced to Howard The Duck (and Steve Gerber) with issue #5 and I also got it in a trade (I traded Black Goliath #1). Howard The Duck also spoke to me in a way that nothing else I’d read up until then did and I really believe I have Steve Gerber to thank for helping shape my world view.

    Steve Gerber’s creations, characters, and stories have helped me deal with what he called the cosmic absurdity of everything for over thirty years and they will stand the test of time.

    I’m still trying to process this sad news, but I’m going to do as Paul Levitz has done and head over to Hero Initiative to donate in Steve Gerber’s memory.

  84. John Langan Says:

    Steve pushed the envelope in some of the most interesting and exciting ways around–if Lee and Kirby and Ditko had opened up comics the previous decade, Steve Gerber was, more than any other writer, the guy who decided to map that new territory. There are ways in which that seventies stuff is still waiting to be caught up to. It’s a great achievement, one that makes his loss all the more acute. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

  85. Ulrik Kristiansen Says:

    Howard the Duck first came out in black and white here in Denmark over 3 decades ago, and only for a couple of issues (each with two or three US comics). But that was enough for me, when I found out about them some years later (I was only 3 years old in 1977).

    (There’s a picture of one of the issues here at a Danish auction site – at least for a while, since it looks like the deal is already closed. http://www.danauktion.net/auctiondetails.php?id=40655)

    Anyway, through my early teens I would write and draw Howard-the-Duck like stories with some friends at school. It was a strange fusion of a Howard like-character wandering around in a noir setting, posing as a kind of detective and being very sarcastic about pretty much everything that we youngsters felt like being sarcastic about – from popculture, to school to society around us, which we gradually began to comprehend maybe wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. (Courtesy of adult propaganda.)

    I still have many fond memories of those times. The clever political, social and pop-cultural satire that Steve was able to deliver in so many of his unique stories will always be an inspiration for me.

    Thanks Steve.

  86. Bob Kennedy Says:

    Steve was my first “favorite writer.” Selfishly, I regret never having met him in person, although we corresponded a fair amount online, usually in a friendly way.

    John Lennon’s death hit me harder, but not by much.

  87. Joe Pilla Says:

    In the summer of ’74, aimless in a Southern town, I rekindled an interest in comics that I thought had been long extinguished by the distractions of adolescence. In that first set of funny books, amidst the old familiars like Spidey and Shellhead, was MAN-THING #10, the second part of the classic “Dawg story.” I read it, was moved to tears as much by its grim absurdity as its shameless sentiment, and made note of its writer: Steve Gerber.
    In the ensuing months, gleefully haunting newsstands for new issues and greedily accumulating back issues where ever they could be found, I decided that comics written by this Steve Gerber were often silly when not completely off-kilter, but, unlike most comics, they were full of surprises and unabashed humanity, and, thus, stayed in the mind and heart long after most others were forgotten. There were all too few Steve Gerber comics…

    …and only one Steve Gerber. Unique. Unforgettable. Irreplaceable. I’ll bet he would have said that’s true of each of us. Such may even be the credo in his body of work, serving as an epitaph which warms my sad heart now like a small, but unyielding flame.

  88. Pearce Says:

    Steve gave me a lifetime of enjoyment as my favourite writer. I’m devastated.

  89. Adam Beechen Says:

    “Am I making myself sufficiently ambiguous?”

    That line, from one of the first comics I ever read, Defenders #37, written by Steve Gerber, stuck with me for years — I’d even find myself dropping it into conversations with a smile when I knew I’d said something that didn’t make sense.

    Every time I read a Steve Gerber-scripted comic thereafter — and I sought them out hungrily — I’d finish with my head whirling, put the book aside, spend a little time trying to make sense of it, and then smile, the line above coming back to me.

    Steve Gerber made me think, he made me smile, and he made me want to write. Great gifts from a giant talent, and nothing ambiguous about it. He is much missed.

  90. Chris C Says:

    Thanks for getting me into comics as a kid, Steve.

    I hope you’re at peace now.

  91. Fábio Turbay Says:

    I really have no words.
    Thank you, Steve.

    http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=352258&GSub=55114

  92. James Mobius Says:

    a terrible loss, I’m sure, to his family and friends, but also to thousands of his fans, including me. definitely a huge influence on me, thank you for helping twist my mind Steve, peace be with you.

  93. Rocketman Says:

    We all owe you Steve…just the Kidney lady alone gave me more laughs and insight into the world than I had ever had before at the ripe age of 15. You opened so many doors for so many people…

    Salute!

  94. Captain Average Says:

    Even though it never sold, I created the Captain Average character as a result of pondering what a Steve Gerber everyman might look like [other than Richard Rory, of course].

    When I thought about giving up the habit [reading comics], he tossed Howard the Duck and Omega the Unknown at my head and made it possible for me to read comics and have Stuff to Ponder. [I still have my Omega set, but the Howards seem to have disintegrated...]

    I think I’m going to have to go read them again.

    Thanks, Steve. As a rather monumental icon once said, “You done good, kid!”

    Rest in peace.

  95. Christy Marx Says:

    Goodbye, Gerbs.

    He was a good man, a good friend and a great writer. I wish I had spare lungs I could have given him. Damn.

    If there’s a comic book heaven, he is king of the place right now.

  96. Jeffrey Pidgeon Says:

    What sad news.

    I loved “Howard The Duck” when I was a kid – if Spider-Man was an outsider, Howard was the apotheosis of the fish-out-of-water, an outsider’s outsider. He was literally from another planet – he wasn’t even the same species as everyone else. I ate it up as often as my local drugstore’s sporadic delivery schedule (and my anemic pocket money) would allow.

    Howard was out of sync, beset upon by an increasingly hostile world, and I identified big time. It was bizarre and surreal, and to this day, there’s never been anything like those thirty-odd issues.

    My affection for them never dimmed. I chatted online with Steve for a short time (after discovering his blog) quite some time ago, and commissioned a drawing from Gene Colan which hangs in my home. There wasn’t much for me to say once I got past the usual fannish drivel, so I let him be. But I still have the entire “Howard” run, and I think I always will.

    Rest in peace, Steve. And thanks again. Thanks so much.

  97. haven o'terrorism Says:

    I had a brief e-mail exchange with Steve last year – an amazing thrill to encounter a lifelong idol and deep formative influence. I imagine many people don’t get to have idols and influences as humane as Steve: his writing changed my life, and is still changing it.

    Heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and many, many fans.

  98. Tom Peyer Says:

    While others had already written mainstream comics with “personality,” Steve was the first to infuse his work with his own real personality, warts and all. That alone made him one of our most important writers. Add his wit, his drive to always give us something new, and his crusading spirit… it’s too much to lose at once. I knew him only through comics, his blog, and a few emails we shared, and I feel like I lost a friend. That’s because he fought our loneliness by bravely and skillfully sharing his true self. Steve was his own greatest character.

  99. Terence Chua Says:

    You were always an individual, unique voice in an industry where the temptation is to do cookie-cutter work, and for that, you were one of the first names I actually noticed when I was growing up reading the funny books. I knew that when I was picking up a Gerber comic I was in for a ride.

    Goodnight, Steve. You will be missed.

  100. Chris Tinkler Says:

    You’re already missed, Sir.

    Thank you for everything.

  101. John Tinkess Says:

    Steve Gerber’s Defenders was my first favorite comic book. His innovative writing style and unique take on super-heroes stood out from the crowd and I think that book is largely responsible for my lifelong connection (addiction?) to the field. From Omega and Howard through Destroyer Duck and more recently Hard Time and Doctor Fate, he gave us over three decades of brilliantly thought provoking stories. We have lost one of the best.

  102. Steve Gerber Moves on From a World He Never Made « The Wright Opinion Says:

    [...] There goes another of our culture’s truth-tellers. [...]

  103. pete doree Says:

    Fuck.
    At least, thanks to this site, Steve knew how much we all loved him.
    I’m going to spend the day reading the essential Howard.
    It seems the only sane thing to do.