Monday Evening

This is Evanier again.  I have seized control of stevegerblog so that it, like Steve’s writing, can live on.  At some point, his family and/or close friends will decide what to do about his weblog and website but I’ll keep them up and running for the time being, if only as a place to remember our friend.

I direct you to the Comments section on the previous message.  It’s full of wonderful, emotional thoughts about Steve.  Since it’s  reaching an unwieldy number, I’m going to close down comments there and ask you to start posting your thoughts in response to this one.  That will save Steve’s friends from having to keep scrolling through all the old postings to get to the new ones.  I’ve also locked down all the previous forums.

A very fine obit for Steve can be found on Tom Spurgeon’s site.  I commend it to you all.

Actually, there are dozens of fine articles and remembrances of Steve out there on the web now. If you’ve come across one or written one, please post a link to it in the Comments section.

I don’t know anything more at this time about memorial services, though I’ve been asked to host a couple of events at upcoming comic conventions. Details to follow.

Lastly for now, Paul Levitz had a wise suggestion. The Hero Initiative, a charity group that helps ailing comic book creators, had been doing a lot for Steve recently. It would be a nice thought to remember him with a donation in his name. Here’s a link to their website.

91 Responses to “Monday Evening”

  1. Robert J. Sodaro Says:

    Several years ago, while I was still working for the fan press, I had the opportunity to interview Steve for something or other. While I had him on the phone, and after I had completed my business with him I took a couple of quick moments to chat him up. At that time, I chose to lay on him a theory that I had long held, but had never been able to prove one way or the other.

    I stated that I was of the considered opinion that George Lucas, fresh off the phenomenal successes of American Graffiti, Star Wars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark had a peculiar problem, he simply had made too much money. So his accountant came to him and informed him that he had to do something to lose money in order to off-set the vast sea of money in which he was swimming.

    Hence, since Lucas (who was known to enjoy comics) needed a tax write-off (and could certainly afford to take the financial hit) decided to turn one of his personal favorite comics into a big-budget film even though he knew that it simply couldn’t make any money. Which is the “real” reason that Lucas made Howard the Duck.

    This caused Steve to laugh. Needless to say, he agreed with me wholeheartedly.

    I’m glad that I was able to make as talented a writer as Steve laugh with something that probably wasn’t nearly as funny at the time the film was made and was universally panned.

    Sorry to see you go Steve, I really enjoyed your stuff.

  2. Judy Ginsberg Says:

    I am so sad I can hardly stand it. Steve was my Sr. Prom date. We reconnected many years later and renewed our friendship. My husband and I were to be his host family in LA if and when he had his transplant.
    I am feeling at such a loss for words. Such talent and imagination. He will be missed more than I think he realized. There are so many people that loved and admired his work. Keep reading his works and keep his legacy alive.

    My prayers are with all of you that knew him and were close to him.

  3. Ed Evans Says:


    The world is a bit darker without you around.

    Our prayers and well wishes to your friends and family.

  4. Rog Bradley Says:

    Sad news indeed. Steve has been one of my comic book heroes for years, and put me on track for really exciting and innovative story-telling. There has never been a Howard the Duck without Steve: all others are just fiction. Thanks for the memories old friend.

  5. Jonathan Sheen Says:

    The only times I had the privelege of communicating with Steve were on the “Howard the Duck” Yahoo group. Some of that communication was argument, but it was respectful, and I got the sense that Steve enjoyed it, or at least didn’t mind. He seemed a man who could differ vehemently without rancor, and I liked and respected that enormously.

    I think I did communicate to him how much his work had meant to me, and I’ll always be grateful for that.

    I find myself thinking, even as his health deteriorated, he would post to the group, and to this Blog, so vibrantly and trenchantly, and with such brilliance and optimism. That he was writing a new issue of a new comics project as he spent these last weeks in the hospital strikes me as uplifting. Mark, you knew the man in a way I’ll never be prioveleged to. Am I right in believing that there’s nothing he’d have rather been doing with his final weeks than writing?

    I like to think so, anyway, and I’ll always carry some pleasure in my mourning that he was creating right up to the very end.

    Not a bad legacy to leave behind.


  6. Justin Newberry Says:

    I’m not sure if anyone else is doing this, but I’ve been reading every single post on here. I ache reading all of this, but there is a silver lining… Though I’ve always tried to be “the good guy”, I must admit I’ve too often been lazy and uninvolved, the weight of the world and the grind of the dream leading me to inaction. Something has snapped by seeing so many of Steve’s good deeds recounted here. I’m heading into my bathroom right now to write something on my mirror. Something that has been repeating in the back of my mind since yesterday. Something to remind me of who I want to be when, if indeed I ever, grow up.

    On my mirror from this day forward, staring me in the face will be the following:

    Do it for Steve.

  7. Steve Chaput Says:

    I seem to recall briefly talking to Steve Gerber at some convention or other back in the 1990s. It could even have been earlier and I’m ashamed to say that I don’t remember a thing about it.

    I had given up collecting comics after joining the Navy back in 1969. I even had my parents give my collection to various kids who lived in our neighborhood. About the same time that Steve Gerber began writing Man-Thing I was just beginning to pick up an occasional title. I can’t begin to say what a revelation and treat it was to find Steve just as he was becoming one of the best writers in the field.

    For years I followed Gerber’s career, always making it a point to pick up anything he wrote, even if I generally didn’t care for a particular title or character. Gerber always brought his complete craftmanship to each and every tale.

    I had heard of Steve’s illness and like everyone else, was hoping for his eventual recovery. I’ve been enjoying his current Dr. Fate stories and couldn’t wait to see where he was going with this new incarnation of the character. Sadly, we may never know what he had in store.

    My condolences to all of Steve’s family & friends. He was a wordsmith and that’s the best thing you can say about a writer.

    Steve C.

  8. Todd Franklin Says:

    I’m sorry to hear that Steve passed away. I only had the pleasure of meeting him once, but just in that short visit I could tell that he was a swell and fun loving guy besides being an amazing writer!

    I posted the last page of Man-Thing #22 as it’s kind of appropriate.
    Man-Thing #22 Last Page

  9. Wayne Says:

    Justin, like you I have read and taken great comfort from every comment posted here: the last couple days would have been absolutely unbearable without such an outpouring of heart and memories. Though I never met Steve Gerber but through his timeless stories, an even finer portrait has come to life here. As I have written before, this blog is a beautiful and enriching place. I think Steve would be pleased to see that we are carrying on!

    I re-read Defenders #34 today, to remind myself of what I cherish about the Gerber voice. The arrival of Nebulon by fiery meteorite, followed by a shill for celestial mind control that is gobbled up by the mob, who then race to learn how they too can control minds -only to be shouted at by a squat bespectacled man that they are all bozos! As cruel a joke as that would be, Steve took it one step further and showed us that Nebulon wants people to recognize their inner bozo so they can improve their lives. He turns the punch-line into an entreaty for people to wake up.

    The reader comes away thoughtfully provoked. The villain of the comic, Nebulon, is using his twisted message to get people to improve themselves and become a part of his bozo army. We come away knowing who the bad guy is, but must consider what he is saying for its glimmer of truth. As I think the author intended, he wants us to recognize wisdom, but not without considering the source.

    This was a message he delivered all his life, in every script. Gerber was so much like one of my other heroes, Bill Hicks, injecting everything he did with pathos, absurdity, and a sincere wish for us to be better people, to ourselves and to each other.

    Also in this issue you have Nighthawk running around with his own brain in a bowl, and you have the stuff of genius. How in the world did Steve Gerber ever get away with brilliance like this in a mainstream comic like the Defenders? Nighthawk has a brain in a bowl, his own, while another brain is inside his head, and that brain is occupied by someone else’s soul. And what is the reward for all this confusion? An attack by an angry fawn! Comedy like this is priceless and profound, and it will provide a lasting testament to Gerber’s legacy.

    Steve, thanks to you, I am always considering the source, and I am challenging my inner bozo every day. I recommend the same for everybody else.

    In Justin’s words, “Do it for Steve.”

  10. Patrick Lemaire Says:

    I came here very sad. After having read all the comments, I’m somewhat comforted. He was deeply appreciated, this is the most important thing. Steve, you’ll be missed.

  11. stephen Says:


  12. Lea Hernandez Says:

    Cut-n-pasted from my LJ:

    I was thinking on Saturday I should write Gerber soon. I think this every time I clean the bathroom because we had an email exchange about eight months ago about depression and choosing to be public about it. I mean, because in the course of that exchange, he admitted that he too found stray hairs no matter how many times he wiped down bathroom surfaces.
    Pretty prosaic, really. But it did make me smile that he joked with me about such a wee thing.

    Besides that depression and cleaning overlap, I admired Gerber because was one of the first comics creator I was aware of that took a stand for creator’s rights. I thought asking Marvel to play nice over Howard the Duck was like asking a toddler to share, but at least he did. Long after I first watched the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon in college, I found out Gerber wrote for it. This explained so much! Say what you will about a D&D kiddie show, the writing often carried it. Pathos and romance and funny in a Saturday cartoon? Gedouttatown! Gerber brought it.

    I got busy putting together a trampoline for the kids and doing layouts. I was going to write Gerber tonight or tomorrow, maybe tell him I had dealt with my cleaning issues by letting someone else handle it and not looking under the toilet. That I was doing better by redefining my family and changing my middle name to “Acorn.” That my drugs weren’t colorful enough. Maybe on the other end of that email he’d smile.

    Gerber described himself as not the happiest guy normally. Through the depression, though, he kept on truckin’. A lot of us clowns do. I wish Steve had gotten better, had the lung transplant, had a miracle, lived to Will Eisner’s age, even if he was not the happiest guy normally.

    When someone dies is when my childhood faith in the afterlife falters, but I want to believe that somewhere Gerber is finally some kind of happy and free of pain and someone else cleans the stupid bathroom.

  13. Ade Brown Says:

    When I was reading comics in my teens, Omega the Unknown and The Defenders were very much my favourite titles.
    In the Eighties when my friend Alistair dragged me back to comics on the back of Swamp Thing and that Alan Moore, one of the first things I did was get myself a complete set of Omega comics. And then when I first accessed the internet in 1997, one of the very first forums I ever frequented was Steve Gerber’s AOL one. It’s here I got to “know” Warren Ellis and was around when the WEF evolved. And also around those forums was Larry Young.

    At this time I realised how important Steve’s politics had been to him and to his work.
    Over the last decade I was lucky enough to get a sneak view into Gerber’s new Howard The Duck story, after I met Phil Winslade in Liverpool and he suggested he’d draw a Howard The Duck picture for the charity comic I was planning “If you can get Gerber to write it. … Unless he can get Colan to draw it for you.” Having been in contact with Steve via the forum I had enough front to ask him and he agreed right away. Because Phil Winslade had the idea and was so enthused by the whole thing, I was determined that he should draw it, and little did I know that they were then planning that Marvel Max series (and then they used the pic as part of the process of persuading Axel Alonso).

    I have eagerly awaited each new Gerber series since then, Hard Time is a classic of the age of MegaHeroCrossovers because it is not one of them and tells a very human story, and Nevada will probably be one of my all time favourite comicbooks for ever.

    And like the guys who are stepping around in Steve’s too big shoes but doing his work credit on the new Omega The Unknown, I will always have a thread through the fabric of my life that has the name Gerber written on it. I haven’t felt like this about the loss of an artist since John Lennon.

    A great comics writer, A great writer, and a great man.

    I’ll miss your virtual presence Steve.
    My sympathies with those who knew you in person.



  14. T. Martin Says:

    I have no words. I want to say thank-you, but he’s not here. I want to say goodbye, but he’s not here. I want to say stay, but he’s gone.

    I can only go back to his comics, and smile.

  15. Darren Schroeder Says:

    My news item regarding Steve at Comics Bulletin:

    some other folks are commenting in the forums there:

    and Dave Sim commented in another thread there:

  16. Greg Hatcher Says:

    Steve Gerber comics were one of the few things that got me through high school in the 70’s. He just seemed to GET IT, and that’s a huge deal when you’re an alienated weird adolescent. Just being able to believe that you’re not the only one that thinks about that stuff is a lifebuoy to a sixteen-year-old. Steve’s work let me know that not only was I not alone, but that it was actually helpful to laugh at the pain of just being a human person.

    Decades later, I got to write an appreciation of Steve’s stuff at my regular gig for Comic Book Resources, here. I’ve been writing stuff for money for a while now but easily the single proudest moment I ever had doing it was when the boss passed along the word that Steve had seen my article and liked it. I never got to meet him but at least I got to tell him, sort of, how much his work had meant for me. That helps a little.

    He’ll be missed.

  17. David Currie Says:

    Such sad news

    Steve’s voice was a singular one in comics and will be sadly missed.
    Anyone that read his writings of the 1970s and ‘got it’ will all admit to a profound influence in not only how they viewed the world – but also themselves.
    Higher praise could not be given to an author.

    Looks like the Duck finally found a way home.

    Adios amigo.

  18. Allan Lappin Says:

    Steve Gerber was the little guy who said “Fuck you, I won’t roll over and do as I’m told!” He was the Fool Killer, he was Howard. He lampooned, he jested, he made us ask questions. He told us the King was naked.

    He was larger than life. I only met him once, but through his writings he made me feel like I’ve lost my best friend.

    Whoever runs this Universe has a lot to answer for!

  19. Mike Luoma Says:

    Such a loss… I never got to meet Mr. Gerber, but his words, ideas and stories have entertained me since I was a kid. His work has had a major influence on my writing and storytelling through simple osmosis. I was reading his Defenders before I paid attention to who wrote and drew what. As I grew to appreciate writers, it was a revelation to look back through my old collection of comic books to find Steve Gerber’s name on so many of them. That was a long time ago, and since then I’ve collected his books whenever possible. I’m reading his Doctor Fate mini from DC right now…

    It will sadden me to refer to his greatness in the past tense from now on.

    I’m not even sure my distant appreciation belongs here, but I wanted to add my voice to the chorus. Thank you, Steve Gerber, wherever you are now. My life is richer for your contributions to it. You will be missed.


  20. Brian Woods Says:

    I just found out about Steve’s passing while clicking around various comics sites. I’m not a comics pro. I’m not even actively collecting comics (because I’m in Ukraine as a Peace Corps volunteer), but this really makes me sad. I had read here about his health problems and had hoped things had gotten better. I know he was very excited about the new Dr Fate book, and I looked forward to getting to read it someday.

    Given Steve’s strong legacy in both creating content from fresh ideas and his historic fight to get the money he deserved from his creations, I’d like to challenge today’s comics pros to step it up and be more daring in the memory of Mr Gerber.

    And Mr Gerber, thanks a lot for that duck…and all those episodes of Thundarr.

  21. Phil Mateer Says:

    Here’s another link to a Gerber tribute; it’s amazing how many of us were compelled to drop whatever we were doing Monday night, and write one of these instead….

  22. Charles Bryan Says:

    Mark, if you’re reading this, thanks for keeping the site running.

    And thanks to all of those who knew SG personally for sharing their thoughts and for the support that Steve mentioned here from time to time. This has all been such a wonderful tribute to the man and his work.

    In a comment in Steve’s last post, I mentioned that I was going to read some Howard and have a good cry, but I couldn’t do both at once. Thanks for that, Mr. G.

    But typing the words “Steve’s last post” is getting to me.

  23. Joe Brusky Says:

    I just received the news about Steve from Adrienne Colan this evening, and just broke down for a few minutes. Having read and posted to this blog over the past few years, I knew this day would be coming and yet I wasn’t really expecting this.

    I also had an e-mail correspondence on-and-off over the years with Steve as I was collecting and putting together the Howard newspaper strips. I just remember how exited Steve was to finally read something he had written about 25 years earlier and had never seen again.

    I picked a bad week to give up drinking…

    I’ll miss you Steve. Thanks for leaving behind so many great works that’ll keep you alive with me. Damn it.

  24. John Klein III Says:

    Thank you so much for Man-Thing, just something about the character really sought me out and loved reading the original issues and …

    You’ll be missed Mr. Gerber. RIP

  25. Sandy Jarrell Says:

    I never read Omega. I bought it today. I’ve got new Gerber to read. At least that’s something. Thanks, Steve, for Howard and for the elf with the gun. Sleep tight.

  26. Jim McLauchlin Says:

    Our pals at Wizard asked me to write something on Steve, so this is what I came up with:

    Jim McLauchlin

  27. Bev Keddy Says:

    I posted a tribute to Steve on my blog, but just wanted to mention here that his work meant so much to me as a boy in the 1970’s. His Omega the Unknown helped get me through a very rough patch in my life. I literally might not be here today if not for stories by Steve and a few others.

    Rest in peace, Steve. You have been taken from us much too early.


  28. Scott Tipton Says:

    I wrote a column about my affection for Steve’s work over at my Web site:

  29. Glen David Gold Says:

    1) “Kids’ Night Out,” Giant-Size Man Thing #4, April 1975

    2) “Exile to Oblivion,” Defenders 38, August, 1976

    3) “Zen and the Art of Comic Book Writing: A Communique from Colorado,” Howard the Duck 16, September 1977.

    I suspect you wouldn’t want to be nominated for sainthood, Steve, but I’ve got three miracles right here. A few dozen more at my fingertips. We haven’t even gotten to the whole battle for creators’ rights thing.

  30. BretWalker Says:

    I wish i could say something here that so many of Steves friends and loved ones havent so beautifly covered already. ive had the great pleasure of calling steve my best friend for the past 5 years. in fact he was more like a brother than a friend to me. as i sit here , in his office, surrounded by his wonderful library as well as his cats….yeh…they know somethings up…i cant decide which is greater , the great sense of loss and confusion as to what life , not just mine but all that he knew and touched, is going to be like without him, or the tremendous pride and knowledge ive been given as a result of knowing and loving this man…has he would say…enough for now…more later…love ya, Steve, see you at starbucks, bret

  31. John H. Says:

    Wow. Reading Steve’s stuff made me say “This is smart”. Other stuff has made me think, but not like his. I’m going to miss his work. If his family is reading this, please know that Steve’s work has had a positive effect on my life. Take care.

  32. Mike Blanchard Says:

    Uncanny how these two panels from 30 years ago are so poignant and truthful right now.

    Thanks again Steve!

  33. Gordon Kent Says:

    Jim McLauchlin… that was a beautiful piece. I commend to everyone who’s posted here.

  34. DM Says:

    Back in the 70s, I was stunned when Gerber started writing The Defenders. What the hell is with this guy? It was crazy, it was insane, it was utterly unique and I wasn’t sure what I thought about it.

    But I kept growing back and re-reading it. And re-reading. And re-reading. Finally, I realized what made me so unsure – it was a work of genius.

    But I still don’t get that damned elf witth the gun.

    I’ll miss you, Steve.

  35. JeffZ Says:

    It- it’s an elf– with a gun….

  36. Bradley C. Rader Says:

    Steve Gerber was one of my favorite writers when I was in High School (1975-1977). I was alienated, ostracized, introverted; Gerber’s run on “Manthing”, “The Defenders”, “Son of Satan”, and “Howard the Duck” spoke to me deeply, helped me get through that time in my life, the same way Frank Zappa and James Dean did. They validated my alienation, helped me feel “cooler than” my more socially adept peers.

    It was my youthful dream to someday work with my favorite writer. Actually, I got the chance at my first gig, storyboarding at Ruby-Spears for 2 months in early ’83. I storyboarded a script he had written for either “Rubic’s Cube” or “The Puppy’s New Adventures”. I was saddened that this script as as bad as the others I worked on during this period. I wouldn’t have know it his work if not for his name on it. I recall a story he wrote for “Eclipse Magazine” (either the black & white or color incarnation), a horror story about a happless TV writer who falls under the control of an evil Standards and Practices lady who does horrible, semi-occult things to him. I assume this tale was thinly veiled auto-biography. (S&D, for those who don’t know, are network employees mandated with making sure nothing “harmful” to children make it into cartoons. I.E., nothing exciting, fun or thought provoking). I can only imagine the experience of writing those cartoons was as painful for Steve as his early experience writing advertising copy. In a sense, that’s what he was doing in cartoons.

    I met him once, at a comic bookstore signing for “Destroyer Duck”, in 1981 (or whenever it was being published). I was the only person who showed up. It was embarrassing. We had absolutely no rapport. In spite of the awkwardness, I couldn’t bring myself to leave; the man had been my hero. But it takes two to have a conversation, and I wasn’t getting anything back from him.

    Rest in peace, Mr. Gerber

  37. Don F. Pares Says:

    I just gave my girlfriend my copy of Essential HTD as a way of letting her know the real me. that was the same day you died. I don’t believe in signs, but this one’s got big neon letters.

  38. Paul Chadwick Says:

    So long, Steve. You were one of the greats.

    Wish I’d known you better than that one Star Reach picnic and a couple of CAPS meetings. You were smart and funny and interesting.

  39. Paul Chadwick Says:

    I must note the irony of Steve’s cause of death, not a heart attack.

    If ever there was a poster boy for Type A personality, it was Steve Gerber!

  40. Danny Barer Says:

    I posted a bit about Steve on my blog at

  41. Chris M. Barkley Says:

    Steve Gerber was among of the first professional writers I ever met…we encounter each other in a strange fashion; he, along with Harlan Ellison, were GoH’s at a 1976 sf/mixed media can called 4-D Con held at Kent State University.

    I was new in fandom at that time. I was in the company of some new friends, a Pennsylvania sf writer writer named Betsy Curtis and her son Paul (who went on to do some notable work for Marvel Comics, I believe). I was dating Betsy’s daughter, Katy at the time…

    Around midnight that Friday night, we were looking for a party to attend…failing to find Harlan around (who had sensibly gone to bed in a safe and undisclosed location) Besty, an ornery woman when she made up her mind to be, insisted we make our own party and began to randomly knock on doors around the hotel.

    And wouldn’t you know that the first door she knocked on was Steve Gerber’s! I’ll always remember that look on his face when he answered the door in his pajamas, confronted by a little old lady, her skinny be-speckled son and a black dude the size of an average NFL running back at his door demanding a party…

    I think some pot or alcohol may have been involved.

    But Steve was gracious, kind, but very insistent that no party would be taking place in his room and bid us a fond farewell.

    All these years later had wanted to see or write to him to see if he remembered this incident and now he’s gone. Forever.

    Safe travels Steve, wherever you are. I’ll never forget you, that night and your joyous works of art…

    Chris M. Barkley
    Cincinnati, OH