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. Doug Gorman Says:

    Goodbye, Steve. You meant more to me than you will ever know. I am devastated by the loss of your voice. I cannot say how much you meant to me without reaching the end my ability to make sense. I cannot wait to share your stories with my children. I can only hope that everyone who knew you (or of you) will end at least one injustice (however small) in your name everyday for the rest of their lives in honor of you.

    You know what? For great justice, I challenge everyone here who ever believed a word Steve said as deeply as they could to just get out there and do something about all the dumb little things we put up with everyday. Make everyone you know feel a little bit more human tomorrow.

    Goodbye, Steve, and thank you for everything you gave me.

  2. john Says:

    Thanks for keeping this site up, Mark. I wrote a little piece about Steve’s influence on me a couple years ago:

    http://eltororojo.blogspot.com/2005/06/steve-baby-gerber-my-hero.html

  3. The Chicago Methods Reporter Says:

    Steve Gerber, creator of Howard the Duck, is dead…

    Reports say the hard-living, acerbic comic book writer died Sunday in a Las Vegas hospital due to complications from pulmonary fibrosis. He was 60 years old.
    Writer Mark Evanier, a longtime friend and colleague of the writer has written an official a…

  4. Stefan Immel Says:

    I cam relativly late to the works of Steve Gerber and only because he would be writing my favourite character Dr. Fate. So I first tried to find out a bit more about this Gerber guy and not only found the blog but also a very interesting, funny strange and intelligent person. This blog was one of the sites I visited nearly every day even when nothing new was forthcomming and even more so the last few weeks when he was in the hospital.

    Through it I found out about Hard Times and Nevada and so I got two of my favourite comics. I will continue to hunt down anything else by Steve just because I know it will be good reading stuff. His storys surprised, entertained and made you think and cry. His blog did the same and was allways a source of information about how the not so stereotypical american thought.

    Steve will be missed by me too. Not only his comics or his blog but also the knowledge that there is someone out there who cares.

  5. Steve Billnitzer Says:

    Horror comics have evolved a lot in the last 30 years, but the first truly frightening comic book story I ever read was a Gerber, “In the Shadows of the City,” in the first issue of Marvel’s Haunt of Horror magazine.

    And for all the great comedy to appear in comic books in my lifetime, “Where Do You Go? What Do You Do? The Night After You’ve Saved the Universe” in Howard the Duck #24 stands out as one of the funniest.

    The thing about a Gerber comic was, you never knew where the writing was going to go, but it was some place no other writer could take you.

    Thanks for everything, Steve. Rest well.

  6. geoff Says:

    this is just too sad.

    dear god, why cant you let the good ones stick around forever?

  7. Cheryl Harris Says:

    Back in the late 1980s, I was fortunate enough to be part of the CompuServe Forum and make Steve’s acquaintance. Actually, the two Steves, Gerber and Grant. The two of them, along with Nat Gertler, embarked on a bit of a mission to convince me to read comics outside of DC and Marvel. An adventure and cause which is still today a source of great memories.

    He was a lovely man who always had time for a chat when we would run into each other at shows. Like another person who died a couple of months ago, I had lost touch with him these last several years, much to my regret (and Jewish guilt).

    To his family and friends, may I please give you my condolences. He did leave his mark, in a positive way, on a many people and will be remembered.

  8. Matt Says:

    Howard walked away…

    I’ll never forget Howard The Duck walking away from a typical super-hero fight with some kind of giant beaver. He just said “wait..this is stupid, why am I fighting you” and walked away. It was a very strange thing for a 12 year old to read and grasp after so many standard superhero yarns…why couldn’t one just walk away?

    The laughing ghost clown from Man-Thing. Foolkiller. The Kiss Comic. Void Indigo These weird things defined my childhood. And you know what…go to Amazon now and pick up Hard Time – check out what Steve was doing just a few years ago when no one was paying attention. He made something very unique and special, mystical and hilarious.

    He was a great storyteller. He was not nearly done telling us all what he had to say. You always got the sense that Steve was just on the cusp of figuring “it” all out – and someone all the answers would be clear as day on page 24. He was always in search of something in his work.

    He also taught me to laugh at bullshit – and laugh at it loud.

    When we lose someone like this – we lose a whole lot more than just a person. We lose a very unique way of looking at the world. Don’t shit yourself – there was only one Steve Gerber – and we’re all kind of fucked now that we’re left to figure out the big mysteries on our own.

  9. Scott Tipton Says:

    When I was a kid, I read every comic I could get my hands on, and I liked them all.

    But Steve Gerber’s made me think. Which is a wondrous gift for a writer to give to children.

    I wish I’d gotten the chance to thank him. My condolences to all who were lucky enough to know him.

  10. Brett Danalake Says:

    Damn!

    One of my half a dozen favourite comics writers from Howard to Hard Time and everything in between. Steve gave us wit and great characters and powerhouse storytelling.

    He’s already missed.

  11. Jeff Mclaughlin Says:

    I wrote Mr. Gerber an email a couple weeks ago because after hearing about his latest bout, I wanted to tell him or remind him that every time I talk to Jim Mooney (which is regularly) and we talk about books, he always comes back to Steve and Omega. Jim’s favourite work was when he was working with Steve and given that Jim has been in the business since the 40′s, I thought that was pretty darn high praise indeed…

  12. Karl Says:

    Growing up as a 70′s Marvel kid, his work always seemed around, his name on so many credits.

    I’d read his stuff then, and not really get it but it didn’t stop me enjoying the heck out of it.

    Now I get it and it’s better than I ever thought it would be.

    Only a few days ago I found myself wondering how he was.

    This morning a friend told me of his passing.

    I wish I could say something profound but I’m just heartbroken.

    I’ll miss that funny, truthful and singular voice being around.

    Sleep well, Steve, and thanks for lighting up this kid’s imagination.

  13. Rory D. Root Says:

    Steve’s HTD was one of my gate ways back into comics when I thought I had out grown them years before. He and the staff at C&C Berkeley circa 75 helped show me how wrong I was. Eisner and the Underground finished the lesson.

    My heart goes out to his family and friends, not too mention all of us he affected with his talent.

  14. Pino Says:

    Ciao Steve.

  15. Darren Schroeder Says:

    Steve’s work was one of those few precious childhood pleasures that stood up to a revisit in adulthood. I had the honour of interviewing him several times, and his wit and thoughtfulness in relation to the writing profession made them the most rewarding interviews I’ve conducted.

    Bye Steve, we’ll miss you.

  16. Oliver Townshend Says:

    When I was young, reading Steve’s comics was one of the pleasures of collecting Marvel comics. Now that I am older, reading a lot of them is still a pleasure. Thanks for everything. We’ll miss you.

  17. Brian Says:

    “Life’s lookin good like a choppin block should”

    We’ll miss you Steve

  18. ADD Says:

    I’ve posted my thoughts on Steve here. Thank you, Mark, for stepping in here and giving people a place to remember him.

  19. haven o'terrorism Says:

    Thank you for managing this, Mark. To say it’s appreciated would be a massive understatement. Steve’s death staggered me; I can’t imagine what it’s like for you, and others who knew him personally. My sincere condolences to you, and to all Steve’s family and friends, and thank you very much again for giving us fans this time and space to talk about him on his own blog.

    Here’s a link to my friend Jim Roeg, dedicating his extraordinary exegesis of MTIO #7 to its author — it’s a post of Jim’s that I never fail to find to find both touching and enlightening, no matter how often I re-read it. And in fact it brought a tear to my eye tonight.

    http://doublearticulation.blogspot.com/2008/02/in-memory-of-steve-gerber.html

    Hope that pasted as HTML. I also wrote something about Steve that I based heavily on Jim’s post:

    http://circumstantial.wordpress.com/2008/02/12/this-word-is-not-too-much/

    I’m really gonna miss that guy. A very, very sad day.

  20. Roger Green Says:

    I checked Mark’s page first thing this morning, found the news, and cobbled this together: http://rogerowengreen.blogspot.com/2008/02/steve-gerber.html

  21. Lord Nabu Says:

    Just found out: DAMN!

  22. Dave Broughton Says:

    Thank you Mark Evanier for taking the trouble to notify the people who have followed Steve’s ups and downs here over the last year or two.

    We all hoped we wouldn’t be hearing this bad news quite so soon. There have already been many tributes on this site and others. Some tributes are from people who knew him well. Many more come from people like me who never met him. That says something about the power of the written word to touch people. Goodbye Mr Gerber. Your comics will live forever.

  23. Fred Chamberlain Says:

    I was going to drop him a note yesterday. Instead, I jump on here this morning to take my mind off of some troubling news and find myself feeling very sad for his family and the creative community over this loss.

    I first experience Steve in a few scattered issues of Man-Thing and Omega, the Unknown, though I didn’t know it was him back then. Those books still have a lasting impression on me. I now have some newer memories of e-mails shared and the original scripts to Dr. Fate that Steve sent to me to read over as as a consultant on the psychological and clinical aspects of the title. I was going to clean some of them out, but now I find myself mourning the man as well as the fact that I apparently deleted a few of the first correspondence including his wonderfully playful and uniquely worded description of my unpaid and uncredited role in the series. I can’t remember his words, so I won’t even attempt it…….but they were his and my life is more colorful for having had them and more rich for briefly knowing him.

    I didn’t expect to respond at this length, but it is another reminder to me of how he touched me both through printed books and correspondence. Thanks for everything Steve!

  24. Rob Odlin Says:

    I had it in my brain to post something lengthly about Steve, his influence, and how bad it is for the comics I love that he passed. But I just can’t.

    Instead, I will say what I should have written to him a couple years ago, when I started to truly apreciate his work and influence, as opposed to just having read some of his comics:

    Thank you for everything, Steve.

  25. Forrest Says:

    Best line ever written by anyone:

    “I must be the very personification of the rage to live.”

    Just read it as an imperative.

  26. Matt Gilbert Says:

    was a fan of Steve’s as soon as I read the first issue of “Howard the Duck” back when it first came out in 1975. I was lucky; I knew when the new comics arrived at the White Hen Pantry every Thursday, and I managed to snag the only copy that came in.

    For many years, I thought I was probably Steve’s biggest fan, because no one else in my circle knew who he was. Other comic fans at the time followed artists. Steve taught me to appreciate the writing.

    I’ve always been proud of the fact that Steve published my letter in HTD#22, when I was 13 years old. I never stopped following his work.

    When Steve first came online in the 1990s on Compuserve, I wrote him a fan-e-mail. He actually replied! but his response seemed a tad uncomfortable. Perhaps I came off as too fawning, or perhaps he wasn’t comfortable with having enthusiastic fans at the time. I don’t know. For that reason, I didn’t contribute to this listserv much over the past few years, even though I joined and followed it as soon as I became aware of it. So much of his work was mysterious and unresolved (e.g. the elf with the gun). I’m glad he was here to provide some of that resolution.

    I hope there is no more Howard. Didn’t Steve post to this list that the last Howard series, for Marvel’s MAX line, was about all he wanted to do with the character? I consider that series Steve’s masterpiece. It resolves the Howard story quite nicely, and I hope that’s the last word on the duck. All of you are entitled to your opinions. I was re-reading it this morning, and at lunchtime, oblivious to what was going on, or what was about to happen.

    Several months ago, I posted a review of HTD MAX to Amazon, saying it was as good or better than Shakespeare. Shakespeare was literature’s greatest poet; he made mere words music without benefit of mechanical sound. In the world of literature, I tend to think of Steve as the world’s greatest street musician – he was gritty, Earthy, yet he put the notes together and his message was delivered as effectively and as beautifully as those of us who dwell among the drudge and much of the Earth could appreciate. I’ve never been much of a fan of poetry. Just tell me the fucking truth.

    The saddest part for me — and I can feel the emotion well up as I type this — is that it’s really hard for me to imagine a life with no more Steve Gerber. Sure, I knew it was coming. We all probably did, right? But I’m no more prepared for it than if I hadn’t.

    I didn’t know him personally, but I’ve felt close to his work for my entire life. I’ve had two boxes of comics – one of The Fantastic Four, which I stopped collecting in the 1980s, and one of Steve’s work, which I have been dutifully maintaining for all of these years. I was excited about the upcoming HTD omnibus edition; now it’s going to be a poignant event.

    At least he managed to get the introduction written. Will it be his epitaph? Who knows. That’s up to his family and friends, I suppose.

    I was very overweight as a kid, and so when I went back and paid top dollar for a copy of Giant-Sized Man-Thing #4 for the Howard story, I was surprised by how great the Man-Thing story was. Were it not for the Howard MAX, I might be inclined to think of that as Steve’s masterpiece, perhaps because it meant a lot to me in a personal way.

    “Perhaps if it were more honest, as honest as Edmund, it would have read: ‘He was a fat boy, who saw himself more as a monster than a human being. We didn’t know this Man-Thing very well or like him very much. He was killed, and that’s the end of it.’”

    Thanks, Steve, for all of the years of joy and entertainment you gave me, for the tears I shed when I read those lines as a young boy. At this point I can only hope your work gets the appreciation it has always deserved.

  27. Garrie Burr Says:

    One of my favorite Steve Gerber stories, the revival of the Metal Men. The overall theme of the story tells us of the good in everyone, but now I am seeing something else in the background. Doc Magnus overcomes his madness in the story because of his work – not only in that he creates, but also that his Metal Men creations save his day by the end, by bringing him clarity and peace at last. I hope Steve too had peace at the end and that he recognized the outstanding quality of his work.

    I hope other generations of writers and artists can continue to wrestle with the lessons of his works and their quality. For us who bought his stuff when it came off the stands, his stories will continue in re-readings. The sadness, as always, is in the stories he never got the chance to tell us.

    Good night, Steve…

  28. Patrick Says:

    This is a very sad day.

    I had the honor of meeting Steve at a convention in Kansas City and appreciated him for being open, humorous and friendly to his fans.

    My condolences to Steve’s friends and family.

  29. Mumble Says:

    Oh rats.

    In the summer of 1975, my family was on vacation in New Mexico. It was the usual family vacation– car too small, no A/C, my sister and I fighting over every millimeter of the back seat of our Squareback, my dad driving way too fast for the dirt roads, and my mother grimacing everytime we went airborn.

    We’d just stopped at a 7-11 or somesuch, and I was allowed to get two comic books for the road ahead. I bought a Spider-Man and Howard The Duck– purely because I liked the title, and Gene Colan’s artwork (I think it was Gene). While I read Spidey, my mom was looking at Howard (bored, I suppose). She chuckled. Then she roared with laughter– not something my mom was ever prone to do. My dad was completely annoyed– what’s so funny? My mom started reading the comic to him and soon, he was laughing. It got so bad, he had to pull off and get his breath back. Both my parents were crying, they were laughing so hard.

    My mom gave the comic back to me, and whenever she went to the grocery, she’d look at the comic book rack, ostensibly to get the latest issue of Howard… for me.

    So, thanks, Steve. You saved our vacation, and got my mom to realize that comics weren’t just stupid guys in capes. Nice work.

  30. Raymond E. Feist Says:

    I’m annoyed with myself. Steve and I passed each other so many times with a nod. We only communicated on the old Compuserve service, and then not very much, mostly posting the occasional comment in a topic thread, but he was comics and I was novels and you know how it can go.

    I loved Howard and Defenders and all the other stuff Steve did, but he’d be on his way to a panel at ComiCon, or I’d be on my way to the bar or whatever and we’d nod. Hi, how you doing, what’s new, see you later.

    Now it’s too late to say what I should have said instead of nodding in the hallway at some random convention. “Hey, Steve, love your stuff! You did good! Thanks for the hours of pleasure!”

    Hey, Steve, you did good . . . .

    Wish you could have stuck around and done it a while longer.

    Your Fan,

    Raymond E. Feist

  31. Magnet Girl Says:

    Here’s my blog tribute to Steve:

    http://magnetgirl.livejournal.com/140660.html

    All my condolences to his family and friends…I’ll really miss you, Steve.

  32. Stefan Immel Says:

    From Neil Gaimans Blog:
    http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/02/steve-gerber.html

    “When I grow up, I thought, if I’m lucky, I’ll write comics like that.”

    Can there be a higher praise?

    @Mumble: Your post finaly made me shed tears for a man I never met.

  33. Antonio Busquets Says:

    (from Spain) …a very sad day…

  34. Gordon Kent Says:

    As many before me have said, thank you, Mark, for keeping this site alive.

    I remember when Steve began it, it was ostensibly to be maintained on a daily basis. But it wasn’t long before the postings became more and more haphazard. I checked it every day — several times a day — for any thought or comment Steve might make. If only to see that he was still there. Every now and then, when nothing would show up for days or weeks I would drop him a private note to make sure all was well — or as well as things could be in Steve’s world…

    I have no website or blog; no place to put these thoughts which keep cropping up…

    I met Steve in the early eighties. He was one of several comic book writers and artists who would come from New York to attend the San Diego Comic Convention. I didn’t meet him down there, but back up in Los Angeles where many of these folks would come to spend another day or two before heading back home. There used to be an after convention party at Mark Evanier’s house. Which is where I met many of these wondeful people, because I baby sat Mark’s house when he went to San Diego.

    Like many of the New York crew, Steve wound up moving to Los Angeles and I really got to know him when he got into the animation industry as a writer at the studio where I worked — Ruby-Spears.

    Steve became a part of my life.

    Steve was part of the first date that I had with Donna, the woman who has been my wife for almost 23 years.

    I had invited this young lady back to my apartment. It was after eleven o’clock, but just about the time we entered the apartment the phone rang. It was Steve. He was notorious for sleeping during the day and working all night. I don’t remember a single thing about the conversation we had. Steve just needed to talk about something or other that was probably ticking him off and he picked me… I watched as Donna patiently wandered about my apartment, looking at the books, records and movies (beta tapes) I had accumulated. I couldn’t get off the phone with Steve. He really needed to talk. When we finally said goodbye (over a half hour or so later) it was so late that the young lady thought it was best to leave… That was how my first date ended.

    Steve created Thundarr the Barbarian and when he left Ruby-Spears to be story editor of the first series of GI Joe cartoons, he allowed me to leave Ruby-Spears by giving me a three script deal. Considering I had only written comedy shorts no longer than eleven minutes — never an action adventure cartoon in my life — he was taking quite a chance. But Steve had managed to double the standard script fee for episodes simply by telling the people who ran this studio that that was the going rate and they accepted his word. My mother had died a few months earlier and I had to escape my job. Steve allowed me to do that. And part of the deal was that I had to write the scripts on a computer. He forced me into the future. Steve was always on the cutting edge of technology and he was always one of a few people who actually understood computers and was always there to help others — especially me.

    Steve was an early entry into the bulletin board system that computers afforded and he also got me into the internet. He came to my new house to set me up with AOL as well as to help set up my new computer. He was so incredibly generous with his time…

    Over the years, while still living in Los Angeles, Steve would come over to our home late at night with his dogs… he was always adopting deserted animals, usually pit bulls. We’d walk in the neighborhood, or sometimes very late at night we’d drive to Beverly Hills and wander the deserted streets.

    When he moved to Las Vegas and his health began to decline, Donna and I managed to visit him and have lunch a couple times. It was painful to see him carting around a cannister of oxygen….

    But he was unwilling to just give up.

    He sought help at UCLA and came to Los Angeles on numerous occasions to see what could be done. It became apparent that only a lung transplant would help and he was hoping to go through that painful procedure just to get a few more years…

    He asked Donna if she would be someone he could take with him to UCLA to prove he had caregivers to watch over him for the first six weeks after the surgery. Donna couldn’t possibly say no and she didn’t. Steve was to stay at the home of another of his friends, Buzz and Soon-ok Dixon, and Donna would be going over every day to look after him.

    But it wasn’t to be.

    I cannot explain how I feel about this.

    Steve was a brilliant writer. He was a heckavu friend. He was thoughtful and considerate. He had great insight into the human condition and tremendous empathy for those of us just trying to survive. He didn’t just write about it, he lived it. Donna and I weren’t nearly as in touch once Steve left Los Angeles for Las Vegas, but we stayed connected and I was able to speak with him last week while he was still in the hospital and still had hope he would pull through. He was getting scared toward the end, this I know. There were times he didn’t think he’d see the next day. And finally he didn’t.

    I keep repeating it over and over because I can’t believe it.

    Steve is the first dear friend who has passed away. As Mark said, it wasn’t unexpected, but it is still a horrible shock.

    I can still hear his voice. It was always full of surprise but in an amused way. Donna said it sounded like wonderment.

    I can’t believe how much it hurts…

  35. Stephen D. Sullivan Says:

    I put a brief comment about Steve and how much he meant to me up on my blog — http://stephendsullivan.blogspot.com/ — but I thought I’d share a story here. In the 70s there was a series of NYC conventions that came to be known as Seuling Cons — after their founder Phil Seuling (hopefully, I’m spelling that right, too lazy to look it up at the moment). It was at those conventions that I got my first up-close-and-personal looks at many comic book creators, including both legends and then “hot” talent, like Steve. During one of those cons, there was a panel composed of the new young turks, and all of them came out dressed in what might be now described as goth wear: black clothes, pale faces, black make-up around the eyes, kind of like pre-KISS KISS. The line up was impressive: Jim Starlin, Bernie Wrightson, Howard Chaykin, and one other I’m forgetting at the moment (Sorry!) — it might have been Steve Englehart. These dark-garbed gents came out and sat down and then, suddenly, from the side of the auditorium/ballroom — TA-DA! — a colorful figure in red and gold dashes in. It’s Steve Gerber and he’s wearing a superhero outfit with, as I remember, an aviator’s cap and his underwear on the outside. It was outrageous, and funny, and a great panel. And that’s how I’ll always think of him, as a bit of inspired lunacy in an otherwise dark world. Thanks, Steve. God bless.

  36. Joyce Pepper Says:

    Just a note from someone who knew him in high school. I was lucky enough to have an American History class with him. He was voted the Funniest Boy in our class in St. Louis, MO.
    Our high school had a tradition of a “Senior Assembly”. Steve and one of his friend wrote a satirical skit called “Dosvedanya, dosvedanya, petitsa. (the Russian Version of Bye Bye Birdie). The characters included Castro, Kruschev, and a Russian rocker.
    I had dinner with Steve at the home of a couple, Art and Judy, who also were in the same class. Getting to share a quiet dinner with them was wonderful. We regaled each other with stories from UCity high and sat and talked for 3 hours after dinner was over.
    It is a sad loss for so many and I know Steve will be missed by all who knew him, read his work, and appreciated him.

  37. Colin Boxall Says:

    I am reminded of David Jason’s end-of-show tribute to Ronnie Barker at the BAFTA celebration of Barker’s career in British Television:

    “Nice man…funny man…CLEVER man”

  38. Clifford Meth Says:

    Oh Mark– Just heard the news from Adrienne Colan and the depression is all over me now. Steve was a swell guy– went way out of his way to help me get started and was always such a pleasure to chat with. Never read anything of his that I didn’t admire. I’m sorry you lost your pal.

  39. Scott Andrew Hutchins Says:

    Between the loss of my Dad in September and the loss of Steve now has been like a one-two punch. I only hinted at it in my posts, but Steve was like a spiritual father to me, though I never met him and only dealt with him personally through e-mail.

    I have all but one comic book he wrote (Superman: Last Son of Earth #2), which I haven’t bene able to find) and was progressing through those I hadn’t read steadily, finding brilliance somewhere in all of them to a greater or lesser degree.

    The last e-mail I wrote to Steve (a few days before his last post on the blog) was noting that I had just lost a job that I found terribly hostile and paid pverty wages. I’m still unemployed at the moment. Steve offered to help last time. He suggested that I use him as a reference at DC (though it didn’t work: I couldn’t get past human resources) and put the word out that I needed work in his blog. That didn’t turn out too well either, but the fact that he did that just shows what a great guy he is in addition to being, in my opinion, the greatest comics writer of all time.

  40. Scott Andrew Hutchins Says:

    I don’t know how far Steve ever got in reading my stage play, Misused Minds: Curse of the Educated Youth, which was full of explicit references to his work, and in which I even quoted him for one of the epigraphs, but I’m adding a dedication to him to the title page. I think it would be a very different play without his influence, which is not to say that I ripped him off at all, I don’t think–that was one of the reasons he was reading the manuscript.

    Steve will definitely be missed. He seemed to have so much more to say in Doctor Fate. It doesn’t read like a writer at the end of his journey, but one still exploring.

  41. Kayte Kuch Says:

    I still remember coming into the office in the morning at Ruby-Spears Productions to find Steve’s most current script on my desk. In Steve time, that meant he wrote all night and would slept the rest of the day. I knew I wasn’t going to change that no matter how many times Joe would bellow for me to get Steve into the office. Joe would just have to wait until 3pm when Steve was awake and ready to write again. At the time, I wasn’t aware I was in the midst of a comic book legend, but what I understood immediately was Steve Gerber was a tremendous writing talent, whether he was working on comic book scripts or animation scripts.

    Steve reignited my girlhood interest in comic books and helped me get my first comic book writing assignment at Marvel (weird huh, considering his trials and tribulations with Marvel). For that I am forever grateful to him.

    I’ll miss Steve, along with his legend of fans. He was a special talent and a good man.

  42. PeteTheRetailer Says:

    Another example of Steve managing to surprise me with my own feelings.

    He’ll be missed.

  43. Matt M. Says:

    My own recollection of the man’s work here: at Highway 62.

  44. Fumettoteca Firenze Says:

    Excuse me but i don’t speak english.

    I am very sorry for Steve.
    Good Bye.

    Per chi riesce a leggere l’italiano aggiungo che oltre ad essere dispiaciutissimo per la scomparsa di Steve Gerber sento anche una tristezza egoistica per quelle storie che non ha raccontato fino in fondo e che non troveranno più una sua conclusione.

    Un saluto a tutti e un abbraccio a tutti quelli che lo conoscevano.

  45. Mike Tymczyszyn Says:

    I didn’t know Steve, but reading his work, like so many others on this comment page, I felt like I knew him. I was much too young to remember Howard as anything except a terrible movie (I was born in ’78), but eventually I found my way to his work in other ways. Nevada was the first book of his I “collected,” because it was the first book he produced regularly while I was collecting comics. I loved it and was sad when it failed to find the audience it so richly deserved.

    Over the years I went back and found some of his older stuff, Howard the duck and old Defenders comics, and I realize his influence on me more now than I ever might have thought then. I’m a writer now, and I strive to infuse that same brand of insane insight and absurdity in the things I write now, and for that, and for the Vegas showgirl with an ostritch and for the Duck, I thank him.

    My condolences to his friends and family, and all of us regular people who were touched by his life and work. Steve, you will be missed.

    Steve Gerber, a legend he never made, may he rest in peace.

  46. Sheryl Scarborough Says:

    Sigh…

    Dear Steve, we had just reconnected — you and I — via this blog and email. I was looking forward to entertaining you during your recovery… (I had promised not to make you laugh.)

    You were an inspiration… a source of encouragement… a phenomenal talent… and a friend. I already miss you!

    damnit!

  47. Steven Stwalley Says:

    Howard the Duck was the only Marvel comic that I was ever obsessively compelled to hunt down in its entirety. It was easily one of the best comic books to come out of the seventies. Thanks for all of the wonderful reading, Mr. Gerber, wherever you are. Rest in peace.

  48. pete doree Says:

    Had a bit more time to think about what I want say, so:
    Back in The Bronze Age, I always bought anything with Steve’s name on it.
    I worshipped The Defenders, and in buying both Howard & Omega, it wasn’t even
    a case of “Shall I buy that?”
    It was more like: ” It’s Gerber. Why wouldn’t you buy it? You eat food, don’t you?”
    What other writer did we follow like that?

    Flash forward to now, and, like everyone else, I’m buying the essential’s books,
    catching up on comics I missed first time around, as well as the odd missing ones.
    Defenders, Man-Thing, Howard, Omega: All STILL as good as I remember them,
    PLUS with all the myriad depths I didn’t notice when I was a kid.
    How many comics can you say that about?

    I still think ‘The Night After You Saved The Universe’ is one of the best things written
    by anyone in any creative field ever.

    God Bless & Good Journey, Steve.

  49. Gavin Burrows Says:

    My tribute here.

  50. Ken Rhodes Says:

    You have no idea how long, and for how many years, the phrase “The Doctor Gave Me Neez!” would reduce me to absolute hysterics – and now does once again.

    Steve Gerber, Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart were the first comic writers that really pulled my attention away from the pictures in the funny books. And each of these writers exposed me to something different – Thomas a reverence for pre-silver age comics, Englehart the ability to question what makes one an American but still be a patriot, and Gerber helped form what is my sense of humor and my own politics.

    Black, acidic, cynical, ironic, dismissive of the blatantly low-brow – Gerber virtually introduced these concepts of comedy into the Marvel age and served as a tremendous personal influence to me. He was a very real hero of artistic self-expression. His rancourous removal from “Howard the Duck”, combined with his Quixotian battle to reclaim ownership of the character, became the first real “cause” of my youth, and was geniunely the oyster-sand that became the pearl of my liberal politics, deeply cynical world-view, and pathological mistrust of “the man”.

    Gerber, and his contemporaries, defined the fierce creativity of the “Marvel Age” in the 70′s. The Kree-Skrull War, the adventures of Nomad, and “Howard” and the Avengers-Defenders War served as the chief ammunition to my crusade to show the great unwashed that comics books are a geniune art form and powerful communicator of real-world ideas and concepts.

    But Steve’s career did not end with his departure from Marvel. He was a trailblazer for creator’s rights, and a vital figure in the creation of a marketplace that would become far bigger than DC and Marvel.

    Rather than go on and on, let me make it as simple as I can.

    Thanks, Steve Gerber, for helping me learn how to think for myself. You will be missed, but you are not gone. The work remains.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. Ed Evans Says:

    Steve,

    The world is a bit darker without you around.

    Our prayers and well wishes to your friends and family.
    -Ed

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

    Waaaaugh!

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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

  59. 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.”

  60. 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.

  61. stephen Says:

    Rats.

  62. 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.

  63. Ade Brown Says:

    http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/stevegerber1947_2008/

    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.

    Cheers,

    Ade

  64. 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.

  65. Darren Schroeder Says:

    My news item regarding Steve at Comics Bulletin:
    http://www.comicsbulletin.com/news/120282286436426.htm

    some other folks are commenting in the forums there:
    http://www.comicsbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4745

    and Dave Sim commented in another thread there:
    http://www.comicsbulletin.com/forum/showpost.php?p=72800&postcount=23

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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!

  69. 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.

    Mike

  70. 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.

  71. 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….

    http://www.allaboutcomics.com/blog/?p=180

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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

  75. 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.

  76. Jim McLauchlin Says:

    Our pals at Wizard asked me to write something on Steve, so this is what I came up with:
    http://www.wizarduniverse.com/021208gerber.html

    Jim McLauchlin

  77. 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.

    Bev

  78. Scott Tipton Says:

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

    http://www.comics101.com/comics101//?mode=project&action=view&project=Comics%20101&chapter=166

  79. 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.

  80. 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

  81. 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.

  82. Mike Blanchard Says:

    http://comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=352512&GSub=55209

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

    Thanks again Steve!

  83. Gordon Kent Says:

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

  84. 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.

  85. JeffZ Says:

    It- it’s an elf– with a gun….

  86. 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

  87. 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.
    Goodbye.

  88. 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.

  89. 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!

  90. Danny Barer Says:

    I posted a bit about Steve on my blog at barercave.blogspot.com.

  91. 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