The Unpublished Duck

In 1985, after the Howard the Duck lawsuit had been settled out of court, Marvel approached me to write a script for the first issue of what was to be a new Howard the Duck series. I agreed.

My first priority in that script was to do away with "Duckworld." Entirely the invention of another writer, "Duckworld" was supposedly the alternate earth—never shown or even named in my stories—where Howard was hatched. Its inhabitants, all ducks, had names like "Ducktor Strange" and "Truman Capoultry" (after Truman Capote, a celebrated writer of the time). Real knee-slappers, huh?

Clearly, "Duckworld" had to die.

Beyond that, I wanted to parody, as viciously as possible, what was then the hot trend in comics—company-wide crossovers such as Secret Wars at Marvel and Crisis on Infinite Earths at DC.

Unfortunately, the then-editor-in-chief of Marvel requested changes in the story which I found unacceptable. As a result, I pulled the script, and it was never published.

Here's your chance to read it. Download HTD1.ZIP now. The unzipped file is plain ASCII text, formatted for printing.

The Unpublished Sludge

In 1995, Malibu Comics' Ultraverse line was acquired by Marvel, after which the comics and their characters suffered a fate worse than Duckworld's. (Are we beginning to discern a pattern here?) Prior to that, editor Chris Ulm and I had decided it would be best to cancel the ongoing Sludge title and continue the character's appearances in a series of specials.

The first of those specials was Sludge: Red Christmas, illustrated by Mike Ploog.

The second was entitled Swamp of Souls. It was never completed. The script for the last ten pages contains complete scene descriptions, but no dialogue. To the best of my recollection, most of the story was never drawn. It was certainly never published.

"Swamp of Souls" is a sequel of sorts to an earlier Sludge tale in which the aphasic murk monster of the metropolitan sewers battled a considerably more articulate alligator named Veffer Voon Iyax. In this story, Veff's brother comes looking for revenge. Sludge is shanghaied into another dimension and becomes entangled in the political machinations of perhaps the most bizarre culture I've ever invented.

Curious? Download SOULS.ZIP now. The unzipped file is in RTF format, readable by most any word processor.


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Text Copyright © 2001 Steve Gerber. All rights reserved.