Monday, February 11, 2008

Via Mark Evanier comes awful news: STEVE GERBER has died after his extended illness, of which we who read his blog upon occasion were aware of, but he wrote optimistically until the end, so I (at least) had no clue that he was so close.

Above I've posted just a handful of covers of comics he worked on over the last three decades, many of which were among my favorites of the periods of time in which they came out. I'll leave it to others to post the more well-known of his many credits; these are some of the books which made an impression on me.

I think I first became aware of him when he took over Daredevil and the Black Widow from Gerry Conway; I think #97 was the first. Not long after, he started writing Defenders, which I was slow to pick upon (I started around #48 or so, and I had to backtrack to read Gerber's; I think it was because I've always been so averse to Sal Buscema art), but at about the same time he did some great Man-Things, some really gnarly Tarot-themed Son of Satan stories in Marvel Spotlight, eventually (of course) Howard the Duck (another book I was slow to pick up on, can't say why) and another of my favorites, an overlooked run scripting the Guardians of the Galaxy in Marvel Presents. The subsequent decades brought the ahead-of-its-time and ended-too-soon Void Indigo for Epic/Marvel, and the fun Nevada for DC/Vertigo. One thing you could always count on in a Gerber script was that it would be sharp, smart, and inventive, and often just nuts- and there simply weren't enough of them after the 70's.

I was considering buying his most recent effort, the Dr. Fate series he was working on until the end for DC. I was thinking I'd check out the trade. I wasn't crazy about the 90's Image-style art, and I told him so in the comments of his blog when he posted some advance images from it- he was dismissive of my gripe, but not in an especially negative way, and I probably deserved worse. And that was the last time I commented there, which I kinda regret.

Anyway, he's no longer dealing with a bad illness, and that's a mercy. RIP, and thanks for all the great stories, Mr. Gerber.

Tom Spurgeon has a very thorough, and very eloquent, remembrance right here.

No comments: