Tuesday Morning

Opening a new thread for your thoughts about Steve.

Leave them as comments to this message.  After a while, I will close this one and open another.

To read everything people have posted here about Gerber, click here.  This will show you a list of the messages that have comments sections devoted to Steve.  Then read the comments section of each.  Some of the messages are quite touching and even surprising…in a good way.

40 Responses to Tuesday Morning

  • Sid Gilbert says:

    I just got the sad news about Steve Gerber. I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person, but I feel like I met him through his work. I am old enough to have read Howard the Duck from it’s first issue, and I remember the joy of an anti-hero who really had a pragmatic view of a distorted universe. I hope that Steve’s family and friends find comfort in the fact that Steve touched countless lives in many ways, and he will be remembered long after we puny mortals are dust. Thank you Steve, for making my mundane life a little magical.

  • Ben Chenier says:

    I posted a little something on my own blog, if anyone is ever interested.
    http://blog.cultsirens.com/2008/02/19/steve-gerber-1947-2008/
    Briefly, I just want to add that I thank Steve for making me the man I am today, as his writing so influenced me. Bravo for a so creative spirit.

  • beau says:

    Steve is gone, possibly in a happier place (Zokk and Maftra willing.) My thoughts and prayers are for folks like Mark, close enough to feel the loss more personally. Thanks for keeping this spot open a while, continuing to give us space to share. Let us know how we can help.

    Peace.

  • Wayne says:

    I continue to think about Steve every day. Re-reading HTD, I’m aware of the special power in those stories. As reflected in the letters pages, Steve found common cause with his readers that is unequalled by any other author of comics from that time. The sense of dialogue with the audience, and the incredible vulnerability Steve shows in his scripts, creates a special book that remains fresh to this day. I take inspiration from it to be a better person in my life, to question the community and have some fun doing it, remembering the innate absurdity of existence and still, each day, engaging it with heart and soul. Thanks, Steve, your words will live forever.

  • Justin says:

    Ditto that, Wayne. I read the criminally underappreciated Marvel MAX run of Howard the Duck yesterday, and it was definitely a bittersweet excursion. I was loving Countdown to Mystery, and I had heard mention Gerbs was slated to contribute to Erik Larsen’s Next Issue Project series, which was a thrilling proposition. The man hasn’t been far from my thoughts; I hold his work in high esteem. And although there is a bit of selfishness in missing him (’cause we don’t get any new, awesome Gerber comics) I try to take some solace in the fact that the guy doesn’t have to live his life in pain any longer.

    Oddly, what I really miss the most are his occasional posts here.

  • Charles Bryan says:

    Justin, I’m feeling the same way. In addition to rereading his comics, I’ve done a little poking around in the archives, reading posts that I hadn’t read before. It makes me feel like he’s still around, and then it makes me realize that he’s not — especially when I find myself thinking, irrationally, that somehow there might be just one more new post from SG.

    Someone may have mentioned it, but if no one did, there were also many comments at Newsarama about Steve’s passing. Many reflect what’s been written here, with several fans of his work expressing their admiration. There are also some comments from people who knew him professionally, and, in that category, Gail Simone’s post is very touching.

  • I was just finishing editing one interview I made with Alan Moore when I learned Steve Gerber had passed away, so I decided to add the following text to the beginning of the interview.

    If anyone wants the read the complete thing, it’s here:

    http://bloodonthesky.blogspot.com

    Thanks and peace to all of you.

    I learned yesterday that Steve Gerber, the writer who created Howard the Duck amongst several other characters, has died. I used to visit Steve’s blog almost every day, and I think all the times I made a comment on his writings he would reply. Once I wrote him that It was so special to have grown up in the 80s reading the stuff he wrote in the 70s and 80s, and that writers like him and many others, Len Wein, Mark Evanier, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Roy Thomas, Chris Claremont and so many others, some I don’t even remember the name of, for they are lost in that fog of fantasy and reality that we call “childhood”, helped shape my view of the world. I think these writers from the 70s and 80s created a whole generation of strange people like me.

    He commented briefly that he thought that there was something to what I was saying and he would like to actually write a complete blog post about that “next week”.

    He never did. There was no time.

    Well, his health deteriorated rapidly the last few months and he died of pulmonary fibrosis. I was very sad for this loss, I think that without Steve’s social commentary and introspective stories maybe writers like Alan Moore wouldn’t exist. His stories with Howard the Duck, Man-Thing and even Marvel’s Zombie were very personal, emotional, touching, sarcastic, funny, adventurous and groundbreaking. He brought the underground to mainstream.

    And when I asked him what he thought of Alan Moore, he said it was great. He actually spoke about Moore.

    How many people can write a story entitled “Where do you go? What do you do? The NIGHT YOU SAVED THE UNIVERSE!”? That’s just so grandiose, so epic and beautifully poetic… and at the same time, lonely.

    So Steve, thanks for all the stories you gave us. Rest easy, you have achieved so much!

  • geoff says:

    great article in slate about steve…with a very sad and sobering prologue

    http://www.slate.com/id/2184806/

    “But here’s what overshadows all of Gerber’s accomplishments: During his lifetime, Steve Gerber created dozens of popular characters and comic books. He died owning none of them”

  • geoff says:

    duh….the above should read….with a very sad and sobering epilogue, not prologue

    sorry, im not a writer, its late, and my fingers are tired

  • Scott Andrew Hutchins says:

    Yes, even Sludge, which he owend for a time, is now owned by Marvel. Did he even own Stewart the Rat?

  • Charles Bryan says:

    Stuart Moore, who edited the MAX howardthe Duck series, has a very nice tribute at Newsarama.

    http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=147592

  • JB says:

    That’s a great article from Stuart.

    Having never met Steve Gerber personally, I know my feelings can’t come close to those of his friends and family, but I can’t begin to explain the sense of loss I have in knowing I will never see a blog post from him again or read another one of his comics. I was a very regular reader of this blog and only a recent commenter, but it strikes me in a very disturbing way that, through this blog, Steve was a more regular presence in my life than many of my friends have been in recent years. I have not yet faced the death of either of my parents and I was never close to my grandparents – though I have had a number of friends die, even when I was very young – but Steve’s passing has had an effect on me that I can barely understand.

    For almost 2 weeks now, I have come here every day and spent hours reading the many posts from so many who were so touched by him. This experience has made me very seriously evaluate almost every aspect of my life – what I’ve accomplished in my life and how I relate to the people around me.

    It wasn’t rare for Steve to seem unhappy or lonely in his posts and I wonder how he would have reacted to all of this. I find myself wishing that he had faked his death and is sitting somewhere with his laptop reading all of it and truly understanding the role he has played in so many people’s lives. Then I realize, while we might have expected as much from Andy Kaufman, it would be totally out of character for a guy who really seemed to gave a damn about how people treated each other.

  • Charles Bryan says:

    This was reported late Friday at Comic Book Resources regarding the DC Nation panel:

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=13096

    — A question about “Countdown to Mystery,” which features Steve Gerber’s take on Fate, turned the panel serious for a moment. Gerber, who passed away last week, “was working with us to the very end,” according to DiDio. Adam Beechen will write the Fate episode in issue #7 from Gerber’s script, and issue #8 will feature Mark Evanier, Mark Waid, Gail Simone and Adam Beechen providing endings they think Gerber would have written. —

    I’m certain that each of these writers will approach this assignment with trepidation and love. Thanks to all of them in advance for wanting to help Steve finish his story.

    I hope someone sneaks in a cameo for an elf with a gun.

  • Greg Huneryager says:

    Much of Gerber’s work is fresh in my mind as it was when I read it. I also reread the color comics every year or so. The black and white material I haven’t looked at in a while so I pulled out the Lilith stories. There are five total (the first scripted from a Marv Wolfman plot). They have the kind of insights that you expect from a Steve Gerber comic book but what really stuck me was how well he expressed Lilith’s rage. How did this guy write a pissed off woman and make her come across so real? Also, the supporting characters — Martin Gold and Angel O’Hare — are interesting as well. Another Kansas City area fan told Gerber when he was here in 2004 that he found the non-powered characters in Omega interesting enough to carry a series — that he would like to read stories about them. He said basically the same thing about Hard Time — that it didn’t need the super-power element to make a compelling read. I think that say something about the man’s ability. Gerber made them seem like real people and their lives as compelling as the primary stories. For most writers the ‘other people’ are just elements to move along plots. After all, when was the last time anyone cared (if ever) about Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent?

  • J. McCrackan says:

    Gerber was one of my first literary idols. HTD #1 came out when I was eleven, still deeply into comic books. That issue forever changed the way I perceived the medium–I’d immediately and permanently lost my taste for traditional superhero pap. I thrust my copy of HTD into my friends faces, insisting that they must. Read. This. Even the ones who weren’t into comics were blown away by Gerber’s wit, his audacity (well, those aren’t the words we used, but that’s what we meant), and with the new limits of what one could get away with in comic books.

    Gerber remains one of my favorite authors. I will miss him dearly.

  • Steve’s comics were a long-distance mental-health hotline for a lot of us, so this worldwide support group is helping a lot. One scrap of geeky grace I cherish is the time I became perhaps the first fanboy in America to learn that the new Kent Nelson would be a shrink, when Steve emailed me outta nowhere, based on a visit to the website address we attention-craving posters were allowed to leave, to let me know that his upcoming Doctor Fate was a colleague of my established if obscure Dr. Id. I’ve put up a permanent memorial page to Steve at that site; since so many of his stories through the years took place in psychiatrists’ sessions, institutions and sinister self-help seminars, it seemed a fitting setting. But the main reason I’m mentioning it here is that it serves an idea Mark gave us in an earlier post: you get to see Steve himself speak through a link on this page to an article I did in 2004 about comicbook presidential contenders, which includes a typically hilarious interview with Steve on Howard’s mid-’70s campaign. In Steve’s remarkable career and unquietable mind there were always as many fresh surprises as fond memories, and you can connect to some of both here:

    http://www.doctoridcomic.com/gerber.cfm

  • Lisa Gerber-Bedell says:

    On behalf of the Gerber family I would like to thank everyone for their thoughtful posts to Steve Gerber’s blog, in memory of Steve and his work. It is heart warming to hear that Steve was such a positive influence on so many lives through his writing, and through his life.
    As Steve’s younger sister, I know that writing comic books was his passion from very early on. Steve wrote his first comic books on paper towels at home, and illustrated them as well. He once said as a youth, that he wanted to solve problems with words, like Winston Churchill.
    As a child, I knew that if I bothered Steve while he was watching Superman on television, I would be in serious trouble. Now looking back, I can see I must have been interrupting what was probably a very mystical, magical experience for my brother.
    I believe my brother Steve got to live out a childhood dream by being a comic book writer. For that I am happy.

    It is humbling to hear how many lives Steve touched with his writing. It is awesome to know that Steve had so many fans and admirers.
    I am thankful that he had so many friends and fans that cared about him. I am most thankful for those who helped him while he was ill, and those who offered support through their prayers and emails.

    Sincerely and Warmly,

    Lisa Gerber-Bedell

  • Stefan Immel says:

    Hello Lisa

    thanks for your kind words. Even though we, as fans, feel like we knew your brother can’t really feel the loss you feel but we can at least try to give back his family a bit support for all he has given to us. Not only through his work on comics but also through his blog here and the thoughts he put into here.

    The fondest memory I have is the one comment he made where he asked MY oppinion on Countdown to Mystery #1.
    http://stevegerber.wpengine.com/?p=335#comment-2840
    He made me as a fan feel important and that was something very special.

  • haven o'terrorism says:

    Hi, Lisa. So sorry for your loss. And that image of Steve making comics on paper towels and being riveted to the image of Superman on the TV screen while his younger sister bothers him is going to stay with me for a long time now, I think…

    So maybe the writing gift is genetic, after all!

    Since you’ve been so gracious as to speak here, I want to tell you directly that your brother made, and in many ways is still making, a big positive difference in my life. Though I didn’t know him at all, I thought of him almost as a real-life friend. Well, he understood me, you see. His was an uncompromisingly human sort of writing, and I happened to be a human when I read what he wrote, and so…

    I think I can probably count on the fingers of one finger, the writers who made me feel like they were talking right to me. And that finger would be Steve, pardon the insouciance. So, if I may say, even though I didn’t know him, I really liked that guy. I liked his funny, irreverant truthfulness. I liked his clever diligence and creativity with words and feelings. I liked his powerful enthusiasms. And somehow he made it so that I really did think he was talking just to me.

    Thank you for reading all this, Lisa. And, thank you for thanking us. We thank YOU. And (if I may be so bold as to speak for everyone here) we hope that you take good care of yourself during this difficult time. Please be well, and do all the sensible things, like eating dark green leafy vegetables…apparently that’s good. Very sorry, once again, for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family, and to Steve’s close friends. And I thank you so much for speaking here. It’s an inestimable blessing to think that we’re somehow helping to warm your heart, in this chilly moment. We silly fans.

  • Dave Broughton says:

    To Lisa,
    My condolences for your loss.

    To all Steve’s fans who continue to visit this site,
    Just in case there are any of you who haven’t seen Steves favourite Fan letter then visit his old site at:- http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/sgerber/fave.htm
    Amidst all my sad reflection it gave me a wry smile.

  • Charles Bryan says:

    I’m glad that we could bring some comfort; your brother was well-respected by readers and fellow professionals alike. Thank you for taking the time to write to us during a time that is so difficult for you.

    Best wishes and prayers to you and to all of Steve’s friends and family.

  • geoff says:

    to lisa,

    Hamakom Yenachem Eschem B’soch Shaar Avlei Tzion V’Yerushalayim

    may god comfort you among the mourners of zion and jerusalem

    to dave….thanks for linking to that letter, it fully captured what howard was about, better than any positive critique, and shows exactly what caused this young teen to fall in love with the character

    and im very happy to see that steve’s friends will be completing his run on fate…..dc does something good

  • eblison says:

    I’ve always admired Gerber for his vision and his uncanny talent to give his readers the bird. You will both be missed. Goodbye Steve and Howard.

  • RobertF says:

    Steve took a few minutes to talk to me at the El Cortez Hotel at the 1977 San Diego Comic Con (back when it was still about comics). He told me that the Kidney Lady was based on an actual person he’d seen in New York.

    I was just a kid at the time, so that was a huge thrill for me. The writer of HTD talking to me! Wow!!

    He will be missed. Thank you for the Defenders, HTD (a book that actually made me laugh out loud), Daredevil, Marvel Two-in-One, Omega and everything else you did. Oh, and that story about the fat kid who is killed by his gym teacher in Giant Size Man-Thing (funny title)…what comic reader couldn’t relate to that? Really, it was more like a short story, than an actual comic. Pretty amazing…then and now.

    And the Defenders…again, wow!

    Thanks, Steve, you made my life better and happier for your contribution and inspire me to do the same.

  • Hello Mark,
    I wished to thank you for your decision to keep this page alive.

    I just learned of Steve’s death from a friend (I’m from Italy).
    I am very saddened, probably a lot more than when Jack Kirby died.
    That’s just because, despite all the unfair treatments or problems, Jack was a serene person, while from what I could see, Steve was suffering a lot. I feel I can say that about Jack, because I visited him in Thousand Oaks once, in 1991 (my interview was published in the US by David Anthony Kraft in his magazine Comics Interview in 1993, with an erroneous report of its location).

    With Steve it’s been really different, since I just had the opportunity to read him and talk to him, here a few times, in recent years, as an adult.
    So it was difficult to see him being often often both discouraged and cynical at the same time, almost as it was difficult to make him understand how much important and poignant many of his stories had been, and how it was difficult to judge them in context (especially Omega).
    That’s because their value trascends time, and trascends also what — in the life of Steve — could have been all his discouragements, family or health problems.

    But what I am still unable to do is to explain their absolute value, which has a mysterious quality that was the prerogative of a handle of other stories or issue runs of Marvel Comics.
    That’s why I was moved to see Len Wein and especially Marv Wolfman were with you a few evenings ago, honoring Steve’s memory. If you have the occasion, you can tell Marv that I feel in debt towards him as much as I feel towards Steve or Jack.

    I have just seen Steve had a daughter, and I have just seen Steve’s mother is still there, too.
    Please, Mark, give them a hug, and my compassion in their sorrow. That’s one of the lessons I learned from Omega, and from so many other Marvel stories of the 1970s.
    I ideally give back what Steve gave me, and I pray for him.

    Claudio Piccinini (Modena, Italy)

  • Stephen Payne says:

    I’ve been debating about writing here since I heard the news. I came to this blog relatively late, sometime in 2006, but I enjoyed reading Steve’s comments. He even responded to me a few times, and we very nice when he did. Sorry if I can’t say anything more profound than that, but I think it means something that someone as important as Mr. Gerber would take a few moments to respond to someone like me.

    You’re missed, Steve.

  • Charles Bryan says:

    Don’t know why I didn’t look for this earlier — honestly, it was probably cynicism on my part — but Marvel.com has some remembrances from Ralph Macchio. I like the fact that the article actually uses the term “created” when talking about Omega and Howard.

    http://www.marvel.com/news/comicstories.2570.MarvelRemembersSteve_Gerber

  • David Allen says:

    Here are some nice comments from a Grant Morrison interview on Newsarama:

    NRAMA: And now, a personal question. I know you were a fan of Steve Gerber…I was wondering if you had any thoughts on his recent passing.

    GM: I grew up with his stuff, and he was one of my basic templates for how a good comic should be, and how the mainstream and the experimental could be combined.

    It’s always seems a shame…Gerber and his contemporaries established all the rules of the so-called ‘Dark Age’ of comics in the mid-70s. They planted the seeds that grew to fruition in Dark Knight and Watchmen…but they rarely get accorded their place in the history books. Gerber, along with Steve Engelhart, Doug Moench, Jim Starlin, Don McGregor and others, worked with some amazing artists to bring elements of cynical humor, real world violence, psychedelic storytelling, poetry, philosophy, cinematic panel transitions and experimental layouts to mainstream comics, but they rarely get credit for it.

    There was an incredible period of innovation and progress at Marvel during the post-Vietnam year, when writers were allowed to edit their own books and break the rules a bit. It really is time to start re-evaluating these guys as pioneers and give them the respect they deserve while they’re still around to enjoy it. Don McGregor retrospective now please!

    Howard the Duck was always my favorite of Steve’s stuff. I remember buying three copies of the first issue thinking they’d be worth a fortune – which they were for about three years until the Duck bubble burst and they were worth less than I’d paid for them. I’ve still got every copy in a box at home – my first and last venture into the speculator’s market. I loved that book – the Chair-Thing! Turnip Man! That amazing autobiographical “deadline doom” issue where, instead of handing in a Howard script, Gerber does an experimental illustrated essay about how he couldn’t make his deadline!

    And The Defenders stuff with the Headmen and the Bland guys. Amazing, insane villains. That incredible panel where Doc Magnus becomes sane, after murdering his Metal Men, with the tear running down his face and the tiny word balloon going “Tina ?” That stuff really sticks with me.

    And I’ll always remember how I first heard about the destruction of the ozone layer by aerosols in his first issue of Guardians of the Galaxy. And that beautiful phrase he wrote…”lightning gerrymandered the sky,” which has been flashing up in my head for the last thirty years every time there’s a storm…

    Inspiration gets passed on like a baton in a relay race.

  • Linda Smith says:

    I remember Steve. Back in highschool. He was a year ahead of me. I was a member of the folk dance scene. I had long silky hair. I played with it tying it in knot’s. The knot’s would just pop out. I think Steve (who I called Stevie Baby) had other plan’s for me. We were never romantic. He wanted me tochange my way’s. I remember being in my liveing room. Steve my dad and I My mom had passed away whenI was sixteen. Steve telling me tostop playing with my hair, and tostop going to folk dancing. I had not seen Steve in year’s. somehowI bumped into him. I remeber being in his living room,with his baby daughter and wife. That’s it, I didknot see him again. Would have liked to. He stayed with my friend’s the Ginsberg’s in L.A.. In my studie’s of reflexology, anxiety, depression, greef,present in the lung’s. I have one of Steve’ early comic’s.It was mimigraphed. It was titled “The green Rabit. It was about the woe’s of folk dancing. Thank’s Linda

  • Ben Saunders says:

    i just read about steve’s passing in a DC comic. ever since i’ve been surfing the web reading about him, and the reactions to the news of his death – for about three hours now. my heart goes out to his family and friends. i never met steve gerber – i was just a fan of his work, for many years – but this news saddens me deeply. if it’s bad news indeed for someone who just loved the work – well, i can’t even imagine how those who knew and loved the man must feel.

    i’ve always considered him to be one of the most original writers of the 1970s. it was also my impression that he was under-appreciated. so it’s comforting to see how many people admired him and shared my opinion of his work. but i wish i could have found out how respected he was some other way. i wish he was still here.

    thanks for the many hours of mind-expanding diversion, mr. gerber. i’ll always be grateful.

  • Stefan Immel says:

    Dan Didio wrote a nice piece for DC Nation available here: http://www.dccomics.com/news/?nw=9474

  • Steve Miller says:

    I’ve been so buried in work that this very, very tragic passing had completely escaped my notice. (In fact, I only discoverd it just now while swinging by stevegerber.com.

    I have been a fan of Steve Gerber’s work since I started reading comics, and the most prized part of my collection is the box labeled “Gerber Comics.” I’ve been relishing the “Essential Marvel” books that have collected his work, even IF I have all the originals in that box. The fact there never was a second “Nevada” series is still a huge shame.

    Steve Gerber is one of the creators who inspired me to be a writer. I never got to meet him, although he did give a polite but firm rebuff when I emailed him with an offer to write a short story for “Star Wars Adventure Journal” during the brief time I was its editor. He told me that he was done with working on other people’s characters… and also that he thought “Star Wars” had gotten uninteresting after “Empire Strikes Back”.

    I don’t recall if I told him how much I loved his work, or that it has been inspiration for me. Now, I’m hoping that I did so.

  • As I hadn’t visited Steve’s web log since December 2007, I was deeply saddened to learn of his passing only this evening.

    At this time, I wish to extend my sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

    I first encountered Steve’s writing in Crazy magazine in 1974, and from there I sought out any other of his material that I could find.

    His work helped carry me through some of the darkest times in my youth, when I didn’t even have so much as a friend.

    Steve, being a man of principles both in print and in person, was a true life hero to me.

    Needless to say, he and his contributions shall be sorely missed.

    For the sake of Steve’s memory, I hope that his web site and web log will remain activated.

    Sincerely,

    Glen A. RITCHIE

    P.S.: To reiterate a statement from an earlier posting of mine, “Also, perhaps I should bring it to your attention that I’ve taken the liberty of adding The Hero Initiative to the database of non-profit organisations listed on the philanthropic search engine, GoodSearch.com.” Gentlemen, start your search engines!

  • Starocotes says:

    From the Countdown Panel at WWLA:

    http://www.newsarama.com/WWLA/08/DC/countdown.html

    [quote]
    Will there ever be an ongoing Doctor Fate series? DiDio said the original plan was to that spinning from the Gerber mini-series and now they don’t feel comfortable doing that at this point, but the character will be appearing in Reign in Hell. [/quote]
    Frankly, I think they should make an ongoing Dr. Fate series. Steve put so much work and heart into this character it would be a waste to let him sink into obscurity. I don’t think Steve would have wanted that. I think he would have liked to see someone pick up on some of his ideas and make his last work even more meaningfull.

  • Charles Bryan says:

    I agree, but I understand Dan Didio’s feelings as well. I also think it’s the rare creator that would want to step into the role on an ongoing basis right now — he or she would have to be able to do justice to Fate, and would have to feel the right balance of respect/comfort for taking on the work of a creator that had so recently passed.

    Although I wonder what kind of appearance will be realistic in the Reign in Hell mini-series. It’s not like Kent V. had really mastered many skills.

  • David Allen says:

    Can we talk legacy?

    Some of Steve’s best work has come back into print via Marvel’s Essential series, which is great, and the Howard the Duck Omnibus should help his reputation as well. But Marvel and DC can do better.

    For one thing, Essential Defenders lists a half-dozen writers on the cover (thanks to a Giant-Size story or two produced by multiple hands) whereas it’s 95 percent a Gerber production. By nature those books are title-specific, not creator-specific.

    So, some ideas for Gerber-centric collected editions to give the man his due:

    1) Foolkiller, collecting the miniseries. Way overdue.

    2) Hard Time books 2 and 3. This was the most sustained Gerber effort since the 1970s and ought to be available in permanent form.

    3) Essential Man-Thing 2. Ideally this would also collect other Gerber stories like the Rampaging Hulk backup, any uncollected Monsters Unleashed stories and the Marvel Comics Presents serial.

    4) A Marvel Visionaries: Steve Gerber hardcover with Steve’s best (fill in your own table of contents) and interesting odds and ends, say, his Iron Man Annual or his Avengers fill-in.

    5) A series of Sandman/Y: The Last Man-style TPBs collecting, in several volumes each, Steve’s Man-Thing, Defenders and Howard the Duck series.

    6) An Essential Marvel Horror book with his (and others’) Lilith stories.

    7) A Phantom Zone book collecting Steve’s Phantom Zone miniseries and the sequel in DC Comics Presents 97.

    8) A book collecting the Howard the Duck newspaper strip, little-seen and also long overdue.

    We’d all love Steve to be considered in the same breath as Gaiman, Moore, Morrison and the like, but as long as his work is reprinted haphazardly, or not at all, we’re in danger of his remaining a cult figure. Sort of like the Soofi, only more lovable.

    Any thoughts?

  • Charles Bryan says:

    I think trade paperback collections of Man-Thing and Steve’s Defenders run would be excellent additions. The Man-Thing stories would find a wider audience, I think, given that they weren’t as caught up in other characters’ titles. I know some of the early Defenders’ stories were caught up in other titles, and resolved storylines from earlier issues of the title.

    Given that the Howard Omnibus will soon be available, I don’t know that there would also be a market for trades of that title.

    I’d like to see those collections include the letters’ pages — it was often noted that Steve read every letter, and many of the letter page responses came directly from him. (They may all have come from him, but some specifcally stated “Steve G. replies:”.) Those frequently provided further insight to the stories’ origins.

  • jb says:

    I wonder if Steve left any kind of an outline for the finite set of powers for Fate he often mentioned working on here. It was important to him that Nelson didn’t turn out as just another magic character that just happens to have the right spell for any situation they come across, but has a specific arsenal of skills. I’m assuming he discussed of this with Joey Cavalieri and there are notes other writers might be able to work from.

    While I’d hate to see her leave Wonder Woman, I believe Gail Simone has both the skills and respect for Steve it would take to handle the regular Dr Fate series. To me the ideal situation is for her to get comfortable enough with WW to be able to take on a second book.

  • I just found out about Steve’s passing in a way that would make Steve chuckle up there. I actually found out from reading the latest issue of the new Marvel version of Omega the Unknown. I turned the last page to this month’s issue and there it was, the tribute to him, Steve Gerber, 1947-2008. I was very distracted by a move in February so I had been totally in the dark. I have recently been reading Gerber in connection with my comic book review writing and I’d written how much I looked forward to more of his work. I am old enough to have read the original Howard the Duck which did leave a very good impression on me. I have nothing but praise for Steve. I am a comics creator myself. I draw as well as write and Steve is an inspiration.

  • Scratchie says:

    This song came up at random on my ipod today. I had forgotten about it, but Steve had Richard Rory mention it in one of the Man-Thing/Foolkiller stories:

    THE ART OF DYING
    (George Harrison)

    There’ll come a time when all of us must leave here
    Then nothing sister Mary can do
    Will keep me here with you
    As nothing in this life that I’ve been trying
    Could equal or surpass the art of dying
    Do you believe me?

    There’ll come a time when all your hopes are fading
    When things that seemed so very plain
    Become an awful pain
    Searching for the truth among the lying
    And answered when you’ve learned the art of dying

    But you’re still with me
    But if you want it
    Then you must find it
    But when you have it
    There’ll be no need for it

    There’ll come a time when most of us return here
    Brought back by our desire to be
    A perfect entity
    Living through a million years of crying
    Until you’ve realized the Art of Dying
    Do you believe me?