Sympathy Ploy

January 9th, 2008 by Steve Gerber

Greetings from Mountain View Hospital, Observation Unit, Room 2, in Las Vegas.

Mary drove me to the emergency room yesterday, and I was admitted pretty much immediately. My oxygen saturation percentage was in the 70s. (Ninety and above is considered normal.) It had reached the point that walking across a room was leaving me winded.

It’s pneumonia.

So now I’m on IV antibiotics, IV steroids, 10 liters of oxygen per minute, a hurricane-force bi-PAP machine at night — and a beautiful laptop afflicted with Windows Vista. There’s pain, and then there’s pain.

They expect I’ll be in here through the weekend. I’m in an accepting mood. If it takes that long to get me functional again, fine. In the meantime, maybe I can actually get caught up on Doctor Fate and that Omnibus introduction. (I know, I know — my health comes first, but my spirits improved mightily when I got my hands on this machine this afternoon.)

I’ll keep you informed as my recuperation progresses.


January 6th, 2008 by Steve Gerber

…for not posting more regularly.

I’ve been sick again, damn it, and very little work is getting done.

This may mean that COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY #6 will be late, and that, for scheduling reasons, I won’t be able to write the introduction to Marvel’s Howard the Duck Omnibus edition.

I have seldom been so thoroughly pissed off.

And saying so just depleted the last of my energy.


With Friends Like These…

December 31st, 2007 by Steve Gerber

Looking back at ’07, I find the emotion that predominates for me is gratitude. In the main, people were awfully nice to me in 2007, helping me cope with everything from deadline difficulties problems to panic attacks — yes, real ones, brought on by extreme shortness of breath — to, on occasion, maintaining a simple sense of self-worth in the face of encroaching disability.

The list is long, and it’s almost inevitable I’ll forget somebody, but even so, I need to thank all of the following:

Buzz and Soon-ok Dixon; Art and Judy Ginsberg; Gordon and Donna Kent; Jim McLauchlin and the members of the board of The HERO Initiative; Bill Willingham, for postulating the Tenth Age of Magic and giving me a ’98 Ford Windstar he happened to have lying around; Erik Larsen, Nat Gertler, the folks at Image Comics, and the folks at Marvel Comics (!), all for reasons you’ll hear about shortly; Dan Didio, Paul Levitz, and Joey Cavalieri of DC Comics, for keeping me working during the year; Justiniano and Walden Wong, for making my scripts look wonderful in Doctor Fate; Mike and Carol Gerber, my brother and sister-in-law, for their genuine concern, despite the fact that a decade or more had gone by since I’d seen them; my daughter Samantha M. Voll, my new son-in-law Jeff, and Samantha’s mother, Margo M. Macleod, for acting as if I mattered, which was asking a lot; Bret Walker, for watching me cry in my Starbucks when necessary; Carol Lay for pep talks, shop talk, and “Waylay”, one of the most original comic strips on the net; Jennifer Meyer, for her friendship.

Then, there’s Mary Skrenes, who has saved my sanity and my bacon so many times that she should just give me a Jimmy Olsen signal watch to summon her for emergencies.

And Harris Miller, my friend and attorney, who worries about me, I think, but never seems to lose faith.

And Mark Evanier, whose friendship and support over the years, from the darkest days of the Duck lawsuit to the present, has been incalculable.

And my favorite Internet Slut (yes, a real person; she finds that sobriquet funny) for reasons that shall remain unspecified.

I’d also like to thank all of you who read this blog regularly and, even more so, those of you who’ve bought COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY. (Now if I could just get you to talk it up on the other boards a little more…!)

Thank you again.

And Happy New Year to one and all.


December 31st, 2007 by Steve Gerber

Doing some hard disk housekeeping, I ran across two WAV files I thought I’d lost years and years ago — my impressions of Destroyer Duck’s “QWAAAGGGH!” and Howard the Duck’s “WAAUUUGH!” exclamations.

There’s a good reason to post both of them here, and I’ll be doing that shortly.

Meanwhile, in case it escaped your notice — as it did mine, until Gail Simone pointed it out in an email — Rich Johnston’s Lying in the Gutters column of 12/24/07 carried an interesting little item under the heading of “Christmas Charity”. Take a look. I’ll have more to say about it in the near future.

By the way, I’m not the only person mentioned in that piece. Give some thought to helping the other guy, too.

Sick Again…

December 29th, 2007 by Steve Gerber

It never fails. I’ve got urgent writing to do this weekend, and the diet was starting to work again — so naturally, I come down with something flu-like that floors me utterly and puts me back on 60 mg of prednisone for the next five days.

This is the Cosmic Thwart at work. It’s a force in the universe that targets whatever is most critical in life, whatever matters most at a given moment, and, with the accuracy of William Tell armed with a laser-sighted rifle, brings down precisely the skills and abilities needed to accomplish that thing.

I’ve been on intimate terms with the Cosmic Thwart for most of my life. I’m told it doesn’t afflict everyone equally — I don’t know. I probably need to go watch The Secret again.


Oh, BTW…

December 27th, 2007 by Steve Gerber

…I think I may have actually stumbled on a way to fully automate page, panel, and balloon numbering in the Word comic book script template. It’ll mean a drastic rewrite of the VBA code if it works, but fortunately most of that work be aimed at simplification. The old numbering method was vastly more complicated.

I may be calling for volunteers to test the little beast as it creeps toward completion.

Weekly Weigh-In (Feh)

December 26th, 2007 by Steve Gerber

Starting weight: 215

Previous weight: 217

Current weight: 214.5

Moving the right direction, anyway. Finally.

Interview on PULSE

December 24th, 2007 by Steve Gerber

Click here.

Regular readers of this blog will already be familiar with most of the ideas and opinions expressed, but Jen’s questions did elicit a couple of responses you haven’t heard before.

Take a look — and if you’re enjoying COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY, please comment on the article and let Jen’s readers know.

Good grief. It’s Christmas eve day already?

How the hell did that happen?

What with continuing health annoyances and worsening computer catastrophes, I’ve just been through one of the most aggravating months of my life.

Another week and we can put this year out of its misery. About time.

Happy holidays, all.

Weekly Weigh-In & Prednisone Laff Riot #1-c

December 19th, 2007 by Steve Gerber

Starting weight: 215

Previous weight: 215.5

Current weight: 217

In truth, I’ve only been back on the diet stringently for a couple of days. Now that I’m actually on the transplant list, dumping the weight has taken on an even greater urgency. Next week’s number should be more meaningful…or so I’m telling myself.

It’s Official

December 18th, 2007 by Steve Gerber

UCLA called yesterday.

I’m on the lung transplant waiting list.