Jump to content
A. Heathen

Steve Gerber - No longer trapped in a world he never made

Recommended Posts

So, I recently thought about the fact that I haven't visited Steve Gerber's blog in over a year, and wondered suddenly why his Dr. Fate series never materialized, and found some disheartening news.

Steve Gerber is suffering from a degenerative lung disease.

His Dr. Fate series will be coming later this year, but in a flip book format, so that he doesn't to work as hard to get an issue out every month.

 

Damn. Not good news. Steve Gerber is one of my favourite comic book writers. He's without a doubt my favourite 1970s comic book writer. I see him as the pre-Morrison Grant Morrison. I absolutely love his series like Man Thing, Howard the Duck, Omega the Unknown, and his run on Defenders, plus more. Pure existentialism in each story. I thought his run on Man Thing was pure genius, one of the greatest horror comics ever.

When I was dealing with panic attacks every day for months on end back in 2005, it was Steve Gerber's run on Man Thing and Howard the Duck (plus Anne Nocenti's Daredevil) which was right there with me keeping me company and making me feel less alone and scared.

 

Sad news....

You can visit Steve Gerber's blog here:

http://www.stevegerber.com/sgblog/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He created the character known as "Elf with a Gun." in the defenders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, he did. And, that was just amazing.

It was an elf....with a gun....

He'd just show up out of nowhere and kill a random person for no reason, and best of all there was no resolution.

It was just insane!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I've read is that there wasn't supposed to be any reasoning behind it. He was supposed to represent the chaotic way of the universe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, everyone…June 27th, 2007

 

…for your concern and good wishes.

 

Try to not be sad, though. Keep in mind that a somewhat positive outcome is still possible with the lung transplant.

 

Personally, I expect to continue writing comics nobody buys well into the Gore administration.

 

(Note to my enemies: Feel free to thwart my expectations by ordering extra copies of COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well said. As if lung disease wasn't enough, Steve has a catalogue of other ailments as well. Reading the blog is quite a bummer, despite Steve showing a positive attitude I could only aspire to under the same circumstances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh no....

Robert Anton Wilson, Steve Gerber, Kurt Vonnegut....

Back in 2005, when I ended up in the hospital, and then after I got out, having panic attacks every day, sure I was going to die everyday, dreading going to sleep because I was sure I wasn't going to wake up again, living with that constantly every day for months....I turned to Steve Gerber's Man Thing and Howard the Duck to help me. And, they really did help me get through each day.

Those two series and his Defenders and Omega The Unknown will stand as amongst my favourite works in comic books....right up there with Jamie Delano's Hellblazer, Neil Gaiman's best, and Jimmy Corrigan.

I'm glad that I was able to E-mail him and thank him for his work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terrible shame. The poor sod hadn't been well for a long time now, had he?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No. He contracted pneumonia, which turned out to be the first stages of a pulmonary system degenerative disease. He needed a lung replacement, and it affected his heart.

Was a huge battle.

Sad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/st...rber_1947_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.

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very sad news. I've not read a lot of Gerber's work, to be honest, but what I have seen (Hard Time, Destroyer Duck, some Howard the Duck, and a couple of issues of Omega), I've loved. I was wavering on whether or not to pre-order the upcoming Howard The Duck Omnibus HC , but hearing this news has made up my mind to do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I myself think I'm gonna give Hard Time a try.I'm fairly certain the first time I heard the mans name was on these boards in referance to news of his ill health.That's a shame he seemed to be a very interesting guy.I sincerely hope his friends and family can take some small bit of comfort in knowing he is no longer in such horrible pain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bad part about Hard Time is that there's only one Trade, and it leads the series open-ended. It only collects about the first fourth of the series.

So, you'll need to scour down back-issues to get the whole story.

I doubt that DC will ever collect the rest of the series because the sales were dismal (such a shame).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe they'll pick up a bit now Gerber's passed on? The obituarities seem to have stirred up some (ridiculously belated) interest in the guy, so perhaps some of those who've had their interest piqued will dig a bit deeper than Howard The Duck and The Defenders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...I turned to Steve Gerber's Man Thing...

 

Even while reading this news with sadness in my heart, i laughed at this. I guess this will never not funny to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just read parts 1 & 2 of Steve's Infernal Man Thing.

All the stuff we loved to read, and it seems a load of autobiographical trials and tribulations.

 

No-one in the mainstream world of DC/Marvel/etc writes like this any more, do they?

 

Here is an interview from around the time I first "met" Steve on line.

http://stevegerber.com/interviews/tartinterview.php3

 

and here's one from around the time I first read his work in a Marvel comic

http://www.tcj.com/the-steve-gerber-interview/

 

Defenders 33

http://ifanboy.com/articles/great-moments-in-comics-history-defenders-33/

 

And I constructed this thread to encourage people to read (or re-read) Nevada, Hard Time and those Essential Marvel books that feature his work.

 

Oh yeah, in case you're not reading IMT

 

Infernal Man Thing #1 ("The Screenplay of the Living Dead Man")-So good. It's even more sad, because you know that this will be the last words written by Steve Gerber.

It has a very 1980s feel to it, which is just fine for me.

Gerber picks up on a character from the original 1970s series and updates him as a more mature character. Where has his life gone since the '70s?

Mr. Norm Normal....

Of course, some of it reflects biographically into the '80s.

Brings back memories....God, that original story was such an amazing piece of artwork. Easily one of my very favourite comic book stories.

 

Now, here's just a taste of what you're missing if you choose to skip this last gasp of the genius of Steve Gerber:

"I'm as sick as you are.

You're as sick as me.

We can sink together

in this economy.

Once the dogs are dancing,

Nothing is for free!

Type the trash and take the cash,

And die creatively."

 

I won't even complain that you have to pay more for a reprint in the back pages, because I'd gladly pay $3.99 for a comic of this quality.

I already own the reprint, and I'd recommend everyone get Essential Man Thing, but if you haven't read the original stories this series is based on, I highly urge you to take advantage of the chance to read these reprints.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice article, thanks.

I think part of the problem with reboots (and I admit I wasn't fond of Zdarsky myself) is that the original Howard comics are very of their time, so adapting Howard to stuff that's happened since the turn of the '80s can look a bit odd.

Of course, the best bits of Gerber's original run being so astonishing doesn't help any with that, either...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean, it was never going to be Steve Gerber's Howard, of course. No one can put that expectation on a Howard reboot.

I thought Zdarsky did do an admirable job. It was the best Howard the Duck that was not written by Steve Gerber. The after-Beverly story was as close as anyone is going to get to writing a Steve Gerber-quality Howard story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...