Monday, February 11, 2008

RIP Steve Gerber

Steve Gerber has passed away at age 60. Best known for being one of the creators of HOWARD THE DUCK, Gerber also contributed numerous other characters to the comics world, including OMEGA THE UNKNOWN and FOOLKILLER, both of which, along with HTD have or have very recently had new miniseries based on them released from Marvel.

I came late to HTD; in fact, I'm not sure I ever really "got" what others got out of it (its effect on a large number of creators really can't be overstated), though I've started to recently by digging back in to Marvel's ESSENTIAL HOWARD THE DUCK trade. More than his actual work, what I really knew and admired Gerber for was his standing up for creators rights. His fight for credit and compensation for creating HTD, a character he had a connection to and remained passionate about right up till the end, was the first time I encountered the notion that creators had rights that sometimes have to be fought for.

Beyond that, HTD and Gerber inspired a huge number of comic creators, setting the bar high for what could be accomplished--or even attempted--in the comic medium, at a time when few saw it as anything other than disposable kids entertainment.

A couple weeks back, my friend Marc Bryant chimed in The Holiday Men's comments section to mention Gerber was going through some health issues and to encourage people to go over to Gerber's blog to wish him well.

I did go to the blog (which I'd read periodically for some time), but I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't comment. Looking at the heartfelt messages left by others, I found myself at a loss for words. Online communication creates a distance between people, even those who are chatting in realtime. I feared...I don't really know what I feared. That I might look crass, maybe? That my words might somehow ring hollow, or worse, be perceived or received in a manner they weren't intended? That anything I might say couldn't possibly be good enough to justify inflicting on the guy?

In any event, I didn't say anything. And I've got a feeling I'll be regretting that for a long time.

Via The Beat

No comments: