Steve Gerber

Back on May 19, 2005, I wrote:

Steve Gerber, writer of fine comic books such as Man-Thing and Howard the Duck (but don’t blame the movie on him!), wrote in his inaugural blog on April 4, 2005:

“I make my living as a writer. There is only one characteristic that distinguishes writers from non-writers: writers write. (That’s why there’s no such thing as an “aspiring writer.” A writer can aspire to sell or publish, but only non-writers aspire to write.) Anyway, writing for a living requires writing every day. Writing every day requires discipline. Discipline requires enforcement.
“I’ve lost the habit of writing every day. I need discipline. I need enforcement. You’re looking at it.
“I intend to post something on this blog every day. If I fail to do so, that failure will be very public, and I’ll be embarrassed by it. I don’t enjoy being embarrassed. So maybe, just maybe, making this obligation will help transform me into a habitual writer again.”

Of course, he was not able to hold to this schedule because of various ailments. Still he continued to inspire me. From July 18, 2007 re: Bill Moyers’ piece on the impeachment of George W. Bush:

Interestingly, I read about it first, not in the Huffington Post or even the knowledgeable Mark Evanier. Rather, I saw it first in Steve Gerber’s blog. Gerber is a comic book writer of some note, probably best known by the general public for Howard the Duck, and he wrote the second blog I ever read, after Fred Hembeck’s, and was the final inspiration for me starting my blog less than a month after he started his.

I never met the man. I never knew the man, except through his words. I followed his blog regularly, but didn’t write to him often.

I’m sure you know where this is going, if you haven’t heard already: Steve Gerber died late the day before yesterday. I’ll remember seeking out those first three Howard the Duck issues that my local comic book store didn’t get because the distributor thought it was a “funny book” that the store didn’t want. I’ll remember how my old employer, FantaCo, spomsored the premiere of the HTD movie, which seemed to have departed from Gerber’s vision.

But mostly, I’ll remember Steve as this smart, occasionally acerbic guy, whose example affected me far more than he could have ever known.

The aforementioned Mark Evanier is keeping Steve’s blog alive for a while.

Goodbye, Steve, and thanks.


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