Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Rest in Peace, Steve Gerber

After a battle with pulmonary fibrosis, a loved writer by both critics and fans alike Steve Gerber died on Sunday. He was 60 years old.

For comic book fans, he was known for his work in the 70's on such Marvel titles as the Defenders and Man-Thing. He also has notable runs on such titles as Son of Satan and the Guardians of the Galaxy. He worked a few years on animation and other things, and recently returned to comics again to write the Dr. Fate feature in DC's Countdown to Mystery series.

For me, when I think of Steve Gerber I think of his creation Howard the Duck. This title was full of satire and social commentary, as the title character of the series tried to survive in a world that was not his own. I think, for me, those aspects reflected a lot in Gerber's work. He was always putting in layers of social commentary, relevant to the times but adapted for the series in question. Sometimes his stuff would get deep...really deep. And it would be lost on me as a kid. Even as an adult, I can appreciate those depths when I reread collections that feature his work.

The tragedy too is his dying at such a young age. Many writers work well into their 70's and 80's. The comic book community has lost a unique voice.

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