Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Comics legend Steve Gerber died over the weekend. I haven't been a big Gerber fan but I had considerable respect for him. He was on the cutting edge in the 1970's bringing a kind of underground sensibility to mainstream comics. His work on Man-Thing, Omega the Unknown, and The Defenders (my personal favorite) was interesting but what he'll be remembered for is Howard the Duck.
The scan above is from Howard the Duck #16 which threw the format to the wind for a set of double page images accompanying a Gerber essay (apparently this was the result of a very tight deadline) and it sums up Gerber perfectly. He was willing to break the format, experiment, and go in new directions but there were as many missteps as there were clever ideas.
What made him daring has become mainstream and for that Gerber deserves to be remembered. He is one of the key figures of that 70's generation of comic writers who pushed things further rather than aping the silver age. For that comic book fans owe him a debt.