John Ostrander: Nasty Surprises

John Ostrander

John Ostrander started his career as a professional writer as a playwright. His best known effort, Bloody Bess, was directed by Stuart Gordon, and starred Dennis Franz, Joe Mantegna, William J. Norris, Meshach Taylor and Joe Mantegna. He has written some of the most important influential comic books of the past 25 years, including Batman, The Spectre, Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Suicide Squad, Wasteland, X-Men, and The Punisher, as well as Star Wars comics for Dark Horse. New episodes of his creator-owned series, GrimJack, which was first published by First Comics in the 1980s, appear every week on ComicMix.

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4 Responses

  1. mike weber says:

    Two things:

    One: Wolfe and Archie are the template for Glen Cook’s “Garrett, PI” fantasy novels

    Two: When i first read the early Tommy Hambledon books, set during and immediately after the First and Second World Wars, i was rather startled by the casual low-level antisemitism in British society that occasionally pops up – and the rather-less-than-casual (though mostly low-key) antisemitic attitudes in the first two (WW One to just before WW Two, mostly set in Germany).

    Now, the few overtly-Jewish characters we meet in those stories are pretty much ordinary people – one is a German WW1 flying ace who falls afoul of Goering in later years), sort of like your point about the authors’ portrayal of attitudes vs reality, but it was sort of startling the first time i tracked those early books down.

    They’re still good books.

    • Mindy Newell says:

      There’s a great book, non-fiction, by Anthony Julius (who was Princess Diana’s lawyer in her suit against Prince Charles) about anti-Semitism in England, Mike.

      “Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England.”

      And the Brits took in hundreds of Jewish children refugees before and during WW II. (Of course during the war they were smuggled out.)

      • mike weber says:

        Really, it still existed into the 1970s – The Goodies, one of my very favourite Britcoms has bits and pieces of black and Jewish stereotypes scattered among the brilliance – one of the most blatant being when the Goodies take over the British film industry, and all three appear in fur coats, with little round-brimmed hats and, big cigars and hooked noses.

  2. Robert Smith says:

    John have you read “A Right To Die”? Its a sorta sequel that Stout published in 1964 and Archie’s racial attitudes have thankfully grown a bit more mature and sophisticated in the almost thirty years between the two books.