Steve Gerber, R.I.P.
Mark Evanier has announced the death of comics legend Steve Gerber on his website.
Gerber was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and had been in and out of hospitals for quite a while — an experience he had been chronicling on his website. Gerber’s career in comics included work with a variety of publishers, most notably as an editor at Marvel, during which he co-created the character of Howard the Duck.
Howard, born in Steve’s amazing mind and obviously autobiographical to a large degree, took the industry by storm. The creation was in many ways a mixed blessing to his creator. It led to an ugly and costly legal battle over ownership, which Steve settled out of court. It led to the occasional pains when he occasionally returned to the character and, due to reasons external and internal, found that he could not go home again. It also led to the sheer annoyance of watching the 1986 motion picture of Howard (produced with minimal involvement on Steve’s part) open to withering reviews and dreadful business. Still, the issues he did are widely regarded as classics…and Howard is often cited as a character who only Steve could make work.
Gerber’s work also included the development of the popular cartoon series “Thundarr the Barbarian.” Gerber had recently been working on the DC series Countdown to Mystery: Doctor Fate.