Everything Changes, By Dennis O’Neil

Dennis O'Neil

Dennis O'Neil was born in 1939, the same year that Batman first appeared in Detective Comics. It was thus perhaps fated that he would be so closely associated with the character, writing and editing the Dark Knight for more than 30 years. He's been an editor at Marvel and DC Comics. In addition to Batman, he's worked on Spider-Man, Daredevil, Iron Man, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, the Question, The Shadow and more. O'Neil has won every major award in the industry. His prose novels have been New York Times bestsellers. Denny lives in Rockland County with his wife, Marifran.

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12 Responses

  1. Rick Taylor says:

    Change is the one constant.I've learned to say 'never' a whole lot less these days as more and more of my 'past lives' find ways to connect.Thanks for being out there.

  2. Andrew Bergstrom says:

    It has been a pleasure to read your thoughts here Mr. O'Neil, and a rare treat to have your insights on the industry. I hope one day to cross your path to shake your hand and thank you personally for your past work that gave me such joy growing up. Your stories helped me find my worldview, and hone my sense of self and values. For the years of escapist fiction and thought provoking stories I can only wish you the best, and hope you might stop by to add your comments here on articles of interest when you have time.

  3. Russ Rogers says:

    Denny, you will be missed. Heck, I'm already missing next weeks column. (Sometimes the procrastinator plans ahead) You are one of the few comic book writers that I have referenced and quoted in day to day conversation. You have shaped my world view since the day Alan Plessinger lent me his copies of "Snowbirds Don't Fly," thirty-five years ago.I remember a parable about a monkey, a banana and a jar. I learned this parable from a wise Sensei … and Batman … and you. I've used this parable in conversation and sometimes (in my wiser moments) as a personal guide. I think the moral is, "Sometimes it's best to just let go."My hope is that you go on to write many more comics and novels and columns. I will look for them. I can mollify my grief at your columns absence next week by going back and rereading your old columns or even searching out the columns you wrote before I crashed this party. Thank you for that gift. Rock on! Your fan, Russ Rogers

  4. Chris Gumprich says:

    Thank you, Denny.

  5. Marc Alan Fishman says:

    It's been a pleasure being able to read your thoughts (as in, written, not via telepathy) here on Comicmix. I've only been here as a reader for little over 6 months, but in that time, your column has always been one I looked forward to. It's not often we get to "meet" comic book writers out of the context of a con or signing… and to have been able to read about all the other facets in your life has truly been something to cherish. Best wishes in any future endeavors you shall take on Denny. Thank you.

  6. David Wilber says:

    Dear Mr. O’Neil, Your posts were the reason I found this site, and it’s a shame to see that this one is (at least for now) the last. For what the testimony of ‘some-guy-you-don’t-know’ is worth, thank you. Not just for your life’s work, your insights, your recommendations and musings – but for, whether you know it or not, being an inspiration. While it’s likely you’ve inspired myriad people through your work alone (whether or not they knew your name), I can only speak for myself. It is because of your work that I love Batman, a hero who champions perseverance, preparation, and commitment. Also – text within the preface of The DC Guide to Writing Comics played a large part in my choice of graduate writing program (a winding story for perhaps some other time). It’s not just your work though, but also your approach. I believe the mantra oft-repeated in the DC Guide is, "There is seldom any one, absolute, inarguable, unimpeachably right way to do anything," and I don’t know any better way than citing that sentence to prove that your attitude comprises humility, hopefulness, and realism in spades – each a quality that a lot of people have trouble getting down, and sometimes especially those who’ve had your level of success. I remember watching an interview on one of several possible comic-related DVD’s, and you talked about how you’d hoped that your stories would reach a few smart kids who’d open their minds. Smart or not might depend on who you ask, but you definitely got to me. (And us kids growing up in Flint, Michigan could use all the help we could get.) So here I am, a longtime reader who’s always meant to say something and never gotten around to it – finally writing, because it might be his last chance. That’s further proof that, as you said, everything changes. Far be it from me (now some-guy-you-barely-know) to contradict the master. But (since I've always had a problem keeping my mouth shut anyway)… know that the positive effect your work and attitude have had on the lives of so many will not change. I am largely who I am today because of who Batman was 20 years ago, and who Batman was – well, that was up to you. Thank you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the articles. I've enjoyed reading them for however long I've been here and will continue to read your writings.-David

  8. Rob says:

    I'm another who came to ComicMix because I found you were writing here. I can't tell you how profoundly disappointed I am that you won't be continuing your column.Best to you, in all things. And thank you.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I just found out you posted here last week, and now you are gone :( ComicMix fail.

  10. Anonymous says:

    We haven't had our annual lunch, and I miss it. Someone told me you were dead, but that seemed unlikely, and I finally did a google search, only to find that you certainly aren't. Can we do a lunch before Xmas? Quite a bit to catch up with.Send to aturner6@nyc.rr.com Or phone: 212-225-2648

  11. Ken Pisani says:

    I can’t adequately express my dismay at learning that Denny’s weekly ruminations on all things thoughtful (yes, I know that’s redundant) has been “terminated,” for lack of a better term (and for whatever bizarre reason). What a pleasure to read his thoughts on a variety of subjects… and his acrobatic mastery in tying all those thoughts, on topics ranging from politics to philosophy to art and transcendence, back to comics.Alas, the loss is not mine alone but anyone who “clicks” to ComicMix regularly (a course of action I see no reason to continue). Instead of Denny’s thoughtful, provocative and informed-by-a-lifetime columns, here’s what you have to look forward to: (All links to stories in the current ComicMix homepage):Pet Robot’s (sic) Gains ScreenwriterWarhammer Collection to Contain Game PremiumWayans’ ‘Munsters’ Revamp Back on TrackRidley Scott May Direct ‘Monopoly’The Asshole Express Card, by Michael DavisYawn.“Change” and Budhist wisdom notwithstanding, I cannot help but observe that our world diminishes daily… and we allow it to happen.

    • Russ Rogers says:

      Ken, Michael Davis' Column got canceled the same week as Denny O'Neil's. The only reason it was on the ComicMix homepage was somebody had just commented on it. (That's how I found YOUR comment here!) This was true for ALL the ComicMix Columnists! They all got canceled, including ComicMix Editor, Mike Gold! You can find Michael Davis, Martha Thomases and Mike Gold continuing their columns at http://www.MichaelDavisWorld.com. John Ostrander promises to regularly write a column on his message board: http://www.comicscommunity.com/boards/ostrander/And Elayne Riggs can be found at http://elayneriggs.blogspot.com/Here's a bit of Budhist type wisdom: shit happens. Here's another: Change is inevitable. But whether you see the world as diminished or not, depends on how you see the half full glass.Mike Gold, Elayne Riggs, John Ostrander, Martha Thomases and the MOTU himself, Michael Davis have decided that they can continue writing a column, even if ComicMix won't host them. I don't see why Denny can't do the same, if he wants. For that matter Ken, so can you! Make the world a better place Ken. Let your light shine and your voice be heard. Write a blog!