John Ostrander: Death and Comics

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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5 Responses

  1. Martha Thomases says:

    As someone about twenty percent of the way through Kubler-Ross’ ON GRIEF AND GRIEVING, I suspect that part of the reason so many characters come back to life in fiction (aside from creative laziness) is that it fulfills the “denial” and the “bargaining” parts of our fantasies. We want our loved ones to come back to us. Since they can’t in real life, we imagine that they do.

    That’s part of what enrages me about using the death of a character as a cheap stunt. It trivializes true loss.

  2. Dan Harris says:

    I know I’m dealing a little bit with apples vs. oranges here, but one of the things I loved about the show M*A*S*H was that they constantly referred to characters who had left, with more emphasis on the death of the character of Henry Blake than any other. They killed off the character at the end of the 3rd season, which was seen as somewhat controversial, with people writing and requesting that an episode reveal that Blake was not on the plane that had been shot down. Not only did the writers not do that, but throughout the rest of the series they made references to Henry Blake and his death. The series continued for nearly 8 years after the character left after 3 years, but they made reference to him and his death even in the second to last episode.

  3. Mark Kuhn says:

    I could not agree more, John. Editors really need to think through what they’re planning to do.

  4. Mr. Orstander hits the nail on the head.

  5. Ben says:

    Obama & his socialized medicine sucks