John Ostrander: Old Friends

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. Rick Obadiah says:


    Your article was perfectly timed! At least for me. I just finished reading (for the second time) Bram Stoker’s Dracula and started reading The Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison’s classic). Three things: we often re-discover what makes these books ‘classics’ (great story-telling, incredible writing craftmanship, and universal themes); many were read when we were young and they were assigned to us — so we didn’t appreciate them as much; and, many of these great works are exposed to us or remembered from their adaptive genres (like) movies. Don’t get me wrong: many of the movie adaptations were wonderful, like Legosi’s Dracula, but they pale in comparison to the original written word.

    A note to your readers: so many of the ‘classics’ are available for free on apps for your phone or tablet. Read them! You’ll discover how incredible Tarzan of the Apes really is or (in my opinion) why Dracula is one of the best written books of all time.

  2. Mindy Newell says:

    Oh, man, John, I’m constantly rereading books that I love!!!! THE MISTS OF AVALON, by Marion Zimmer Bradley–I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve read it. So much, in fact, that I had to go out and buy a new copy because the spine of the old one had fallen apart. I’ve reread GIANT by Edna Ferber, but I’m very careful with that one, because it’s an original version which my parents got through when it first came out. GONE WITH THE WIND a zillion times, because I find it SO much more satisfying than the movie, which, let’s face it, portrays Scarlett as a one-dimensional bitch (because Victor Hugo took over from George Cukor, although Vivien Leigh and Olivia DeHaviand continued to meet Cukor on the sly for direction and advice.) MY NAME IS ASHER LEV, by Chaim Potok, which I consider his masterpiece, waaaay better than “THE CHOSEN.” I could go on and on….

  3. remssr says:

    good post john. I think that comic book fans tend to read more than any other ‘group’ of people and to re-read favorites,because we tend to read faster and absorb more than you’re average reader. I some times just have a need to re=read a RAH book generally “citizen of the galaxy “or “stranger in a strange land” to keep my sanity and to remind me the direction I want to move in this life. as I tell my grandsons,Read-Read-Read and then DO.

  4. mike weber says:

    I was bored the other day.

    Nothing (that i knew of) that i wanted to see on teevee.

    No new books lying around.

    Did all my online stuff.

    So i picked up Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choicw.

    I got about a third of the way into it and some new books showed up.

    I am now happily about a third of the way into Wen Spencer’s latest…

  5. Enero says:

    I recently had to reread Deadshot #1 (for maybe the 100th time) because for the life of me I can never get his response of “Orlando Furioso” out of my head. I remember reading it as a kid and not getting the reference but that the reference stuck regardless. Fast forward years later to when I can google any reference instantly and I find it adds another layer to the character. This is going to sound like fan-boy gushing a little more than I intended, but just know that while you go back to Tolkien and Sir Arthur some of us are going back to you.