Tagged: Roy Thomas

Get Ready to Blast Off With Carson of Venus!

CARSON OF VENUS is an all-new full color online weekly comic strip of interplanetary romantic adventure brought to you by writer Martin Powell and artists Thomas Floyd and Diana Leto. Carson of Venus is produced by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Incorporated. Look for Carson of Venus’ launch on June 1st!

Join the Excitement! For only $1.99 per month you can get Carson of Venus and the all-new TARZAN comic strip by Roy Thomas and Tom Grindberg– and there are more fantastic ERB comic strips on the way– at no additional cost!

Subscribe Today at http://www.edgarriceburroughs.com/comics/

Mike Gold: Screw The Zombies!

Gold Art 130508OK, folks. It’s official. The zombie thing has gone on way too long. Time to stomp them back into the ground and move on.

Truth be told, and with all due respect to George Romero and Robert Kirkman, I was never much of a zombie fan. There’s not a lot you can do with the buggers, and even by stretching the rules and applying our contemporary wussification of the monster legends… there’s still not that much you can do with them.

There have been zombie stories that I’ve enjoyed, particularly Stan Lee and Bill Everett’s classic “Zombie!” from Menace #5, July 1953. Twenty years later this inspired something of a revival with Marvel’s black-and-white magazine Tales of the Zombie. Or, in other words, it took two decades and the combined talents of Roy Thomas, Steve Gerber, John Buscema and Tom Palmer to finally come up with a worthy sequel.

This is not to say that all subsequent zombie stories sucked. Not in the least. But the massive proliferation of zombies throughout our mass media has, you’ll forgive the expression, choked the life out of the concept. By definition, zombies have no personality and not all that much to say. Their diet is really boring: only in St. Louis can the population stomach so much brain meat.

(I’ve eaten brains… once. Once. Believe me, it sounds better than it tastes. To quote musician Steve Goodman, “Even the cockroaches moved next door.” However, it is more palatable than goat’s head soup.)

As we continue to sashay through the 2013 convention season, it is tedious to see that so many cosplayers have chosen this motif as the subject of their craft. It doesn’t take long to glaze over the horde; if you’ve seen one hundred zombies, you’ve seen them all. And by the time my second show of this year’s convention season concluded, believe me, I have seen them all.

It’s time for something new.

Maybe something that’s actually… alive!

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases


Dennis O’Neil: Giants

O'Neil Art 130411The latest issue of Roy Thomas’s fine magazine Alter-Ego arrived in today’s mail. This one was dedicated to the late Joe Kubert, who died some seven months ago. It arrives a couple of days after I learned of the passing of Joe’s contemporary (and my ex-boss) Carmine Infantino. The synchronicity is odd and painful. These two men were excellent artist/storytellers and quite a bit more and they were among the first of their kind; they helped invent comic books.

Years back, when I was chipper and unbald and fanzine folk began asking to interview me, I was flattered and – sure, always happy to open my gob. And so I did. But I wondered: shouldn’t these young journalists be talking to the older guys, the ones who were there at the beginning? Because most of them were already past youth and, as novelist Samuel R. Delany observed at the time, comics were still new enough for interested parties to read almost everything that had been published. Wasn’t this an unparalleled opportunity? Didn’t the happy coincidence of accessible talent and available work provide a chance to really examine, closely, the emergence and evolution of an art form? Because, for obvious reasons, this ideal coincidence wouldn’t be in effect forever. Wasn’t a lot of interesting and potentially valuable information in danger of being lost?

Well, maybe some was lost, or will yet be lost, but probably not as much as I feared. There were interviews that I knew nothing about and a lot of the pioneers still had plenty of talk left in them. And communication was about to boom: the quaint mimeoed and hectographed fanzines were giving way to stuff produced by slicker technologies and those, in turn, were in the shadow of forthcoming electronica, an example of which is before you at this instant. Scholars and hobbyists alike are continuing to investigate and document comics and please allow me a modest hurray.

It seems safe to say that comics are the most documented art form in history (though cinema may have some claim to that honor.) We have large amounts of what. Now, how about some more why? There are, I hereby aver, correspondences between the evolution of comics, particularly superhero comics, and that of mythology/religion. A properly focused exploration into one might reveal something about the others and, storytelling being one of mankind’s primary activities, this revelation could help us discover meanings that have so far eluded us. Another possibility: the influence cartooning in general and comics in particular has had on journalism.

Does anyone sniff a term paper? A thesis, even? Or have such papers already been written? Could be, I guess.

Meanwhile: we have lost two of our founders, and in our usual helplessness, we can do no more than mourn, and we should.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman


Dennis O’Neil: Puzzles

O'Neil Art 130110Show of hands: who here works the New York Times crossword puzzle? Okay, put ‘em down. Those of you who raised your hands, and you know who you are (though I don’t) might have a definition for the word “olio,” which has been known to appear in the puzzle now and again, and nowhere else that I’ve ever seen. The rest of you? Well, maybe I just shrugged. (How can you ever be sure?)

Anyway, today’s blatherthon will be a bit of an olio.

Which we’ll begin with an item about, yes, a crossword puzzle. The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart enlisted the puzzle’s editor, Will Shortz, in helping him propose to the lady who’s now Mrs. Stewart. Together, they concocted a puzzle that contained the proposal and gave it to the object of Jon’s affections. You can guess the rest. And is this not one of the coolest proposals ever?

Had lunch Saturday with my old pal/colleague Carl Potts, who informed me that another one-time colleague, Bobbie Chase, has joined her old boss, Bob Harris, in the enchanted precincts of DC Comics editorial suite. I knew both Bob and Bobbie when I worked for Marvel Comics long ago. The comics biz thus continues to be a revolving door kind of enterprise with many creative and editorial serfs going from one company to the other and maybe back again. Yet both companies have managed to retain their identities. Curious, huh? Any business majors looking for a thesis topic? Or do you disagree? Could I be wrong? Did I just shudder? (How can you ever be sure?)

Notice the italicized word in the previous paragraph? If not, maybe it isn’t there and Crankus, the evil god of technology, has struck again! Italics were absent from a sentence in last week’s blatherthon, spirited away somewhere between this computer and your screen. Gone! Pfut! And does this mean that some did not get the joke the italic was supposed to serve, and did legions weep?

Notice the exclamation point in the previous paragraph? You did. Ah, Crankus is napping. But did you know that when I crept into the comics business 47 years ago, give or take, we writers were instructed to end (here comes another italic) every sentence with an exclaimer? Enough to make a (punctuation-loving) grammarian gag, isn’t it? Newly minted young snot English major that I was back then, I bristled, but so slightly that no one noticed and besides, the guys in suits (italics alert!) did have a reason for the rule. We were told that the printing was so crude that ordinary periods might not transfer onto the page.

About those guys in suits: that was pretty much everyone who had a desk job. First day, I got my orders: suit and tie, though maybe nice jacket and tie might have eked past muster. Bit of a problem for me because, though I was used to wearing ties, I didn’t have a suit. Roy Thomas took me to Macy’s and I dropped a fast thirty bucks or so on new haberdashery. At last, the big time…

RECOMMENDED LEARNING EXPERIENCE: The Spiritual Brain: Science and the Religious Experience. Lecture series presented by Dr. Andrew Newberg, from The Teaching Company/Great Courses.

Friday: Martha Thomases Gets Soapy



All New Tarzan Comic Strips created exclusively for www.edgarriceburroughs.com/comics, the first new Tarzan comic strips in over a decade, are available when you subscribe for only $1.99/month. Login any time to see the Newest Tarzan Comic Strip [with Bonus Material included] and also all previous New Tarzan Strips.

Edgar Rice Burroughs Comic Service is here. By signing up for the new Edgar Rice Burroughs Comic Service, you will be able to view New and Coming Tarzan comics as soon as they leave our artist’s desk!

Read the recent All Pulp interviews with Tarzan 2012 comic strip writer Roy Thomas and artist Tom Grindberg.


All Pulp sat down with Roy Thomas, writer of the upcoming Tarzan Sunday Strips about the project as well as his legendary comic book career.

AP: Tell us a little about yourself and your pulp and comic book interests.

RT: Loved the comics medium since I discovered them at around age 4 1/2, starting with things like Superman and Batman, but nowadays don’t follow the field at all… I just collect comics from the Golden and Silver Ages, plus a few other things. At age 10 or so I read a few pulps like PLANET STORIES (have already read PLANET COMICS); only pulp I have now are a complete-but-for-one collection of the magazine appearances of Conan, plus the complete Adam Link stories of Eando Binder and a couple of others.

AP: How did you get your start as a comic book writer?

RT: Wrote to letters to comics editors, esp. Julius Schwartz–and one day in early 1965 Mort Weisinger, with whom I’d never exchanged more than one or two letters, offered me a job as editorial assistant on the Superman books. I threw over a foreign relations fellowship and went to work for DC… two weeks later, for Marvel.

AP: With Tarzan’s 100th anniversary in full swing, you’ve landed the writing duties on a new Tarzan Sunday web strip along with artist Tom Grindberg. What can we expect from this new strip?

RT: Beautiful artwork from Tom and our attempt to tell stories which will be true to the classic spirit of Tarzan.

AP: Will the Tarzan strip be an on-going project?

RT: We hope so. We have to be able to make a minimum of money from it after a little while, but mostly we’re doing it for the love of it.

AP: Anything you can tease about the new Tarzan strips?

RT: The story involves the disappearance of Jane, and Tarzan’s involvement with La, who’d like to take her place. Tom had drawn several of the La sequence strips before I came aboard, so I figured we’d find a way to make everything fit as a story. At this writing, we’ve done nine “weeks,” I guess… the equivalent of nine Sunday strips, if they were appearing in newspapers… which they ought to be.

AP: Do you, as a writer, approach doing a web comic such as Tarzan any differently than if you were doing it for a newspaper or comic book?

RT: Yes, you have to write in little bursts… a climax of sorts every few panels. But you quickly get into the rhythm, and I know that whatever I come up with, Tom will draw beautifully. He, as much as Tarzan, is the reason I’m doing this, even though we really hardly know each other. But I’ve always loved his work… and the fact that he isn’t too busy right now with comic book work to even consider such a project is as damning of the present-day field as anything I could think to say about it.

AP: There seem to be many different opinions about what can be defined as pulp. How do you define pulp and what do you look for in a pulp story as a writer and a reader? Do you consider Tarzan a pulp hero?

RT: Sure. Tarzan started in a pulp, albeit a higher-class one than some… and he and ERB almost definite pulp, at least at the high end.

AP: Tarzan is not your first time stepping into the world of pulp. How does working on Tarzan compare and contrast to working on Conan?

RT: We’ll have to see. They’re quite different characters… both men of action, but Tarzan is probably more introspective than Conan. When I did the TARZAN comics for Marvel, I tried too hard to keep ERB’s prose when I was adapting the novel TARZAN, LORD OF THE JUNGLE. You can’t do that as easily or as well as you can with REH and Conan, because ERB doesn’t write purple and/or poetic prose the way Howard does. ERB just tells the story… so I should’ve thrown away most of those captions I wrote for TARZAN, or severely shortened then. I don’t feel the same way about CONAN.

AP: Where do you see the comic book industry in the future?

RT: Online, probably. That’s another reason I’m less interested in it. I can get interested in writing an online strip… because it’s basically the same as writing a strip for newspapers, and I already do that by working with Stan, for over a dozen years now, on the SPIDER-MAN strip… and of course I wrote two years of a CONAN strip 30 years ago. But I’m personally less interested in READING an online strip, because I want to hold the paper in my hands, etc. I hope and trust many other readers nowadays do not feel the same, and we’ll do the best we can to deliver the kind of strip they’d like if they read it once a week in the Sunday papers, surrounded by “Dilbert” and “Classic Peanuts.”

AP: And how can we get the millions of fans that enjoy movies based on comic books to pick up the source material?

RT: If I knew that, I’d be rich. I’m not rich…but I’m comfortable.

AP: Is there a particular character out there you haven’t had the chance to work on that you would love to take a crack at writing?

RT: No characters I haven’t written that I can think of that I’m wild about writing… though I’d like to write AGAIN some of those I wrote before: Conan… the Invaders… All-Star Squadron… Infinity, Inc… Arak, Son of Thunder… Captain Carrot… Jonni Thunder… hey, even Starr the Slayer. Couldn’t do worse than THAT Marvel mini-series of a couple of years ago. It made my skin crawl. Or would have, if I’d bought it and taken it home with me instead of just skimming it at the store and putting it firmly back on the shelf. Still, somebody there was trying to be creative… I just wish they’d done it with (and TO) their own character, and not one I co-created.

AP: Where can readers find information on you and your work?

RT: In general, I can be Googled, like everybody else… but I eschew Facebook and the like, though Tom Grindberg will keep me apprised of what readers say to him on Facebook. They can reach me at roydann@ntinet.com or write me a letter at the address that’s in every issue of ALTER EGO, my heroic-comics-history magazine.

AP: What upcoming projects do you have coming up that you can tell us about at this time?

RT: No comics besides TARZAN and the ongoing SPIDER-MAN strip I work on with Stan Lee. I have a couple of comics projects, esp. One, that’s near to making a deal on…but it’s hard to find time for it, because I’ve signed a contract to write a biiiggg book about Stan’s life for Taschen, the German company that published that big DC book by Paul Levitz last year. Similar format and size… so it’ll be big and expensive, and is about to start taking up a huge percentage of my time. I’ll be lucky to keep everything else minimally afloat till I finish it, months from now!

AP: Do you have any shows, signings, or conventions coming up where your fans can meet you?

RT: Not till Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC, next June. Well, actually, there’s another big con coming up late this winter… but they’ve asked me not to mention it till they announce it, so… like I said, I’m gonna be busy with this book and my previous commitments.

AP: And finally, what does Roy Thomas do when he’s not writing?

RT: I read (though hard to find time these days)… watch a lot of TV (Netflix and Canadian, mostly) with Dann… and spend time exercising (not rigorously) and playing with our eight dogs, feeding the capybaras, etc., etc. Always something to do when you’ve got a 40-acre spread and a couple of houses… I even have to help clean up the swimming pool, though that season is about over right now.

AP: Thanks, Roy. We’re looking forward to following the new adventures of Tarzan.

You can learn more about Tarzan and the Sunday Strips at www.edgarriceburroughs.com

Also, check out All Pulp’s interview with Tarzan Sunday Strip artist Tom Grindberg at http://allpulp.blogspot.com/2012/08/artist-tom-grindberg-takes-all-pulp-on.html


All Pulp sat down with Tom Grindberg, artist of the upcoming Tarzan Sunday Strips about the project as well as his comic book career and love of pulps.

AP: Tell us a little about yourself and your pulp and comic book interests.

TG: Pulps in general were their from the beginning and deserve as much place if not more importance than that other medium called comics. My interests and appreciation for the Pulps was the blend of text enhanced with pictures. So many great illustrators of that era are just being discovered by today’s artists and fans and I for one am a huge fan too. I also would love to see more publishers repackage some key stories or even lessor known works to a new audience of fresh eyes. So much material could spawn and inspire this younger crop of creators coming into the business pervaded with only superheros. The pulps have so much variety and choices for any group out there looking for newer idea’s to entertain.

AP: How did you get your start as a comic book artist?

TG: I went to both Marvel and DC comics back in 1981 when I was still 19 years old and began my career in comics. I went to Marvel and met Jim Shooter who was the EIC at the time and he basically asked which rock did I crawl from under and gave me my first assignment. It was an inventory job to test me out on. That same day I went to DC’s offices and met Ernie Colon they’re art director at the time. He offered about the same thing but did mention something about illustrating Batman, which really was not as hot as the Marvel characters at the time and since I already had a commitment from Marvel I stayed put with my first offer. Never take your first offer! Sometimes it’s best to go with your gut instincts. nuff said!

AP: With Tarzan’s 100th anniversary in full swing, you’ve landed the art duties on a new Tarzan Sunday web strip along with writer Roy Thomas. What can we expect from this new strip?

TG: Well for one thing you can bank on all new plots and art! Both me and Roy have plotted roughly years worth of material. Most of that material will happen in Africa in the 1940’s before the second world war and thus allow us to bring that element if it crosses Tarzans path to be included. Tarzan, Jane as well as the Wazuri tribe are part of the cast along with La of Opar. We also want to explore as many places within the Tarzan universe that ERB created as possible. The possibilities are endless and I hope that we can entertain old as well as new readers to keep everyone interested in the strip.

AP: Will the Tarzan strip be an on-going project?

TG: Yes, we will be doing only Sundays at this moment for as long as it is feasible for us to continue a continuity strip. Essentially, its all up to you and the readers and how much of a need there is for this centennial character.

AP: Anything you can tease about the new Tarzan strips?

TG: Not to give too much away but I have been teasing the heck out of many on FaceBook lately and have stirred up enough peoples expectations and interest enough. They what to see more and more. I’ll keep posting newer images without spoiling too much of the storyline.

AP: Do you, as an artist, approach doing Tarzan as a web comic any differently than if you were doing it for a newspaper or comic book?

TG: Not really, only thing is that if it does go to print the dimensions of the book will be more rectangular, but other than that my I approach this with the same attitude as regular comics. Though with each Sunday your more focused on keeping the readers expectations high so that they want to see next weeks installment, I think in today’s comics your allowed a bit more room to roam and not too confined. In every Sunday I am trying to give the readers as much art as possible without it looking like a pile of mini panels unless it warrants it for something narrative or cinematic. I love to create a rich and lush environment but not to overkill the entire design of each Sunday with too much or too muddy it up.

AP: There seem to be many different opinions about what can be defined as pulp. How do you define pulp and what do you look for in a pulp story as an artist and a reader? Is Tarzan a pulp hero?

TG: Initially, Tarzan was just prose written by the author with perhaps a few illustrations…In its basic form that is how I imagined pulps were then and now. I would regard pulps as text and a few pictures.

AP: Tarzan is not your first time stepping into the world of these types of pulp characters. How does working on Tarzan compare and contrast to working on Conan?

TG: Different time periods for starters. Conan world is just as dangerous as Tarzan’s. Conan’s world is full of wizards monsters and epic battles with Conan managing to come out on top with but a few scratches while Tarzan’s world is more modern and probably more realistic even if you can imagine a boy being raised by gorillas and then learning to speak there language and communicating with about every beast in the jungle which is of course both characters are based in Fantasy which is more interesting to illustrate. Action, adventure and fantasy is core reason why I love both characters so much and respect Burroughs and Howard characters and all their creations.

AP: Where do you see the comic book industry in the future? And how can we get the millions of fans that enjoy movies based on comic books to pick up the source material?

TG: I think I see comics moving more on line and less standing in lines. I believe computers have been a very important tool for us to get information from and that its much cheaper to operate and get your message out to millions across the world. I think this is next evolution in the world of comics and self-publishing. If it sells well online then by all means produce it in trade paperback form. I still like holding the finish product in my hands. If Hollywood and comics could join forces in a project it might create a whole new genre. I imagine motion comics or animatics may be this new direction. Static pictures are not enough for this American audience who wishes to be amazed and not bored.

AP: Is there a particular character out there you haven’t had the chance to work on that you would love to take a crack at drawing?

TG: I would like to illustrate Raymond’s Flash Gordon or Foster’s Prince Valiant…So far, I have a real gem on my hands right now, that being TARZAN…I’m not complaining at all!

AP: Where can readers find information on you and your work?

TG: For right now, I am on FaceBook and would encourage anyone becoming friends with me and wanting to see more of what I do this is the one stop spot for the time being. Later on, I imagine I’ll be needing my own website but that’s down the road.

AP: What upcoming projects do you have coming up that you can tell us about at this time?

TG: I have been offered a shot at Bruce Jones return to his book Alien Worlds and hope to be collaborating with him very soon on a few short stories produced by RAW Publications. I always, loved his collaborations in the past as well as his own art and look forward to putting both feet into something more suited to what I really like to do best which is Science Fiction Fantasy. I have been doing a few covers a year for Moonstone’s licensed character Airboy but not nearly enough of anything with Dark Horse, Marvel or DC.

AP: Do you have any shows, signings, or conventions coming up where your fans can meet you?

TG: No, but I really need desperately to get out more often and seek out my readers and art lovers. Its a funny situation when you don’t produce enough material yearly to warrant going to shows to show off a few covers but, that will change once the Tarzan strip gets up and running. I live in the Brooklyn New York area and will try to be at the next Comic Con.

AP: And finally, what does Tom Grindberg do when he’s not drawing?

TG: I spend most of my time with my wife and our little daughter Katie who is now 18 months old. They are best things in my life right now and deserve so much attention for all the joy they give me.

AP: Thanks, Tom. We’re looking forward to the premiere of the Tarzan Sunday Strips.

You can learn more about Tarzan and the Sunday Strips at www.edgarriceburroughs.com
You can learn more about Tom Grindberg at www.facebook.com/tom.grindberg

Marie Severin Gets What She Deserves – At Last!

It was 1978, and the electric current going through DC Comics’ offices could have lit Times Square. Vice-President and Production Director Jack Adler was strutting around like a proud papa. For the first time in what seemed like a millennium, Marie Severin was paying a visit.

If you were from outside the donut shop, you’d think the President was in the house. Work came to a complete stop. Everybody swarmed to the production department to meet, or to see once again, the famed artist and gifted humorist. That she toiled for the company’s competition and yet received this reception is an acknowledgement of her talent and abilities.

The masterful colorist of the legendary EC Comics line, Marie worked at Marvel Comics for decades as an art director, a penciler and an inker. Her credits read like a Who’s Who at the House of Ideas: Doctor Strange, the Incredible Hulk, Sub-Mariner, and Robert E. Howard’s Kull the Conqueror. That’s quite a range, but she was best known for her satirical work in Marvel’s underrated Not Brand Echh, a book worthy of Masterwork edition if there ever was one.

She was even better known within the industry for her sense of humor. I have never met a person who wasn’t a fan of her work – and a fan of hers, personally.

TwoMorrows just published Marie Severin: The Mirthful Mistress of Comics ($24.95; digital from TwoMorrows for $7.95), a long overdue review of her work written by Dewey Cassell with Aaron Sultan. It was worth the wait.

174 pages of analysis, history, interviews, photographs and about a zillion examples of her work, including a healthy amount of unpublished work – much of it in-house stuff reflecting her breathtaking sense of humor. Tributes abound: Marvel and EC honchos Stan Lee and Al Feldstein, Jack Davis, John Romita, Mark Evanier, Tony Isabella, Roy Thomas and maybe a dozen more folks, all fronted by a foreword from ComicMix columnist and comics luminary Denny O’Neil.

Marie has been one of the most important and most creative people in the history of this medium. Marie Severin: The Mirthful Mistress of Comics tells you why. If you’re already a fan of hers, you either have this book or it’s on your short list. If you’re not all that familiar with her legacy, you need this book.


Mike Gold: Old Farts Are The Best Farts

In this space last Saturday, my dear friend and adoptive bastard son Marc Alan Fishman stated “modern comics are writing rings around previous generations. We’re in a renaissance of story structure, characterization, and depth… I’d like to think we the people might defend the quality of today’s comics as being leaps and bounds better than books of yesteryear.”

Simply put, the dear boy and my close pal and our valued ComicMix contributor is full of it.

Don’t get me wrong: there’s a hell of a lot of great writing out there today, and I agree with his opinions about most if not all of the young’un’s he cites. Today’s American comics reach a much wider range of readers. There’s also a hell of a lot more comics being published today – although those comics are being read by a much smaller audience in the aggregate – and I take no comfort in saying there’s more crap being published today as well: Sturgeon’s Law is akin to gravity. Marc’s comparison to the comics of the 1960s and 1970s is an apples-and-oranges argument: the comics of the pre-direct sales era, defining that as the point when most comics publishers virtually abandoned newsstand sales, were geared to a much younger audience. Even so, a lot of sophisticated stories squeaked through under the “Rocky and Bullwinkle” technique of writing on two levels simultaneously.

As I said, there are a lot of great writers practicing their craft today. Are they better than Carl Barks, John Broome, Jack Cole, Will Eisner, Jules Feiffer, Archie Goodwin, Walt Kelly, Harvey Kurtzman and Jim Steranko … to name but a very few (and alphabetically at that)? Did Roy Thomas, Louise Simonson and Steve Englehart serve their audience in a manner inferior to the way Jonathan Hickman, Gail Simone and Brian Bendis serve theirs today? Most certainly not.

Then again, some of the writers he cites are hardly young’un’s. Kurt Busiek has been at it since Marc was still in diapers. Grant Morrison? He started before Marc’s parents enjoyed creating his very own secret origin.

Marc goes on to state that John Ostrander and Dennis O’Neil would say that the scripts they write today are leaps and bounds better than their earlier work. I don’t know; I haven’t asked them. But I can offer my opinion. Neither John nor Denny are writing as much as they could or should today because they, like the others of their age, they are perceived as too old to address the desires of today’s audience – which, by the way, is hardly a young audience. I wonder where this attitude comes from?

But let’s look at the works of these two fine authors from those thrilling days of yesteryear. John’s Wasteland, GrimJack, Suicide Squad, and The Kents stand in line behind nothing. As for Denny, well, bandwidth limitations prohibit even a representative listing of his meritorious works, and I’ll only note Batman once. Let’s look at The Question. A great series, and he wrote that while holding down a full-time job and while sharing an office with a complete lunatic. Then there’s Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Iron Man, The Shadow… hokey smokes, I wake up each Thursday morning (in the afternoon) blessing Odin’s Bejeweled Eye-patch that Denny is writing his ComicMix column instead of spending that time doing socially respectable work.

I am proud of this medium and its continued growth – particularly as its growth had been stunted for so long. And I’m proud of my own service to this medium. But, as John of Salisbury said 953 years ago, we are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants.

And, standing on those shoulders, we swat at gnats.

THURSDAY: The Aforementioned Mr. O’Neil!