"It sounds incredible when you think about how comics are written today--every beat of every story plotted in excruciating detail before the first word of a script is written--but almost all of my seventies stuff for Marvel was made up on the fly. It just seemed more fun that way."
Steve Gerber (1947-2008) is among the most significant comics writers of the modern era. Best known for his magnum opus Howard the Duck, he also wrote influential series such as Man-Thing, Omega the Unknown, The Phantom Zone, and Hard Time, expressing a combination of intelligence and empathy rare in American comics.
Gerber rose to prominence during the 1970s. His work for Marvel Comics during that era helped revitalize several increasingly clichéd generic conventions of superhero, horror, and funny animal comics by inserting satire, psychological complexity, and existential absurdism. Gerber's scripts were also often socially conscious, confronting, among other things, capitalism, environmentalism, political corruption, and censorship. His critique also extended into the personal sphere, addressing such taboo topics as domestic violence, racism, inequality, and poverty.
This volume follows Gerber's career through a range of interviews, beginning with his height during the 1970s and ending with an interview with Michael Eury just before Gerber's death in 2008. Among the pieces featured is a 1976 interview with Mark Lerer, originally published in the low-circulation fanzine Pittsburgh Fan Forum, where Gerber looks back on his work for Marvel during the early to mid-1970s, his most prolific period. This volume concludes with selections from Gerber's dialogue with his readers and admirers in online forums and a Gerber-based Yahoo Group, wherein he candidly discusses his many projects over the years.