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SwimmingSpider
Jan 3, 2008


Jön, jön, jön a vizipók.
Várják már a tólakók.
Ez a kis pók ügyes búvár.
Sok új kaland is még rá vár.




Cynical, introspective, occasionally a mouse, and officially nonexistent in the eyes of the US government, Howard the Duck has been stumbling through life on a planet of hairless apes for the past 30-odd years whenever someone at Marvel has cared enough write about him.

Created by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik in a 1973 Man-Thing story, Howard became a surprise hit among counterculture comix fans and was brought back for two more side stories in Man-Thing, leading into his own book in '76. The book followed Howard on a series of absurd adventures that acted as a loving satire of mainstream comics and society at large, without being afraid to make the occasional lowbrow duck pun at the same time. The book proved extremely popular and legend has it that when Howard ran his fictional campaign for President of the United States, he received enough write-in votes in the real election to show up on the charts.



After his difficulty with meeting deadlines led to Gerber being dropped from the comic, Howard also became an icon in the battle between creators and publishers over character rights. Gerber sued Marvel for the rights to Howard and with the help of fellow jilted creator Jack Kirby, made a new comic, Destroyer Duck, the sales of which helped fund the lawsuit. This feud of ownership went on for years, even as Gerber returned to Marvel multiple times to write more stories, he insisted that Howard belonged to him while Marvel remained silent on the matter until recently, but more on that later. Gerber even famously "stole" Howard from under Marvel's nose in a secret crossover, although he later retconned this in the wake of his 2000-era Howard series he wrote for Marvel's MAX imprint

Back on the fiction side of things, Howard continued to appear around the Marvel universe without his creator writing him, though non-Gerber written stories were generally considered inferior, and his popularity started to falter, coming to a head after he starred in a horrendous film that holds the dubious honor of being the first Marvel movie, discounting the Captain America serials of the 40s. Following that cinematic disaster, Howard's name became tainted with failure and his existence became little more than a joke, his former success all but forgotten.




UNTIL






Marvel's latest hit, Guardians of the Galaxy, features Howard sharing a space martini with the Collector in the most surprising stinger since Nick Fury showed up in Iron Man. The scene also included Marvel's long-overdue acknowledgment of Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik's role in his creation (Gerber passed on in 2008, but Mayerik was extremely touched and believed Steve would have been as well). In the aftermath, Marvel has been slowly stoking the flames of interest in the character with announcements like a coming reprint of the Howard the Duck Omnibus, the entire original run in full color for $100, as well as a Funko bobble head figure modeled after his Guardians appearance.

Could a new series be in store? Perhaps even another movie? Only time will tell.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0oeY1KMY9U

Discuss Nobody's Favorite Waterfowl here!

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DEAD MAN'S SHOE
Nov 23, 2003

We will become evil and the stars will come alive


Let's be honest it always looked like Marvel's half-assed attempt at cashing in on the alt-comix thing with relatively harmless milquetoast satire. Naturally it has absolutely no credentials in the history of alt-comix.

Reminder that the Fritz the Cat movie was churned out in 1972

Cartridgeblowers
Jan 3, 2006

Super Mario Bros 3




Don't give a poo poo about alt-comix but I love Howard. When I was a kid the first I saw of Howard was when he showed up as a truck driver in Generation X and it was so weird that he was a part of the relatively-human Marvel Universe. I got as much Howard stuff as I could - I just loved the strangeness of it all. I loved that Howard met the Silver Surfer and Spider-Man and even freaking Dracula. I loved that he and Man-Thing and Artie and Leech and Franklin Richards were all secret pals.

When Marvel's Epic imprint was revived in 2003, I, being fresh out of high-school and ignorant to the world, decided to send Marvel a pitch since they were infamously accepting fan pitches. I sent a pitch for a Howard the Duck book, where he was running a trucking service along with Beverly and minor-Spider-Foe Razorback (whose mutant power allowed him to drive any vehicle and he also had an ELECTRIFIED MANE). Howard's smug rival would've been US Archer, who was friendly to Howard but Howard simply couldn't stand him. The series would've focused on a tour of Marvel America (and eventually the Universe), with Howard and Archer competing to deliver weird stuff to under-utilized Marvel locales - the opening arc had AIM chasing them down the highways as they were delivering a top-secret package to an old AIM base in Florida, which would eventually get the attention of the Lizard. At the end it turned out to be a batch of Ted Sallis' favorite cookies for the Man-Thing, sent by his repentant ex-wife. I was not a very good writer.

Needless to say, like every fan pitch sent to Marvel, it was ignored and lost somewhere. I still love Howard (the Max mini is bogus, though) and was pumped for his Guardians cameo. Hopefully we get a neat new series that will inevitably be canceled by issue 4!

Cartridgeblowers fucked around with this message at 12:37 on Aug 30, 2014

SwimmingSpider
Jan 3, 2008


Jön, jön, jön a vizipók.
Várják már a tólakók.
Ez a kis pók ügyes búvár.
Sok új kaland is még rá vár.


Hell, I would've read it.

Genetic Toaster
Jun 5, 2011



can't wait for Marvel's new Howard the Duck series. I wonder whether they'll get Sam Humphries or Denis Hopeless to write it.

Lurdiak
Feb 25, 2006

I believe in a universe that doesn't care, and people that do.




DEAD MAN'S SHOE posted:

Let's be honest it always looked like Marvel's half-assed attempt at cashing in on the alt-comix thing with relatively harmless milquetoast satire. Naturally it has absolutely no credentials in the history of alt-comix.

Reminder that the Fritz the Cat movie was churned out in 1972

Man, get outta here with that poo poo. Steve Gerber's work was honest and true, it wasn't an attempt to cash in on anything, and it sure wasn't half-assed.

Jimmy Groove
Nov 15, 2012


Little Mac posted:

I still love Howard (the Max mini is bogus, though) and was pumped for his Guardians cameo. Hopefully we get a neat new series that will inevitably be canceled by issue 4!

I really liked the Max miniseries myself. I quite enjoyed Howard's interaction with God at the end.

Kull the Conqueror
Apr 8, 2006



Steve Gerber is an incredible Bronze Age voice. Howard, Omega the Unknown, and Man-Thing were all chock-full of rage, strife, struggle, and frustration with the way it all is, but were always accompanied with this hilarious tone that felt like the only thing preserving the guy's sanity. Howard was my first exposure after, interestingly enough, his final work, the Doctor Fate story from Countdown which is quite good, and early on it became very clear that he had a view of the world that was living in a different time but thought of the world similar to the way I did. It was in the first or second issue that this little nugget shows up:

"There can be profound meaning in life without heroics. The universe isn't a melodrama, but a vast panorama of banal humanity. Man's soul may leap to the heights of fantasy, but its true value is down here in the mud, where the real trouble is." --Turnip Man

I think it puts his superhero work in focus rather nicely. He just couldn't help but be cynical about it all, but it's also clear he cared a lot about what he was discussing.

Lurdiak
Feb 25, 2006

I believe in a universe that doesn't care, and people that do.




Kull the Conqueror posted:

Steve Gerber is an incredible Bronze Age voice. Howard, Omega the Unknown, and Man-Thing were all chock-full of rage, strife, struggle, and frustration with the way it all is, but were always accompanied with this hilarious tone that felt like the only thing preserving the guy's sanity. Howard was my first exposure after, interestingly enough, his final work, the Doctor Fate story from Countdown which is quite good, and early on it became very clear that he had a view of the world that was living in a different time but thought of the world similar to the way I did. It was in the first or second issue that this little nugget shows up:

"There can be profound meaning in life without heroics. The universe isn't a melodrama, but a vast panorama of banal humanity. Man's soul may leap to the heights of fantasy, but its true value is down here in the mud, where the real trouble is." --Turnip Man

I think it puts his superhero work in focus rather nicely. He just couldn't help but be cynical about it all, but it's also clear he cared a lot about what he was discussing.

Yeah, I really feel like Gerber's work and characters deliberately rode a line between the absurd and the sublime, because he didn't feel comfortable writing about straightforward heroes doing entirely glamorous things. He had to put in the indignities and injustices of life into all his stories, even if they were often represented with the most bizarre imagery possible. But even that felt like the universe being unjustly absurd to people who deserved a more straightforward narrative, in the same way the universe could be cruel and uncaring to us regular people. I'm not sure I'm making sense.

A lot of his work is quintessentially bronze age, and it really does feel as if he never moved past that 70s worldview of his in many ways, but I just love him all the more for it. His work was always so much more honest for it. His post-mortem Man-Thing book just felt like someone had redone the art for an issue of his original run, but at no point did I feel like the writing was inappropriate or dated. It just felt like how such a book should read, kind of like how a Tolkien movie should have characters speak a certain way. You couldn't write like Steve Gerber while writing like Bendis.

Howard was a flawed and ridiculous character who talked down to others, but he wasn't better than them, just different. It's a fine line that some later writers who helmed the book(and people who wrote similar anti-heroic characters) had trouble with, as it's very easy to overstep and have your supposedly flawed hero appear completely sanctimonious and constantly above the "goody two shoes" instead of a simple outsider perspective. (I don't need to name any aardvarks here, do I?)

Anyway, I hope this weakass post is enough of an excuse to not let this thread die, because I love Steve Gerber and I love Howard the Duck and gently caress you page 3!!

Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


Genetic Toaster posted:

can't wait for Marvel's new Howard the Duck series. I wonder whether they'll get Sam Humphries or Denis Hopeless to write it.

Uh... assuming this is a joke, considering they've announced it's Chip Zdarsky writing. (Complete with shameless cross-promoting plug in the letters page of Squirrel Girl #1)

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

You’re telling me Peter Parker is ...... Spider-man!?


I can see this thread picking up when the new book comes out. I also enjoyed the MAX series and especially the issue that was just satirizing Vertigo.

Waterhaul
Nov 5, 2005


it was a nice post,
you shouldn't have signed it.





Gaz-L posted:

Uh... assuming this is a joke, considering they've announced it's Chip Zdarsky writing. (Complete with shameless cross-promoting plug in the letters page of Squirrel Girl #1)

The post is from September, that book wasn't announced until late November.

Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


Whoops! I assumed the thread was relatively new because it's so short and hadn't dropped into archives.

graybook
Oct 10, 2011

pinya~


boop hello thread i bring a preview from last month

http://zdarsky.tumblr.com/post/110272091431/guys-its-really-happening-heres-a-two-page

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

You’re telling me Peter Parker is ...... Spider-man!?


Holy poo poo Howard the Duck was awesome. There is a bit of a new status quo but it is well worth

Circutron
Apr 29, 2006
We are confident that the Islamic logic, culture, and discourse can prove their superiority in all fields over all schools of thought and theories.


bobkatt013 posted:

Holy poo poo Howard the Duck was awesome. There is a bit of a new status quo but it is well worth

It was excellent just for that last Spider-Man joke alone.

uncle bennnn nooooooooooooo

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

You’re telling me Peter Parker is ...... Spider-man!?


Circutron posted:

It was excellent just for that last Spider-Man joke alone.

uncle bennnn nooooooooooooo

It was so great

wagnike2
May 31, 2007

Lucha LaBOOM


Yep, wasn't sure if I was going to like this . but thought it was petty awesome overall. Can't wait for next months.

Also, love how one of the variant covers is Run The Jewels inspired.

IUG
Jul 14, 2007

Without me, there is no mission.
I am the mission!


This is a personal thing, but I have a friend who looks exactly like Howard's soon-to-be sidekick. Down to the chest tattoo being almost the same. My only worry is that if her character gets big and she wants to cosplay, I'm going to have to dress up like a duck.

Inkspot
Dec 3, 2013

I believe I have
an appointment.
Mr. Goongala?


Silver lining, it's an easy costume. Suit jacket, tie, hat, flippers for feet, and no pants.

Space Fish
Oct 14, 2008

The original Big Tuna.



Second issue out, still funny, backup story owned, gonna need a Better Call Saul crossover ASAP.

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

You’re telling me Peter Parker is ...... Spider-man!?


I love this book so much

Picklepuss
Jul 12, 2002



IUG posted:

This is a personal thing, but I have a friend who looks exactly like Howard's soon-to-be sidekick. Down to the chest tattoo being almost the same. My only worry is that if her character gets big and she wants to cosplay, I'm going to have to dress up like a duck.
Did something happen to Beverly?

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

You’re telling me Peter Parker is ...... Spider-man!?


Picklepuss posted:

Did something happen to Beverly?

We do not know. He mentioned that he became a PI as he went through a rough patch and its implied they broke up.

Picklepuss
Jul 12, 2002



bobkatt013 posted:

We do not know. He mentioned that he became a PI as he went through a rough patch and its implied they broke up.


The Omnibus is more than I can afford, but maybe if I wish really, really hard Marvel will do a collection of the B&W magazine someday. The stories weren't that great but Michael Golden's Beverly was gorgeous.

Endless Mike
Aug 13, 2003

Get running
Start pumping your bunions, I'm coming
I'm the dumbest, who flamethrow your function to Funyons
Flame your crew quicker than Trump fucks his youngest
Now face the flame fuckers your fame and fate's done with





Picklepuss posted:

Did something happen to Beverly?
Zdarsky was on War Rocket Ajax and talked about it a bit and seemed to think Gerber was a bit wary of using the two of them together because of the potential for weird sexual tones, so he probably won't be using her at all. (Along with Duckworld which Gerber hated.)

Pastry of the Year
Apr 12, 2013



Endless Mike posted:

Zdarsky was on War Rocket Ajax and talked about it a bit and seemed to think Gerber was a bit wary of using the two of them together because of the potential for weird sexual tones
What? That's loving bonkers. Howard and Beverly were clearly a couple and it was weird and that was part of the point.

Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


Yeah, wasn't that part of the joke?

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



Picklepuss posted:

Did something happen to Beverly?

I think the last time anyone saw Beverly was when Luke Cage and Jessica Jones were interviewing for a babysitter:



The redhead in the blue shirt in the second row if you're not interested in the rest.

DEAD MAN'S SHOE posted:

Let's be honest it always looked like Marvel's half-assed attempt at cashing in on the alt-comix thing with relatively harmless milquetoast satire. Naturally it has absolutely no credentials in the history of alt-comix.

Reminder that the Fritz the Cat movie was churned out in 1972

Nah you're pretty wrong. I mean yeah it was mainstream but who cares. There's a lot of love for Gerber and like Kirby he's an icon for creators getting hosed by big publishers. The divide between mainstream comics and stuff printed in a basement has always been overstated. Dudes were reading Warlock and Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers together and not thinking anything of it. Really it's the more visible creator's rights conflicts of the 80s and the Comics Journal that really got "gently caress Marvel and DC" off the ground as a sentiment held beyond comics creators I think.

Also lol @ "no credentials in the history of alt-comix" are you a TCJ.com columnist?

Lightning Lord fucked around with this message at 15:45 on Apr 8, 2015

Space Fish
Oct 14, 2008

The original Big Tuna.



You want to talk TCJ and Howard The Duck? Check out Greg Hunter's review.

I have nothing for/against Hunter, but the review reads like someone who can't accept fun or humor. "Yeah, it made me laugh the first time I read it... but is it good? Is it art? Would Gerber approve?"

El Gallinero Gros
Mar 17, 2010



Space Fish posted:

You want to talk TCJ and Howard The Duck? Check out Greg Hunter's review.

I have nothing for/against Hunter, but the review reads like someone who can't accept fun or humor. "Yeah, it made me laugh the first time I read it... but is it good? Is it art? Would Gerber approve?"

As much as I like Gerber's run I really, really don't want Zdarsky to try and ape him, he should make the book his own. And furthermore, even if Zdarsky did a capable job of aping Steve, I got the impression Steve thought nobody but Steve Gerber should write Howard the Duck, so it wouldn't matter.

Pastry of the Year
Apr 12, 2013



(1) Aping anyone is absolutely in opposition to what Steve Gerber was trying to say and do.
(2) Howard the Duck, as written by Gerber (and Skrenes), was Gerber.
(3) To write good Howard, then, is to ape Gerber.
(4) Howard belongs to Marvel and has been used in stories after Gerber's death.
(5) Those stories, arguably, did not hew to the spirit of Gerber's Howard.
(6) With Gerber dead and Howard's narrative DNA murky, it seems a new author can pick and choose with regards to Howard's attributes and personality, etc.
(7) So it might be better, given that Howard was such a product of (a) Steve Gerber and (b) the times in which he was written for an author to pick and choose rather than make an attempt to ape which is doomed to failure.

I haven't read the new series yet. The Spider-Man panels I've seen out of context remind me of the early internet kids who thought it was extremely clever and unheard of and hilarious to say LIKE WHAT IF BERT AND ERNIE WERE LIKE, hosed UP AND CRAZY, WHAT THEN.

Johnny Aztec
Jan 29, 2005
Probation
Can't post for 17 days!


I have book 1 of the complete Howard the Duck,. have read it several times. Always kept meaning to get the 2nd volume.






Also I didn't think the HtD movie was all that bad. I enjoy it.

END ME SCOOB
Mar 27, 2007

Like, I shoulda known the dog would smell it, man. I was way too high to bury him deep enough! I guess we gotta do this, huh? Alright, Scoob, get ready for my full power! DON'T HOLD BACK, PAL!

ZOINKS!

So long as this book seems to keep giving Zdarsky his weird freedom like the convention panel or some of the narration, I'm down. It's not Gerber, but it's this great surreal lens on Marvel as a whole and that's what I want: something that feels coherently out of place in that universe.

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



Space Fish posted:

You want to talk TCJ and Howard The Duck? Check out Greg Hunter's review.

I have nothing for/against Hunter, but the review reads like someone who can't accept fun or humor. "Yeah, it made me laugh the first time I read it... but is it good? Is it art? Would Gerber approve?"

The Comics Journal used to be a vital, essential journalistic outlet but it exists as a burnt-out shell of itself now. Generally the only thing worth reading are Joe McCulloch's weekly comics roundups. This essay is actually pretty level-headed but for an example of what I mean read their Letter to a Young Cartoonist which is wretched yet awe-inspiring in how well it hits the bitter old man who wants ashcan zines to come back cliches.

delfin
Dec 5, 2003

SNATTER'S ALIVE?!?!


Pastry of the Year posted:

What? That's loving bonkers. Howard and Beverly were clearly a couple and it was weird and that was part of the point.

Not to mention that they were drawn in bed together on several occasions in the old days, and having sex (complete with bare-breasted Beverly) on one other. Much like Nextwave, it's canon.

Space Fish
Oct 14, 2008

The original Big Tuna.



Issue #3 is out, main series and backup stories still absolutely own, this one art typo is weird (spoiler'd since this is release day and you should all reward the comic as a creative endeavor by throwing money at it)

graybook
Oct 10, 2011

pinya~


Dear Marvel, please replace Slott on Spider-Man with Zdarsky. Thank you.

Edit: in art typos: what's with the weird "90" next to Talos's left hand on the last page?

graybook fucked around with this message at 21:16 on May 14, 2015

Inkspot
Dec 3, 2013

I believe I have
an appointment.
Mr. Goongala?


graybook posted:

Dear Marvel, please replace Slott on Spider-Man with Kalan. Thank you.

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A Tin Of Beans
Nov 25, 2013




I would be fine with either, honestly. Howard is so good. It's absurd. I hadn't read any Howard the Duck stuff before, just saw the movie. I'm loving this. Is the old stuff worth tracking down?

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