And these are comic books that I wrote (or wrote and edited) over the years for an array of publishers, some of whom are still in
I'd always wanted to write a war comic and they seemed to be dying out...so when I was asked, I jumped at the chance to write (and later to also
edit) this revival of the best war comic of them all and to work again with artist Dan Spiegle. Our run on Blackhawk caused some tumult
in the DC halls because most everyone had predicted a quick flop of a book that was only being revived for licensing reasons. It didn't sell
well but it sold above all projections and garnered a lot of in-house fans. (The biggest problem was that DC couldn't sell reprint rights to
their biggest overseas customer. For some reason, Germany didn't want a comic book that was all about killing Germans.)
I really liked writing Daffy Duck, though I never quite decided if we were doing the looney Daffy of the Bob Clampett cartoons, the greedy Daffy of
the Chuck Jones cartoons or (most likely) some odd amalgam of all the different Daffys. All I know is that someone at the Warner Brothers
merchandising division kept complaining that Daffy was drawn wrong; that he should have two separate eyes and they should not "merge" as they did
when most artists drew him. The artists on this comic while I was writing it were Pete Alvarado, Jack Manning, Joe Messerli and John Carey, and
a couple of those guys had been drawing Daffy for decades and weren't about to change.
HANNA-BARBERA'S YOGI BEAR
Apart from the Warner Brothers personnel, Yogi Bear was my favorite cartoon character — in large part because I couldn't read one of his comic
books without hearing that wonderful Daws Butler voice in my head. Daws liked to read aloud, in character, from the Yogi comics I wrote
and hearing him do so was a wonderful "test" of how closely I'd captured the voice of the famed smarter-than-average bear. Anyway, I learned a
lot and got to play with another of my childhood favorites. Most of these comics were drawn by Dick Bickenbach, a great veteran animation
artist who actually designed the first official Yogi model sheets, and they were brilliantly and boldly inked by Lee Hooper.
WALT DISNEY'S SUPER GOOF
I wrote a whole mess o' Super Goof comics for overseas and for America, most of them drawn by Kay Wright, Tony Strobl or Roger
Armstrong. They were fun, though I never quite figured out why the Goofy I knew from the Disney cartoons was popping super-goobers and flying
around in red long-johns every month. My favorite of all the stories I did was one about a country inside a blimp. The nefarious Phantom
Blot had been appointed its ambassador to Duckburg. He would rob banks, then fly up to the blimp where, thanks to diplomatic immunity, he
couldn't be arrested. The story was called "One Nation In Dirigible" and, yes, I got the title first and wrote the plot around it.
SUPERMAN & BUGS BUNNY
Well, why not? This was a four-issue mini-series done fairly recently for DC: One of those challenges that one cannot turn down, even though
juggling dozens of players — and figuring out how characters who don't belong together can possibly interact — can take forever.
This one did...though even my job was easy compared to the chore of drawing it all, which fell to Joe Staton, with the aid of Mike DeCarlo and Tom
Palmer. My favorite moment in the story came in a scene when Elmer Fudd had been transformed into Superman. Bugs came up behind him,
covered his eyes, and said, "Guess who?" To which Elmer/Superman replied, "Wois Wane? Wana Wang? Wex Wuthor?"
HANNA-BARBERA THE AMAZING CHAN
The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan was another one of those H-B shows that no one at the studio would own up to ever liking. Gold Key,
largely under duress, published a comic book and I wrote the first issue, adapting a script from the series. Still, I have a certain affection
for this book. It wasn't the first script I sold but it was the first American comic book I wrote to be printed. Like your first kiss,
there's something a little special about the first time you hold a published, actual comic book and can say, "I wrote this." Even if it is
The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan. The artwork was done by the wonderful Warren Tufts, who died way too young in the test flight of an
airplane that he built himself.
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