WALTER LANTZ'S WOODY WOODPECKER
I never found Woody Woodpecker very funny, either in his cartoons or comic books. Most of the writers at Dell/Gold Key didn't, either.
(To get decent stories, one of the editors there sometimes told writers to do Donald Duck scripts, which he'd then change to Woody, with Knothead and
Splinter assuming the roles of Huey, Dewey and Louie.) I wrote a number of Woody stories fully aware I was writing Woody stories, and they were
nicely drawn by John Carey, Jack Manning and Joe Messerli, among others and I tossed in supporting players like Buzz Buzzard, Andy Panda, Wally
Walrus and Charlie Chicken. But you know what? I still don't find Woody Woodpecker very funny.
I wrote a few episodes of Superman: The Animated Series so they asked me to write a couple issues of the comic book based on the show.
This one was an adaptation of a script I did for the TV series that wound up not getting produced when WB Animation decided to do fewer episodes than
they'd planned. For the record, I really like the show, thanks to the efforts of — among other talented folks — Paul Dini, Bruce
Timm and Alan Burnett. I think it and the corresponding Batman animated show are, if not the two best "adventure" cartoons ever produced
then pretty damn close to that. So both the cartoon and the comic were pretty enjoyable experiences.
Not long after I saw the movie Shrek, which I enjoyed tremendously, an editor from Dark Horse called and said, "We're doing a comic
book of it. Would you like to write it?" I said yes, little suspecting the problems that would ensue. They weren't anyone's fault,
really. It was mostly structural: Too many people had approvals and most of them were concerned with upcoming Shrek movies and
merchandising, and just about everything I thought of seemed to clash with something else they had planned for the character. I still like
Shrek and Donkey and all those folks but this is another one of those comics that I tell people was written by some other "Mark Evanier."
I liked writing the Porky Pig comic book, especially my first few stories which were drawn by Phil DeLara. DeLara was an old
school Warner Brothers animator — you can see his screen credit on most of the cartoons directed by Robert McKimson. For most of that
period, he moonlighted for Western Publishing drawing comic books, Daffy Duck especially, and then retired from animation and just did
comics. He drew a great Porky and Daffy.
DC COMICS PRESENTS
When I was doing Blackhawk for DC, I couldn't get them to do any promotion on the comic and I felt I had to do something. My
favorite editor there, Julius Schwartz, was in charge of DC Comics Presents, a comic that each month teamed Superman with some other
character(s) from the DC Universe. I talked Julie into letting me write a Superman-Blackhawk issue and then he talked me into writing a
Superman-Kamandi issue. I was somewhat intimidated by the prospect of writing for Julie and after he liked both scripts, I decided to quit
while I was ahead.
TARZAN OF THE APES
Not pictured in this section are the dozens of stories I wrote and edited for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. in the seventies, mostly of Korak, Son of
Tarzan but sometimes of Tarzan, for overseas publication. None of these have ever been published in America and probably never will
be published in America. Dan Spiegle drew a lot of them, as did Rick Hoberg, Alex Niño, Pat Boyette, Dave Stevens, Bill Wray, Will
Meugniot and many others. Years later, when the Greystoke movie was about to come out, E.R.B. hired Spiegle and Yours Truly to do a new
comic book adaptation of the first novel. It was published all over the world with Marvel buying the American rights and publishing it in two
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