Tag Archives: john totleben

Comic Book Noise 241: Exits, Fill-Ins and Free Ideas

Host Derek Coward talks about why he quit the 2 People Talking podcast, briefly reviews Saga of Swamp Thing 33 and gives an idea for a new comic book podcast that he hopes somebody else does soon.

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Comic Book Noise 177: Marvel’s Marvelman

Host Derek Coward goes over a brief history of the Miracleman mess, discusses what he thinks Marvel should do with the character and tells Marvel in no uncertain terms what they can do to get his money.

Note: Despite what I said in the episode, it was Marv Wolfman who wrote Total Eclipse, not Chuck Dixon. And a bunch of people wrote Miracleman:Apocrypha including Kurt Busiek, Sarah E. Byam, Dick Foreman, Neil Gaiman, Steven Grant, Steve Moore, Stefan Petrucha, James Dale Robinson, Fred Schiller and the great Matt Wagner. Also the series went 24 issues, not 22, and the last issue came out in 1993.


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An Odd But Sad Coincidence

Two of the recent comic books that I bought were Mark Hazzard: Merc #1 and PowerLine #7. They both had artwork by Gray Morrow. I always liked his artwork because I tend to gravitate towards more realistic art styles. I am also a big fan of people like Alex Raymond, Alex Toth, Gil Kane, Steve Rude, Adam Hughes, Mike Deodato and Stuart Immonen’s early work. They all have a sense of the fantastic to them, but the basic figures are more realistic than someone like Kelley Jones, Keith Giffen’s later work or Humberto Ramos. (This is not an indictment of their work because I know for a fact that I could NEVER do what they do. I just however happen to prefer a different style.)

After I realized that I knew next to nothing about Gray Morrow, I decided to find out what he had been up to recently. Trying to find out whatever happened to creators who are no longer working on mainstream books on a regular basis is a crapshoot. For every Mindy Newell (who left comics to become a full time nurse) or Steve Bissette (who teaches at the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont), there is a sadder story like John Totleben (who is legally blind due to a condition called retinitis pigmentosa) or Gray Morrow.

Gray Morrow was despondent over a long running illness and took his own life on November 6, 2001. According to Wikipedia, the illness was some form of palsy but it is the only place with that detail, so I am taking it with a grain of salt. To make matters worse, his website became defunct and is now one of those link/placeholder sites that scumbags put up when they want to be scumbags.

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