Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sad Passings

I'm deeply sad to report the passing of two of my 1970s heroes: Roy Scheider and Steve Gerber. Scheider probably everyone knows as Sheriff Martin Brody in Jaws -- an iconic role in one of the best movies of the era, a movie that got me through a tough time in my teenage years. Steve Gerber, on the other hand, is probably not known to you. The quickest way to describe him would be to say he created Howard the Duck. No. Not the marginal "blockbuster" movie -- the real Howard the Duck, the sharp-edged comic book satire (upon which the movie was "based"). Gerber's writing was smart and funny and frequently surreal, just the kind of thing my teenage brain thrived on. It is not faint praise when I say that he was one of the two or three best comic book writers of that period. Sadly, Steve is gone "before his time" (only 60 years old) -- and let his passing be a warning to all smokers: Stop now, while you still have lungs. You can read about Steve's death on his own blog, or on Mark Evanier's excellent blog. Goodbye, Roy. Goodbye, Steve. God bless.

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