MY COMICS LIFE-LIST 1981

From UNKNOWN SOLDIER #252, image © DC Comics.

This is the fourth in my ongoing series of articles where I list where and when I first worked with other creators, mostly on inside pages, in chronological order based on cover dates of the comics. You can find the previous entries on the COMICS CREATION page of this blog.

Ground rules: I worked on staff at DC from July 1977 to August 1987, and in that time worked with every staffer and many freelancers in some capacity, and did art and lettering corrections on a host of comics. I can’t count those. Some of the things I did in comics did not usually involve working directly with artists and writers: logo design, house ads, cover lettering and production work of various kinds. Another thing I won’t count are relettering foreign stories, as I did for HEAVY METAL early on. To be added to my comics life-list, I thought I should be part of the creative team making stories. That means I was the letterer (in most cases), occasionally the writer, and rarely the artist or colorist. Of course this lists only the first time I worked with someone, so anyone from the previous year lists will not be here. Entries are tagged as a writer (w), artist or penciller-inker (a), penciller (p), or inker (i). I did not often interact with colorists (c) in pre-digital days, as my work was finished before theirs began, but I’m including them as an important part of the creative team. My credit is for lettering unless otherwise noted.

Carmine Infantino (p) ADVENTURE COMICS #479, March 1981

Larry Mahlstedt (i) ADVENTURE COMICS #479, March 1981

I loved Carmine’s work as a child, particularly on FLASH. I missed working with him on staff by a few years, and was delighted to letter some of his work at DC, particularly on FLASH, but the lead “Dial H for Hero” story in this issue was fun, too. Larry was a fine inker, I think we worked together elsewhere.

B. S. Watson (w) MYSTERY IN SPACE #117, March 1981

Bruce Jones (w) MYSTERY IN SPACE #117, March 1981

Rick Veitch (p) MYSTERY IN SPACE #117, March 1981

Dennis Jensen (i) MYSTERY IN SPACE #117, March 1981

This issue was the first of many collaborations with Rick Veitch. I confess I don’t remember meeting the others.

Bo Hampton (a) THE UNEXPECTED #208, March 1981

I’m surprised to see I worked with Bo this early, or at all, I didn’t recall it. His brother Scott and I collaborated often.

Dan Mishkin & Gary Cohn (w) WARLORD #43, March 1981

Greg LaRocque (p) WARLORD #43, March 1981

Phil Rachelson (c) WARLORD #43, March 1981

Mishkin & Cohn always worked as a team in their early days at DC, we met a few times. This was on an “OMAC” backup story.

Roy Thomas (w) GREEN LANTERN #139, April 1981

I only worked with Roy a few times. This first time, he scripted over Marv Wolfman’s plot.

Karen Berger (w) HOUSE OF MYSTERY #292, May 1981

Dan Spiegle (a) HOUSE OF MYSTERY #292, May 1981

In her earliest editing days on this title, Karen was writing the one-page introductions, some of which I lettered. Dan Spiegle and I later collaborated on OMEGA MEN #32, my favorite issue.

Bob Oksner (p) SUPERMAN FAMILY # 207, May-June 1981

A wonderful artist whose work I came to appreciate more later. This was a Lois Lane story.

Howard Bender (p) GHOSTS #101, June 1981

Tony DeZuñiga (i) GHOSTS #101, June 1981

Howard worked in the DC production department with me at the time. I don’t think I ever met DeZuñiga.

Joe Brozowski (p) HOUSE OF MYSTERY #293, June 1981

I remember talking to Joe at DC a number of times. He also worked under the pen name J. J. Birch.

John Severin (a) UNKNOWN SOLDIER #252, June 1981

As seen above, John was always a thrill to work with, and I didn’t have the chance very often. One of the greats. I don’t think we ever met in person.

Bob Haney (w) WORLD’S FINEST #269, June-July 1981

Brett Breeding (i) WORLD’S FINEST #269, June-July 1981

Long-time DC writer Haney was around the offices fairly often, but I don’t recall ever talking to him. Breeding was and is a fine inker.

Denys Cowan (p) THE FLASH #299, July 1981

I remember talking to Denys at DC, and we worked together on Batman stories a few times.

Ernie Colón (a) THE SPIRIT #30 (Kitchen Sink), July 1981

Ernie and I became friends when he started working at DC as an editor, and he was my editor on a few things I wrote. We often went to lunch together with Keith Giffen and others. This was the “Spirit Jam” issue with dozens of top creators. I lettered three pages. A rare instance of being allowed to letter for another publisher while on staff.

Laurie Sutton (w) GREEN LANTERN #143, Aug. 1981

Rodin Rodriguez (p) GREEN LANTERN #143, Aug. 1981

Laurie had been employed by the Comics Code Authority, and then became an editor at DC, where we worked together. I think I met Rodriguez, but I’m not sure. This was for an “Adam Strange” backup story.

Adrian Gonzales (i) HOUSE OF MYSTERY #295, Aug. 1981

Jimmy Janes (p) LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #278, Aug. 1981

I met Jimmy Janes at DC and remember talking to him a few times.

Luke McDonnell (p) WEIRD WAR TALES #102, Aug. 1981

I worked with Luke on his SUICIDE SQUAD run and remember meeting him a few times.

Tom Ziuko (c) ACTION COMICS #524, Oct. 1981

Tom was another fellow production staffer. I enjoyed working with him until he went freelance full-time.

That’s it, more of this when I have time.

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