My pal Steve Rude has always been an enormous fan of the Hanna-Barbera TV series, Space Ghost. So am I, though not like Steve. No
one loves Space Ghost as much as Steve. Anyway, one day, the folks at Comico said to us, "How would you boys like to do a Space
Ghost comic for us?" We broke the sound barrier saying yes, and this book was the result. It sold very well, they told me...a fact
I'd have guessed, given how many zillions I seem to have autographed at conventions. Most of the credit, of course, goes to Steve (aided by
great inking by Will Blyberg and colors by Ken Steacy), and it just goes to prove that comics ought to be Labors of Love. This one sure was, at
This was the first comic I ever edited. (I also wrote the issue, designed the cover from H-B model sheets and did the cover lettering and title
logo.) Based on one of the worst shows the studio ever produced — one of those that no one liked, including the folks who did it —
it featured just about every non-adventure character that Hanna-Barbera owned back then. It was drawn by loads of folks, including Jack
Manning, Owen Fitzgerald, Dan Spiegle, Roman Arambula and Scott Shaw, and it actually managed to be one of the more "fun" comics I've ever written,
in part because I felt like Gardner Fox, writing the early issues of Justice League of America. A couple covers were even subtle
parodies of the J.L.A.
TOM, DICK AND HARRIET
Lee Holley is a terrific cartoonist who worked for Hank Ketcham and Chuck Jones, and later drew a successful newspaper strip called
Ponytail. Everyone felt he drew the cutest girls you could imagine, so Gold Key asked me to create a "teen" comic he could
illustrate. They came up with the name of the comic (which I didn't like) but it was otherwise all "mine" (and Lee's) for the first two of its
three appearances in this Showcase-type comic. I was told the first issue sold well and for about a month there, they were ready to launch it
as a regular title, complete with spin-offs and such. I still don't know what happened, since I left the company before that could occur...
Boy, this was a good idea at some point. It was to be a "round-robin" story with 12 writers each doing one issue of a 12-issue tale that would
sprawl across the DC universe, each doing his best to "stick" the guy following him with a difficult-to-solve (but not impossible)
cliff-hanger. Since it was my idea, I led off...and the story got so weird and incoherent along the way that DC insisted I come in to help
write the last chapter. We managed to mop up some of the more notable dangling plot threads and faked our way past the others. But it was
fun...and I got to write a story that was drawn by the great Gene Colan. So I guess I shouldn't complain too much...
I don't recall ever being quite as happy as when my editor at Gold Key, Chase Craig, said to me, "I think you could handle Bugs Bunny."
Wow. When I started, the main artist was Phil DeLara, who had been one of the best animators in Robert McKimson's unit and a great illustrator
of funny animal comics. DeLara passed away soon after and was replaced by Tom McKimson — Robert's brother and another fine animator who,
among his many other achievements, designed the "definitive" model sheets for Bugs and many of the other characters. I really liked writing
Bugs, Daffy and a few others (like Porky Pig) that aren't listed in this section, though I was starting to talk like Elmer Fudd for a while
Bill Liebowitz, proprietor of the Golden Apple book shop in Los Angeles, decided he wanted a glamorous "mascot" character, played by our mutual
friend, Susie Owens. Susie was already kind of a super-heroine, having miraculously transformed herself from a dumpy registered nurse to a
Playboy centerfold and actress. Anyway, I agreed to write an issue — drawn by Richard Howell with Jim Mooney and Tim Burgard, plus
various guest artists doing pin-ups, all of it under a fine Steve Rude cover — with a storyline based loosely on Ms. Owens' own real-life
story. The main achievement here was that this assignment actually got my name in The National Enquirer.
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