End of Summer
Fanzing Mailroom graphic by Jeremy Greene
"Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot…I must be a creature of the night; black, terrible…I shall become… the Substitute Letters Editor!"

An Ode to Mark Waid

Dear Fanzing,

I read not only the 2 part Mark Waid interview, from the Archives, but also the Devin Grayson interview, from the current issue. Both were excellent.

I had the great opportunity of meeting Mark Waid at Richmond Comix, in Richmond, Virginia… back in May, I think it was. I got there before he did, and stayed until the end. Mr. Waid was gracious the entire time. If any of your readers have the opportunity to meet him, tell them to do it!

There were two instances that stuck out to me… no, three:

1) he signed three of my books (personalized to me- thank you, Mr. Waid) including a personal affirmation I asked him to include.

2) He drew us into a discussion about Superman, and though he was first incredulous at my suggestion that Supes pick up Firestorm's unused villains ("Like who?!") I think I gave him pause at the suggestions of Killer Frost, Multiplex ("Yeah, but not with that name. 'Multiplex' makes him sound like he's a movie theatre.") and the Hyenas (he raised an eyebrow, in that "Well… maybe" look, at my suggestion that they would be a challenge, since their power is magically produced). That was a huge boost to my ego/confidence/whatever ya wanna call it.

3) I asked if I could ask him a question about Devin Grayson (girlfriend and fellow writer). He briefly tensed, though he tried (graciously, as ever) to not show it, and said, "Yeah, sure." When the question turned out to be about comics she might want to write, in conneciton with "The Titans," he relaxed back to normal, and graciously gave me some input.

Maybe this wasn't such a huge moment, but I was watching him like a hawk, the entire time he was there, and for myself, I felt that this reaction (or lack thereof- however you want to look at it) gave me tremendous insight into an aspect of Mark Waid I wasn't intentionally looking for. Overall, I would have to say that it increased my respect for the man, as I only really know his writing, not him personally.

Thanks for an interview that let me remember a meeting with a professional, whose work I look at for inspiration. This isn't just ass-kissing, but I truly think that Mr. Waid is one of a handful of writers in the industry (yeah, yeah- "what industry?" I know) who are raising the bar on the standards of good writing.

Thank you, Mr. Waid, and thank you, Fanzing.


FANZING Editor-in-Chief Michael Hutchison replies:

 Thanks for the story. I'm glad you enjoyed the interviews on our site.

Firestorm has numerous good characters which are dying on the vine. Multiplex is dead, of course, and the Parasite became a Superman villain again…but the rest are out to pasture. Killer Frost went through a horrid transformation back during "Underworld Unleashed", and she became a member of the Legion of Doom, which disappeared at the end of the "Extreme Justice" series. Personally, I'd like to see more of Moonbow, Cliff Carmichael (the New Thinker), Firehawk and even Slipknot!

You were watching him like a hawk the entire time he was there? You should relax and be cool. Comic fans with freaky stares tend to make the pros nervous! :-)

I never told anyone this, but back during the Wizard World convention, Mark Waid was in the audience of the DC Comics presentation and sat in a chair right behind me. I was going to introduce myself, since he'd know me from Fanzing, but I really didn't want to be part of the mob of fans which descended on him as soon as the show was over! And yeah, Mark is a pretty nice, easygoing guy. Just don't try to beat him at a comic book trivia contest. He was part of a contest at that same convention and he answered almost all the questions for his team by himself!

Swimming with The Shark

Dear Mr. Mark "the Shark" Gillins,

I was perusing the Fanzing archives and read your SUPERB piece, "The Death of Superman: A Writer's Escape," in Issue #21. AWESOME job at carefully illustrating how this single event (Superman's Death) has instrinsically reshaped the entire DC Universe and significantly impacted the members of that Universe.

Ryan Ignatius Pratt

Mark "the Shark" says:

Check it out! Not only did someone read my feature and enjoy it, but he refers to me as "Mr."! I finally got some respect! :)

It's Quality, not quantity

Just writing to to report some misinformation in the article about Quality Comics heroes.

First of all, Tor the Magic Master, as he was called in the Golden Age, did in fact speak backwards during his Golden Age appearances. In my collection, I had at one time an issue of Crack Comics in which Tor appeared, and he was clearly talking backwards to work his magic.

Second, The Raven, who appeard in the Spider Widow stories in Feature Comics, was a male hero, not a heroine. I have the three issues in which Phantom Lady appears, and Raven is clearly a man. In the case of Phantom Lady, the origin story you give was created by the fine folks at DC Comics, not by Quality.

Finally, in the timeline. In 1978, the Martha Roberts who clears Doll Man of murder charges is the Martha Roberts of Earth-1 (this was back in those wacky Parallel Earth days), not the Martha Roberts of Earth-X, who appeared as Doll Girl and died before the Fighters came to Earth-1.

Other than that, I'm impressed with the amount of work that went into this article.

Best Wishes,
Scott Nesmith

FANZING Secret Files author David R. Black replies:

Hi Scott. OK, I'm man enough to admit I goofed on the points you raise about Tor and Raven. I used Internet sources, and a conversation I had with an "old timer" who frequents the same comic shop as I do, for those two bits of info. Guess they goofed. And hey, if you care to share any other additional information you have about Tor, Raven, or any of the characters I listed under the "Don't know too much about" section, feel free to drop me a line at n3sev@yahoo.com. I'd love to hear anything you might know!

Regarding Phantom Lady, her DC origin was the only one I had reference to (that first appearnce of hers costs a ton of money!). Plus, since the FFers series was slowly retelling the individual members' origins from their original Quality appearances, I assumed that Phantom Lady's brief origin given in FFers #15 was also her Quality origin. Since you say it isn't, what was her Quality origin? Or was she like many other golden agers whose origins were never told?

Regarding Martha Roberts; I should have been more explicit and said that she was the Earth 1 version. The entire FFers series, of course, took place entirely on Earth 1. I should also mention that the Martha Roberts of Earth 1 never actually became Doll Girl - at least that we now of. But with Crisis and Zero Hour, that's kind of a moot point now.

How much is that Man of Steel in the window?

I have a Giant Superman annual -- Silver Anniversary issue-1938-1963. Featuring the greatest Superman stories published during the last 25 years. #7, summer of 1963 issue in near mint condition -- and was wondering what it is worth. I have a stack of about 20 more also. I was wondering if you guys have any idea on the value of this magazine and if there is a web page where I can find out about the others.If you could, E-mail me back.

Thanks a lot,

FANZING Editor-in-Chief Michael Hutchison replies:

I'm afraid I don't have any price guides handy, nor is it what we are concerned with at Fanzing. I'll run your letter in the next letters column, in case one of our kind readers would care to venture a guess at their value. Then you'd be able to decide whether to sell them or keep them.

Of course, if you'd like to mail them off to me, I'm sure I could find a home for them! :-)

Thanks from a grateful fan

Thanks for all the hard work and great product this year. As someone who has no writing or drawing skills, I appreciate the extensive time and effort that is put into the Fanzing to make it so exceptional. Happy new year to the whole Fanzing staff.

Andy Gold

I'd like to extend a big "You're welcome!" from everyone here at Fanzing, Andy! It's always nice to hear that readers enjoy Fanzing as much as we enjoy creating it! But, if you thought last year was good, it's a pretty safe bet that this year will be even better!

Well, that's all the letters for now, but be sure to come back next Fanzing for more; "same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!"

--J. Fuentes

Return to the Top of the Page

Now that you've read this piece,
discuss it in the Fanzing Forum!

All characters are ™ DC Comics
This piece is © 2000 by .
Fanzing is not associated with DC Comics.
All DC Comics characters, trademarks and images (where used) are ™ DC Comics, Inc.
DC characters are used here in fan art and fiction in accordance with their generous "fair use" policies.

Fanzing site version 7.2
Updated 3/7/2007