Steve Gerber left us yesterday.
Anyone who has been to Gerber's website knows that he's been struggling against increasingly debilitating pulmonary fibrosis; he has continued to work in comics while trying to get on a list for a lung transplant... his only hope of a long-term life extension. Unfortunately, he passed away yesterday after getting on the list, but before getting the transplant.
I remember Gerber most fondly for his work on Defenders and Omega the Unknown, but the rest of the world will always associate him with his most quirky creation, Howard the Duck. To many, Gerber was Howard... well, except for the feathers, of course. The stories morphed from fairly straightforward superhero spoofs and social satires to surreal commentaries on contemporary life--and along the way, they lost me. But I admired Gerber for making the series so personal that no one else has ever been able to adequately continue the Duck's saga in comics.
I also admire Gerber for continuing to work through his illness, refusing to give in to an all-but-certain fate.
Steve was only sixty. He deserved many, many more years.