Here’s to Steve Gerber, the man who created the mighty Howard the Duck.. I’m drinking out of my Duck drinking glass, still in my cabinet after all these years.) Gerber, the comic book writer and creator of the alienated, cigar-chomping Marvel hero (“trapped in a world he never made”), died last week at 60, leaving behind a character for the ages. Gerber described Howard, who debuted in 1973, as “the living embodiment of all that is querulous, opinionated and uncool.” The Duck, who hang out in Cleveland with a sexy human companion Beverly Switzler, was Gerber’s instrument to lampoon 70s culture — kung fu, anti-gay activist Anita Bryant, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and self-help groups. Howard even ran for president in 1976 on the All-Night Party ticket.
Tom Spurgeon of the Comics Reporter told the “Los Angeles Times:”
Howard the Duck really stood out against the backdrop of superhero comics that took themselves very seriously. On the surface, you had kind of a straightforward comedy that lampooned culture. But at the same time, a duck character walking around in a world full of humans is a classic symbol of alienation and being different and feeling different.