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Review of Howard the Duck #16 (v1)
 
Published: September 1977
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RikerDonegal
March 14, 2017
This is a difficult one to review because itís not a story. Itís an essay! And a self-indulgent essay at that. How does one review such a thing?

Reviewing a story is easy. You can generally gauge what the writer was trying to achieve and write a few words based on how close they came to that goal. Did I care about the characters? Did the mystery mystify me? Was the big twist an actual surprise? Or was it a tired old cliche I could see coming a mile away? That kind of thing. This is different.

Itís an essay. Neatly divided into seven sections. Each one very different to the others.

How did such a thing come to be? It seems that Gerber wrote this because heíd fallen behind on deadline and didnít want issue number sixteen to be a reprint. Those are good motives. So this essay, if nothing else, came from a good place.

So thatís how it came to be. But, what the hell is it? Well, in the seven sections we learn about Gerber, his writing process, his views on comics, etc. He not only tells us things, but he takes time to comment on the telling and the method of that telling. Nothing is straightforward with this guy.

Do I care? Does anybody care about this?

For the purposes of review Iíve decided that that is irrelevant. What matters is this: this is something heartfelt and unique. If it is flawed, it is only because Gerber was flawed as a person and writer in the same way that we all are. He was certainly trying something different here. And, self-indulgent or not, it makes for utterly fascinating reading. And, flawed or not, it provokes thought and analysis.

An actual response to the content would take the form of another essay. An essay about the mind of Steve Gerber. For now, Iím just concerned with the comic and - given what it accomplishes - Iím willing to rate it as aÖ

10/10
 
 
 
 
Comments
   
 
  Johnny Darkness Says:    
  2017-03-14 23:07:15  
  I didn't know you could comment on reviews, but your review makes me curious about this issue. I'll have to track it down sometime.  
 
 

  ViktorG Says:    
  2017-03-15 04:28:27  
  I totally agree with Johnny. I really look forward to this. Just a 1000 issues left in the order until I get to it...  
 
 

 
 
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