Wednesday, December 31, 2014


News of Yore 1977: So a Duck Walks into a Newspaper Office ...

 Comic Book Hero Debuts in Newspapers

by Lenora Williamson
Editor & Publisher, June 18 1977

"Howard The Duck" is the June entry into the newspaper comics arena as a daily and Sunday superduck. Howard is a star of Marvel Comic Group's heroes and is being presented in newspapers by the Register and Tribune Syndicate. In 15 months, he has become one of the hottest selling personalities in the Marvel group books.

The men behind Howard The Duck are Steve Gerber and Gene Colan. Gerber, whose work experience prior to joining Marvel Comics in 1972 included stints as a teacher, ad copywriter, car salesman, a radio announcer and a columnist for an underground newspaper, graduated from Saint Louis University in 1969 with a radio-television-film major. He says he was raised on Ralston, Twinkies, Warner Brothers' cartoons, and ", . . hamburgers, bagels, Toll House cookies, and Marvel Comics. If it's true that we are what we eat, my creation of Howard The Duck was not only logical, it was inevitable."

Gene Colan, the artist for Howard, attended Art Students League of New York, and two years with the Air Force found Colan in the Philippines where he drew for the Manila Times. Back in the U.S., he found a job with the Marvel Comics Group and has been intermittently associated with them for 20 years.

One description of Howard as a cigar-smoking, wise-quacking cartoon character says he's "so human that in times of crisis he's out to save his own tail feathers." And another is that the fearless, feathered fury indulges in sarcasm and social comments that are far from ducky.

The new comic strip's early subscribers include the New York Post, Detroit News, Washington Star, Chicago Daily News, Boston Herald-American, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Seattle Times, and Arizona Daily Star, for a cross country clientele.


Thanks for this vintage article. Coincidentally, I just finished updating the newspaper listings at my Howard the Duck site:
If anyone can provide further newspaper titles that carried the duck, please speak up. I figure there are about 50+ newspapers yet to be identified.
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