February 16th, 2008 at 6:08 am

Actually, Howard the Duck isn’t dead. Steve Gerber, the creator of Howard the Duck, is dead.

But still, it is a sad, sad day and I mourn the loss.

Steve died in Las Vegas. In what other American city would the creator of Howard the Duck be living? Cleveland seems Obvious, but Las Vegas seems Right.

This particular loss means something to me in a perverse, peculiar, and personal way because my sister and I were fans of the 1986 George Lucas adaptation when we were growing up. We watched it all the time. It was one of our favorites. We wore out the VHS tape our father had copied it on. Despite the film’s reputation as “a critical and box-office debacle,” my sister and I appreciated the mediocrity of it. Perhaps in our innocent youth we understood the irony and humor of it all. It was stupid. It was fun. It was perfect for us. At that pure, tender age we wanted to believe in a world where a beautiful woman could love a duck.

At one point, Disney threatened legal action over Howard’s striking similarity to another duck.

Go figure.

So adieu, Steve. And thank you.

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