When Howard the Duck ran for president in 1976

Thursday, September 15, 2016
Marvel Comics character Howard the Duck‘s political career looks like Ronald Reagan’s in reverse: He ran for president first and then had a mediocre movie career.

In August 1976, as a college radio DJ and news reporter, I got Howard’s co-creator, Steve Gerber, on the line to talk about the character’s origins and his campaign for the White House.

We also discussed the comics business in general—including Gerber’s work on the then-young comic book The Defendersand his sense of urgency that comics grow up with their readers. (1982 photo: Alan Light.)

Gerber’s comments on the political landscape that year may ring familiar in 2016:

“If it comes down to a choice between a turkey, a loon and a duck, what do you do?”*
Howard the Duck campaign button
To University of Illinois alumni of a certain age, my morning radio show on WPGU-FM may be remembered best for a Howard the Duck campaign button giveaway and for my frequent signoff: “Howard the Duck loves you.”

Here’s how that began: Unedited, 40-year-old never-broadcast raw audio of my interview with Steve Gerber, who died in 2008. (Disclaimer: As you endure my obsequious interview style, please remember this is offered for historical and archival purposes only. I was just a college student.)

And then I wrote this research paper, based in part on that interview.

Enjoy this? Lots more comics-related exclusives on this blog, right here.

* Note: This is not an endorsement of wasting your vote on a write-in—for Howard or anyone else.


Unknown said...

Wow. As a big fan of Steve Gerber and of Howard the Duck in particular I was really pleased and surprised to stumble across this interview. It was great to be able to hear from Steve himself at the height of Howard's fame. Thank you.

Charlie Meyerson said...

Thank you for reading, and for writing.

Howard the Duck loves you.

Charles Bryan said...

My goodness! What a surprise to find this! I don't believe that I've ever heard an audio interview with Steve Gerber before. This great! Thanks so much for posting this.

Charlie Meyerson said...

Glad you are liking it. Don't miss my other comics-creator interviews here: http://www.meyersonstrategy.com/search/label/Comics Or on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/meyerson/id1332125972?mt=2