My Friend Steve Perry:

Remembering the Man & His Work, Part 1

I’m not sure what to say. I’ve not been writing anything online for most of this week for a reason.

  • But now, the story is beginning to go public; The Pulse posted the first comic online news report
  • and now the story has been picked up at Robot6.ComicBookResources
  • – and more will follow.

    So it’s time I say — write — something.

  • As most Myrant readers know, back in August 2009, I began appealing for any financial donations anyone could offer to help my old friend Steve Perry;
  • thankfully, by November 2009, The Hero Initiative had begun to extend considerable aide and relief to Steve, and that was just the beginning of a rallying in some corners of the comics creator & fan community to help Steve — an effort soon joined by various sympathetic fellow writers, readers and just kind folks.
  • I’m sad to say none of us have heard from Steve since about May 10th; I last had contact with Steve on May 8th.

    I can’t say more at this time, save to steer you to the news that has been posted online since May 21st.

    Some of these reports may have been updated since originally posted, so I’ll provide some quotes from the earliest versions I’ve kept records of:

  • “Ransacked home in Zephyrhills might be linked to grisly homicide” by Howard Altman and Lisa A. Davis, The Tampa Tribune:
  • “Police would say only that comics artist Stephen J. Perry, 56, James Davis, 46, and Roxanne Davis, 49, vanished from the house they shared on 38046 Eighth Ave. and that the home appears to have been ransacked.

    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says the agency has been called to assist the Zephyrhills Police Department with an apparent homicide in the city limits. Saying the information must come from the city’s police department, an FDLE spokesman could not say whether the homicide was related to the missing persons case.”


    At some point yesterday afternoon, this horrific detail was added to the initial online article:

    “The city’s mayor, Cliff McDuffie, thinks it is. He said a piece of someone’s body – an arm — and Perry’s van were found in Hillsborough County.”

  • This TBO.com Tampa Bay Online report, “Searching for roommates,” was the first video report posted (again, this was all yesterday, on May 21st).
  • This revised, updated story from Altman and Davis at The Tampa Tribune noted the arrest of Steve’s roommates, James and Roxanne Davis (note: this link may bring up the same story as the previous link; I’ve kept files of the initial reports, but those earlier links may simply take you to the latest ‘breaking news’ report).
  • “Police would say only that comics artist Stephen J. Perry, 56, James Davis, 46, and Roxanne Davis, 49, vanished from the house they shared on 38046 Eighth Ave. and that the home appears to have been ransacked.

    Roxanne Davis was arrested by Pasco County sheriff’s deputies at about 7:45 p.m. Friday and charged with violating her probation on a grand theft charge. She was being held without bond at the Land O’Lakes detention center.

    Late Friday, the Pasco County sheriff’s website showed James Davis was in custody as well. No further details were available.”

  • The local Tampa Fox News report followed later yesterday, and including a video report.
  • The MyFoxTampaBay.com staff added to the previous posted news that “HCSO spokeswoman Debbie Carter said investigators discovered a van that had blood inside it. HCSO also confirmed they are working with Zephyrhills police after Perry’s van was discovered abandoned in the parking lot of the Quality Inn motel on Bearrs Avenue on Sunday…. FOX 13 also confirmed more remains were discovered at a gas station dumpster two miles away from the Perry’s Zephryhills home.”

  • At the time of this posting, this article is the most recent information made public: Saturday, May 22nd, the St. Petersburg Times article “‘Thundercats’ writer and two roommates missing under suspicious circumstances” by Drew Harwell, Molly Moorhead and Shelley Rossestter, Times Staff Writers.
  • At present, the police have requested that no one publicly say anything more.

    As you can imagine, this has been horrifying, sickening, depressing, frustrating, infuriating, sorrowful news.

    I can say no more at this time, I’m sorry.

    I can, however, talk about my friend Steve Perry — his life, his work, the man.
    _____________

    The Steve Perry I know and love is not to be confused with rock musician Steve Perry, or science-fiction author Steve Perry (whose occasional brush with publication by publishers associated with comicbooks only furthers the confusion: the Steve Perry who authored the novel Predator: Turnabout for Dark Horse in 2008 is not the Steve Perry I’m writing about today).

    Steve Perry was born in Maine in 1954. By all accounts from Steve himself and those who knew him before I did, theirs was a very unsettled and difficult life, the details of which I will not go into here.

    I first met Steve at Johnson State College in Johnson, VT in 1974. Steve had already made quite an impression at JSC as a playwright, including his scripting an ambitious science-fiction play which was staged at JSC’s Dibden Theater prior to my freshmen year. He studied writing and was quite industrious in his studies, which included an independent study in writing for the comicbook industry.

    When we first met – Steve was the first serious comicbook fan, scholar and aspiring comicbook professional I’d ever known – he was writing and mailing a plethora of letters of comment to various comicbook editors, pursuing the well-worn path of getting his foot in the industry door via persistent letters-of-comment. Steve had a number of fan letters published; the only one in my collection is his letter which appeared in Eerie #80 (January 1977).

    His first published comicbook writing was thanks to my own first published effort, the one-shot black-and-white comic magazine Abyss (1976), bankrolled by Tim Viereck and featuring the lengthy story “Not Yeti,” two Lovecraftian single-pagers and the horror poem “Incunabula,” all scripted by Steve and illustrated by yours truly. Only 200 copies were printed (by Johnson College Press), and Steve’s attempts to use Abyss to enter the comicbook profession proved frustrating at best (a rejection letter from a Warren editor simply stated, “the magazine is aptly named”).

    It did, however, serve as my primary portfolio piece when I applied to the newly-opening Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art Inc. in Dover NJ – a school I only knew of thanks to Steve, who showed me the initial announcement for the school in the “Beautiful Balloons” column in The Comics Buyer’s Guide. Steve urged me to apply, and was very forceful in his arguments that I should attend. Thanks to Steve (and the support of other beloved JSC friends), I finally did apply, and was accepted.

    While I pursued my own path into comics via the Joe Kubert School, Steve and his partner and fellow writer Gail Flatow lived in Vermont and moved for a time to Sante Fe, New Mexico.

    By the time I was able to provide inroads to the comicbook industry in 1981, Steve and Gail were back in Vermont; Steve was working for comics mail-order retailer and shopowner Alan Goldstein at Moondance Comics in Brattleboro, VT.

    Steve worked with Alan and Moondance for many years, and they later would partner to create First Run Video. Steve met his first wife while they both were working at Moondance.

    His entry into Marvel ComicsSteve’s lifelong dream – was thanks to our collaborative work on a few stories for Marvel’s experimental comics magazines: Epic Illustrated, edited by Archie Goodwin, and the black-and-white comic magazine Marvel Preview, which became Bizarre Adventures with issue #25 (March 1981).

    Steve and I collaborated on the story “Kultz,” from an original idea by yours truly, in Epic Illustrated #6 (June 1981). Steve and I subsequently collaborated on what many still consider our best effort, “A Frog is a Frog,” in the ‘violence’ issue Bizarre Adventures #31 (April 1982). We also collaborated on the Dracula origin story – for which we created the prehistoric vampire character Varney – in Bizarre Adventures #33 (October 1982), and Steve scripted a downbeat based-on-true-life Christmas story that Rick Veitch illustrated for Bizarre Adventures #34 (February 1983).

    Steve and Rick completed three stories in all for editor Denny O’Neil, who was, along with Archie Goodwin, Steve’s personal favorite of all the comicbook editors he worked with during his short time in comics. Bizarre Adventures was cancelled with #33, and of those stories only one ever saw print: “Ahhh… Christmas” by Perry and Veitch was published in the one-shot Amazing Adventures (1988).

    From the summer of 1984 to spring of 1986, Steve collaborated with artist Tom Yeates on the 8-issue fantasy series Timespirits for Archie Goodwin’s Epic Comics line at Marvel. It was initially a fruitful collaboration, yielding a comicbook series still celebrated by its readers and fans, and which some argue provided inspiration for elements of the recent James Cameron blockbuster hit Avatar (2009), specifically the blue tribal people of Timespirits #6 (September 1985). Alas, differences between the creators, including disagreements concerning what direction the series should go (specifically, disagreements concerning overt political content being folded into the series), resulted in an unhappy conclusion to the series and its early termination.

    Steve and I collaborated on one of his own all-time favorite stories, “The Saurian Remains,” for editor Carl Potts for Amazing High Adventure #4 (November 1986). Steve also scripted the initial issues of the Marvel New Universe series Psi-Force #1-2 (1986), from a concept created by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson, working with penciler Mark Texeira and inkers Kyle Baker, Hilary Barta, and Romeo Tanghal. When Harris Publications relaunched the venerable Warren horror anthology title Creepy in 1985, Steve immediately was on board. He had two stories in Creepy #1 (June 1985), “The Dump Man,” illustrated by Eric Shanower, and a previously unpublished two-pager we’d collaborated on for Heavy Metal, “A Base and Nasal Hunger” (an earlier collaboration Steve and I sold to Heavy Metal did see print, but I haven’t been able to locate that issue at the time of this writing).

    During this fruitful period, Steve also collaborated with veteran EC Comics and Secret Agent X-9 comicstrip artist George Evans on a western horror tale entitled “The Ballad of Hardcase Bradley” which was published (if memory serves) in Pacific Comics’ anthology Vanguard Illustrated #7 (July 1984; addendum: this recall has now been confirmed by Rob Imes in the comment thread, below, who also offered the quote I’ve added in the next sentence. Thanks, Rob!). In editor David Scroggy‘s inside-front-cover editorial, he wrote: Steve Perry [is] writing from the wilds of Vermont, and some amazing scripts are rolling from his typewriter. You’ll be seeing more of his work in Pacific Comics.” Sadly, that was not to be, as Pacific Comics soon folded, though Steve had caught the interest of Scroggy and others at Pacific with numerous stories and projects.

    If I get into the unrealized projects, this essay would be twice as long. So many dreams, plans, proposals that (through no fault of Steve‘s) never saw light of day. As I’ve repeatedly stated (and provided evidence of concerning my own orphaned projects — e.g., Rawhead Rex, Grumm, Little Brothers, etc.) here at Myrant, the comics industry is littered with lost projects and opportunities, and one rarely knows why something doesn’t find a home. Steve had developed numerous concepts with myself and other cartoonists that didn’t see print – including an ambitious series entitled “Dinosaur Bill” – and a number of unsold self-standing comics stories we were never able to find a home for (including “Blessings,” “Tiny Dinosaurs,” and many others).

    [Addendum: Ditkomania fanzine editor and comics scholar/historian/fan Rob Imes has also brought to my attention Steve's work on the mid-1980s revival of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, which I'd dimly recalled but couldn't find any sign of in my own collection; see comments thread, below. Quoting Rob: Steve also "wrote the Menthor story “A Change of Mind” (drawn by Keith Giffen & Rick Bryant) in Wally Wood’s T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 (Deluxe, Nov. 1984)... Perry also wrote the Noman 2-parter (penciled by [Steve] Ditko, inked by Greg Theakston) in the same series, issues #3 (Nov. 1985) and #4 (Feb. 1986). I suspect that this Noman 2-parter had originally been done (at least the writing & penciling anyway) in 1984, during a brief period when a Galaxy Comics was going to publish T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, before the Deluxe series happened.” Thanks, Rob!]

    I’d welcome any further information on Steve’s other comicbook credits.

    By this time, Steve was hard at work writing TV screenplays for the Rankin/Bass animated Saturday morning TV series Thundercats and Silverhawks. Working under series story editor Peter Lawrence, who Steve always enjoyed working with, he created a number of characters (primarily villains) for both series, including the lead Silverhawks nemesis Mon*Star.

    The pay was far better than any comicbook scripting freelance had ever reaped, but these jobs were done under far more aggressive work-for-hire terms than was the norm in comicbooks. Despite having created a number of characters for the TV shows, Steve saw no royalties of any kind, and when the Kenner Toy lines featured action figures of his characters, he had to buy them for his sons (more than once, I loaned Steve the money to do so).

    Thundercats debuted on January 23, 1985 and proved an immediate success, running 130 episodes until its conclusion in 1989. Silverhawks was less successful, debuting September 8, 1986 and running 65 episodes. Steve scripted four episodes of Silverhawks.

    I would welcome a complete listing of Steve’s writing credits for the two series; please note that the imdb listing for ‘Steve Perry’ is incorrect, conflating his TV writing credits with another animation writer named Steve Perry (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0675310/), who is possibly the science-fiction novelist Steve Perry. My friend Steve Perry only scripted for story editor Peter Lawrence on the two Rankin/Bass series noted here.

    The Marvel ‘Star Comics’ series Thundercats was launched in 1985; adaptations of the TV animated series scripts began with issue #13 (cover dated July 1987), thanks to Steve’s breakthrough with pre-clearance from Rankin/Bass of all TV script adaptations. The laborious process of clearing original comicbook scripts through the TV producers was time-consuming and often created delays. Steve took it upon himself to, with the blessings of the Marvel series editor, negotiate a way around this problem by arranging for ‘pre-clearance’ of adaptations of existing TV scripts from the TV series itself – since those scripts were already ‘approved,’ having been scripted and broadcast, such an arrangement would make the editor and writer’s job much more straightforward, removing an enormous obstacle in facilitating speedy completion of comicbook scripts for the Star Comic series.

    Steve himself scripted the Thundercats #14 (August 1987) adaptation of his own TV script “Safari Jo!”, featuring art by Ernie Colon and Al Williamson; the #16 (October 1987) adaptation of his own TV script “The Queen of Eight Legs!” with art by Jim Mooney and Vincent Colletta; and the #19 (January 1988) adaptation of his own TV script “Doomgaze!” with artists James Mooney and Michael Esposito. I believe he also scripted at least a couple of issues of Marvel’s short-lived Silverhawks comic series (7 issues, 1987-88), but I cannot confirm that at this writing.

    [Addendum: see comments thread, below: Richard Caldwell confirms that Steve scripted the Silverhawks Star Comics series, "working with artist Mike Witherby." Thanks, Richard; very much appreciated!]

  • [Please visit Richard's own commemorative blog posting about Steve's work, here at this link. Richard writes: "I ...was first introduced to his work through Silverhawks. Writing for both the animated series and the short-lived comic book, Perry brought these crazy characters to life. And young me loved this stuff, ranking it on par or better with the likes of GI Joe, Transformers, Masters of the Universe, and even my beloved Micronauts....there was a wealth of fun to these stories. Tons of imagination. And much of that was due to the efforts of Steve Perry. His creative works in both comics and animation had a direct impact on my youth, and the properties he dealt with arguably introduced a large number of impressionable youths to the possibilities within science-fantasy." Bless you, Richard, and thanks for honoring Steve's work with your kind words.]
  • Alas, what should have been a windfall for Steve instead resulted in the series editor promptly assigning the adaptations of TV scripts to other writers (through to the series end with Thundercats #24, June 1988). This was a major blow to Steve; he had worked hard to arrange for the unprecedented process of pre-clearance for TV script adaptation to considerably ease Marvel’s ability to quickly turnaround scripts for the Thundercats TV series, using his own Rankin/Bass connections and status as a writer for the animated program to facilitate the process.

    His reward: immediately losing the comicbook gig. I was subsequently told by a Marvel staffer that when Steve visited the Marvel offices to confront the series editor, the editor locked his office door and hid under his desk.

    In despair, Steve soon quit writing for comics entirely. His final effort was a collaboration with then-up-and-coming cartoonist Paul Chadwick, Salimba, which was published by independent black-and-white comics publisher Blackthorne as a two-issue series Salimba 3-D (August-September 1986) – technically, issues 6 ane 9 of the series Blackthorne 3-D – and a one-shot collected edition reprinting the two issues sans 3-D (cover dated January 1989).

    Salimba had originated as a proposal developed initially by myself (I created the thumbnails Steve scripted from) and then with former Timespirits partner Tom Yeates, who suggested the ethnicity and name ‘Salimba’ for the lead character (Steve had originally conceived of the character as a ‘white jungle princess,’ like Sheena).

    This was Steve’s final published comicbook series; in 1989, he also scripted a nominal followup to “A Frog is a Frog” entitled “Chasing Lincoln Home” for Taboo, which was never completed.

    Work had already dried up at Rankin/Bass; the relative failure of Silverhawks and the late 1980s downturn in the American TV animation industry meant no further work was or would be forthcoming from his connections in the TV animation industry.

    [To be continued...]

    All photos, comicbook covers, artwork ©2010 their respective proprietors; they are posted here for archival and historical purposes only.


    Discussion (55) ¬

    1. Johnny Bacardi

      Steve, has anyone said what’s become of Leo? Hopefully he’s safe with someone.

    2. Mark Masztal

      Today is a very sad day. Thanks Steve for talking with me on Friday and giving me early notice. Thanks to everyone who supported Steve Perry whether it be financially or spiritual.

    3. Richard

      Perry wasindeed the writer of the Silverhawks comic, working with artist Mike Witherby.

      But this is rough news here. If there is any justice in the world…

    4. srbissette

      * Johnny, to the best of my knowledge and according to Zephyrhills officials on the record, Leo is safe and with his biological mother. I fear for his safety, well-being and future.

      * Mark, thanks for all you’ve done for my old friend. It means/meant the world to Steve, and your kindness and generosity made a huge difference; bless you, and all who reached out to Steve.

      * Richard, thanks for the info. Do you know if Steve scripted the entire run, or just individual issues? I will revise the post and the bio I am sending out accordingly. THANK YOU!

      * I welcome any and all additional information/confirmation/revisions of the information I’ve posted here about Steve — many thanks!

    5. James Robert Smith

      Good grief. What a horrible story.

    6. John Platt

      My god, I am so devastated by this. Steve showed such courage in his struggles. I had strong hopes for his recovery. My soul is shattered by this news. My heart goes out to you, Steve, and to all of Steve Perry’s friends and loved ones.

    7. Johnny Bacardi

      If Leo’s with his biological mother, then he is far from “safe”. I’m assuming they’re (Mom and boyfriend) not in custody; I hope someone is keeping an eye on them.

      I got that last email from a week or so ago; I didn’t reply and I couldn’t send any money at the time. I wish I’d replied, but I just didn’t know what I could say that would make anything better. Kinda wish I’d made the effort now, but I don’t know if he would have been able to read it anyway as things seem to have turned out.

      Thanks for the update, Steve. What a horrorshow.

    8. Rob Imes

      This is awful, horrifying news…

      By the way, I’m looking at Vanguard Illustrated #7 (Pacific, July 1984) right now, and “The Ballad of Hardcase Bradley” is indeed in that issue. I notice that it ends on a “to be continued” which suggests that there is more out there that never got published. On the front inside cover, editor David Scroggy says that it’s “a visual verse by new talent Steve Perry. He’s writing from the wilds of Vermont, and some amazing scripts are rolling from his typewriter. You’ll be seeing more of his work in Pacific Comics.”

    9. Rob Imes

      Whoops, I was looking at the wrong tale… “Ballad” was NOT to be continued, as I said above.

    10. Andrew Foley

      Mr. Perry said the last e-mail I received from him would be the last, because he didn’t want to be a bother. I’d planned to let him know I hoped it wouldn’t be the last I heard from him… Hopefully, I’ll still get the chance. To say I hardly knew him would be dramatically overstating things, but the handful of e-mails we exchanged left me with admiration, and maybe even a little envy, for the strength he showed fighting for his life and his son’s future.

    11. Jedi

      I am a long time friend of Steve’s son’s mother. It’s a shame their relationship had to end because for many years, they really loved each other. Steve was an excellent father to that child and I know Leo will be heartbroken without him. Side note, I can unequivocally say, she had nothing to do with Steve’s disappearance.

      Steve was quite a character and the several times I met him, he always had a funny story to tell. I hope the news is some how wrong and Steve turns up but he and Leo are in my prayers either way.

    12. srbissette

      If I post even a sampler of Steve’s emails to me over the past year (I’ve kept them all), the news of Leo’s current situation would comfort no one. No slight to anyone involved, but Steve’s account — in his own words — of his own past year is harrowing, chilling, infuriating beyond words… and Leo’s mother does not come off well, to grossly understate the issue.

      Know that I am being as diplomatic and kind as I possibly can in this reply; I have no prejudices in this matter, but I cannot help but be impacted by Steve’s own ongoing email ‘diary’ which has been almost a daily part of my life since the beginning of 2009, and know that I have not simply taken Steve’s accounts at face value (he began sending me documentation via jpgs in the last three months, which I have verified — as has a few of the news stories now online).

    13. Johnny Bacardi

      Jedi, I apologize. I shouldn’t be making accusations or insinuations.

    14. srbissette

      With all due respect to you, Johnny, and you, ‘Jedi,’ I am sick at heart over the latest news report this morning:

      http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/police-zephyrhills-case-now-a-possible-homicide/1096915

      I do not find ANY comfort in Leo being with his mother, I am very, very sorry to say. The statements reflected in the article only chill me to the marrow.

    15. Chris Beckett

      Mr. Bissette,

      I’m an irregular reader of your blog, but saw the story on CBR and wanted to come here and just say that my heart goes out to you and all of Mr. Perry’s friends.

      chris

    16. tOkKa

      –>> .. this is overloading me .. can’t think.

      Not helping i ain’t slept all night.

      let me rest and come back – - – this is too much too much. After that news story .. .. it’s makin me cry.

      Too much .. o my god.

      Goddamn poor Steve. — o no.

    17. tOkKa

      –>> ..had this since i was young ..

      ** Family Home Entertainment presents “THUNDERCATS” :: SAFARI JOE // VHS (( 1988 ))

      .. can’t stop cryin’. Goddamn ,, -

    18. Rob Imes

      More on Steve Perry’s body of work… Is he the same Stephen Perry who wrote the Menthor story “A Change of Mind” (drawn by Keith Giffen & Rick Bryant) in Wally Wood’s T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 (Deluxe, Nov. 1984)? Perry also wrote the Noman 2-parter (penciled by Ditko, inked by Greg Theakston) in the same series, issues #3 (Nov. 1985) and #4 (Feb. 1986). I suspect that this Noman 2-parter had originally been done (at least the writing & penciling anyway) in 1984, during a brief period when a Galaxy Comics was going to publish T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, before the Deluxe series happened.

    19. srbissette

      Rob, THANKS! Yes, Steve wrote those, too — I couldn’t track that info, and didn’t have them in my own collection. It’s so hard to find anything on some of these publishers and projects, and I don’t trust my memory on all details (glad I was right about “Hardcase Bradley”).

      He was so proud to have worked with Steve Ditko and the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents characters! I will add this info to the essay, and credit all who have offered add’t info via this comment thread. Thank you, one and all!

    20. Jedi

      I’m not sure what I’m allowed to post during an active police investigation so I find it difficult to say more (mostly for the safety of Leo) in a public forum. I will however say that I’m sorry for what happened to Steve. He was a good guy. A friend of mine in Florida was in dire straights for about a week a few years ago. Despite never meeting him before, Steve gave my friend all the cable TV, internet, and food a guy could ever ask for. I’m sorry I didn’t know him better and I’m sure Leo misses him dearly.

      I posted this on the wrong story earlier. Apologies.

    21. superggraphics

      This is indeed tragic news… I was first made aware of Steve and his son Leo’s plight this past year… Steve had written a script for a story that is being illustrated and will see print in issue #4 of Surprising Theater (an independent anthology comic book) around September of this year (it’s a quarterly)… I contacted Steve and let him know that I and others would help him as much as we could financially (I actually ended up gladly selling off some of my prized possessions and sent the money to him and was more than happy to help them both and wish I could have done more) Steve was touched by my gesture and we exchanged thoughts via e-mail… He was excited about his script being illustrated and published by Surprising and in fact if he hadn’t been so ill would have illustrated it himself (now that would have been a treat)… It will be an honor for me to letter it and help bring it to print… From what he told me Steve’s life was a series of unending tragedies some of it admittedly his own fault but not all… If he is gone may he find the joy and peace that seemed to be lacking in his physical life and I pray his son will be OK going forward…

    22. Coyote

      Mr. Bissette- Thank you so much for this touching remembrance of Steve Perry. I’d been PayPaling Mr. Perry intermittently since I heard about his dire straits; he had been emailing me about his situation; I’ve since offered to forward those emails (which go into considerable and worrisome detail about the situation you reference above) to the Zephyrhills police department. While I don’t want to discuss what is pretty clearly a pending homicide investigation further, I share your concerns for Leo’s safety.

    23. David Jones aka Johnny Bacardi

      Steve: I’ve already monopolized the comments enough, so I’ll keep this brief: I’ve read some of the same emails you have, and I share your misgivings. That said, I was insinuating something in my earlier comment that probably is best left unsaid.

    24. Ross Campbell

      this is all really terrible and crazy.
      Steve B: Steve and i emailed back and forth several times over the past few months, i helped try to raise money for his operations and stuff, and i really want to talk to you about some things he said in his last/final email to me, but i can’t find any contact info for you! could you email me at mooncalfe at greenoblivion.com? that would be great, thanks. i’m really sorry about this whole thing.

    25. Somnopolis

      Very sad story. Thank you for sharing your experiences with Steve Perry.

    26. demoncat

      just wanted to say sadden that this had to happen to steve when things finaly looked good for him. and also for Leo who steve fought so hard to make sure he had a chance at the life he needs and deserves.

    27. Gail Simone

      Steve,

      He was lucky (if indeed the worst is true and he is gone) to have had a friend like you. After hearing of this situation from Johnny Bacardi, I tried to help Mr. Perry as best I could, with a bit of cash and pleas to the Hero Initiative to assist, which they did, bless their hearts. We did speak to a couple in comics who considered adopting Leo, because Mr. Perry knew he was not long for this world and above all, wanted a safe place for his son.

      But I don’t believe anyone could have been a better friend than Steve Bissette who helped with emotional, financial and career help way above and beyond any possible expectations.

      When I spoke with Mr. Perry, he was almost without hope. He had no food, no electricity, and was terribly afraid of dying before he could make a decent plan for his son. After the Hero Initiative got involved, he actually seemed to gather some hope and strength. I never knew the man except from his emails, but what a tragic story to happen to a talented man who only wanted to protect his son.

      Bless all the people, starting with Steve Bissette and the Hero Initiative, who did their best to make a very difficult life better.

      I’ve been saying it elsewhere, all I can add to this terrible story is that you please donate to Hero Initiative in Steve Perry’s memory. There are hundreds of destitute former comics creators who need that help and HI is dedicated to providing that.

      I’m so sorry, Steve, for the loss of your friend.

    28. Gail Simone

      I’m asking everyone, even if it’s a little painful right now, to please, please donate a few dollars to heroinitiative.org who really were heroes in this story. Please donate what you can, five dollars or whatever, and spread the word. There are a lot of Stephen Perry’s out there, unfortunately, and HI is one of the few organizations working to help them.

      Donate a few dollars in Mr. Perry’s memory. I am sure that would mean a lot to him.

    29. Rob Imes

      Thanks Steve for the addendum mention in your post. I just noticed that yesterday Maggie Thompson had also quoted the Scroggy front inside cover in a reply on your Facebook wall.

      At this point I think the best thing to do is keep doing what you have been doing, letting everyone know who Steve Perry was, personally and professionally. This whole situation shows how some people (like you) can be so good, caring, compassionate, giving, etc., and yet how others (whoever did this to Steve, and even those in the health-care system who had allowed him to suffer so much before this latest tragedy happened) can be so cruel, sick, and evil. That they treated a person like this who was already suffering, needing the good will of others, is shocking and sickening.

      A minor point about the first Harris-published CREEPY magazine. You have it as #1, but Harris continued the Warren numbering, so their first issue was #146. The GCD (Grand Comics Database) entry for that issue is at
      http://www.comics.org/issue/290727/

      I had mentioned my theory in Ditkomania #68 about the Perry-Ditko NOMAN story having been done in 1984. The Comics Journal #90 (May-June 1984, page 15) said that “Steve Perry, Al Williamson, Steve Ditko, Rick Bryant, and others” would be contributing to a DYNAMO #1 in 1984, but the company (Galaxy Comics) ended up not publishing it. It was likely the same material that Deluxe finally published in 1985.

      In the lettercol of Wally Wood’s T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #3, reader Jim Valencia wrote, “I’ve enjoyed Steve Perry’s work ever since I read a story he did with Steve Bissette in a Marvel B&W mag back in ’82. It’s good to see him getting more and more work today.”

    30. Richard

      Steve: the only issues still in my collection are the first three, and all scripted by Perry. I believe he handled the remaining four as well though.
      Also, I hope somebody has the means to maybe compile an exact list of episodes he worked on for both Thundercats and Silverhawks. Maybe a petition to dedicate the pending Thundercats film in production…?

    31. IDT

      This is such a sad story. My heart goes out to Steve and his son. I agree with Gail Simone: please donate to heroinitiative.org.

    32. Mike Pascale

      Steve–I just read about this on the Comicart-L list. I’m sorry to say I was completely unfamiliar with Mr. Perry or his work (tho I did buy SALIMBA when it came out, due to the art). I saw his name on a San Diego con list once or twice but not sure if it was the same person.

      I cannot make sense of all the cryptic comments previously made but all I know is you lost a friend and our industry lost another talent…in the same month we lost Frazetta, and the month before that, Dick Giordano. And that saddens me. Like with any death, I honestly don’t feel bad for Steve as he’s at peace, out of pain and done having to deal with the tribulations he faced earlier. I feel for you, his son, his family, loved ones and fans! You know the drill about time healing and I hope you can take some comfort in that, if not now, at least soon.

      As with what happened similarly with Todd Loren, eventually the gruesomeness of the case (along with the ghoulish “reporting” as seen in the latest article by wannabe novelists) will yield to the memories of the man himself and his work. And your memories of good times will far outweigh the bad. I hope and pray that time comes sooner than later.

      In the meantime, I look forward to reading your retrospective of Steve Perry’s cool career and great stories. I think that’s a good way to be remembered.

      Take care,
      Mike

      P.S.: I echo Gail’s comments regarding the Hero Initiative. They are currently helping out industry legend Gene Colan and do great work. I’ll be stopping by their table at SD for sure.

    33. Rich Arndt

      I’ve been writing to Steve for the past 8 months or so and last heard from him in the mass mailing that he sent out May 7th or 8th. This is terrible news. I always ended my emails to Steve with the best wishes for Leo and himself. At this point, it looks like that all I can offer again.

      In terms of his writing, I read his last script for Surprising Comics #4 as well as his last Salimba story (a prose tale). He’d lost none of his imaginative abilities. They’re both pretty darn good and I look forward to seeing both of them published.

      Please consider Gail Simone’s suggestion that you contribute to the Hero Initiative. Steve made a video for them that began airing only a week or two ago. Stop at their tables at the various comic conventions. They do great work.

    34. Lynn E. Cohen Koehler

      Thank you Steve, for sharing your memories and information about Steve… such a sad story…. (and as for the un M A R V E L ous editor… (yeah, the one under the desk..). that really SUCKED, u are a #*# !!! coward)… I really enjoyed Steve’s work with Rick Veitch, and all the EPIC stuff.. a brilliant creator… and now… a tragedy….

    35. thelionwaits

      Please extend tot he family my hopes and prayers that this insidious affair has a positive ending. I can imagine their frustration, having been in law enforcement for a number of years. I truly hope that the truth is revealed in this horrible situaltion.

    36. Lorelei

      Oh god, oh god, I’m sitting here in complete shock – my hands are shaking as I’m typing this.

      I realized that I hadn’t heard anything from Mr. Perry for a while- I’d sent an email replying to his emails which he’d sent out on the 9th via the Sandra Maples account and his personal account. I thought it was odd that there wasn’t a reply; he’s usually pretty good about replying back and keeping folks in the loop. I paypaled the Sandra Maples account some cash a few days ago, hoping it wasn’t too late, what with the contents of his email.

      For some reason, I felt the need to google him today – I knew your blog would probably be the first thing to pop up as he’d mentioned that you’d be in the loop. But oh god, I saw the robot6.comicbookresources.com article pop up first.

      Mr. Perry – what little I knew of him, with the few emails we’d traded back and forth – held himself bravely even after everything that was happening. Even at the worst of his sickness, he was brave, and strong and snarky and sarcastic.

      Is it unrealistic to still hope? I am not the praying kind, but I pray for his son Leo. Is there anything else that we can do?

    37. Thad

      Steve,

      A quick look through my Thundercats collection shows Stephen Perry’s name on the following episodes:

      The Doomgaze
      Safari Joe
      Queen of 8 Legs
      Feliner (2-parter)
      Tight Squeeze
      Trapped

      There may be a few more; I’ll have to dig my VHS collection out, as several episodes on the DVD sets are missing title cards.

      Hope I’ve helped in some small way. Thundercats meant a lot to me when I was a kid and I’m shocked and saddened by this news.

    38. srbissette

      Lorelei — Until the Zephyrhills police tip their hand, there’s nothing anyone can do. I’m doing all I can, behind the scenes, but it’s been a frustrating process at best. I’m not family — nor are you — and the family isn’t being given any information, either. It’s a painful waiting game at present.

      Thad, THANK YOU! I really hope to be able to add a full list of Steve’s THUNDERCATS TV episodes to a complete biblio of Steve’s work, and you’ve made a great initial contribution to that effort! THANK YOU.

      The fact that credits are removed from episodes pretty neatly embodies how little it matters to the producers/proprietors of the property. That, too, only hammers home some of the points I hoped to make in this essay.

    39. Thad

      Yeah, the Thundercats DVD’s are tremendously half-assed; some of the episodes are out of order, one was originally released without background music (though they offered to exchange the disc by mail for a corrected version), and the packaging doesn’t even number the seasons correctly (seasons 2-4 are sold as “Season 2, part 1″ and “Season 2, part 2″, despite the copyrights clearly showing they aired across three years). I’ve been hoping for years that someone who actually cares, like Shout Factory, would do a new release, as Warner clearly doesn’t respect either the creators or the fans.

      I wrote down the writer credit for every episode as I went through them; I’ll post them up to some relevant sites (Wikipedia, thetvdb.com) at some point in the near future.

      (Would it be appropriate to ask if anybody knows where I can find pre-DVD rips of Thundercats episodes, specifically The Unholy Alliance, Dimension Doom, The Thunder-Cutter, and The Evil Harp of Charr-Nin? I stress that I already own legal copies of all of these, I just don’t want to have to go to the trouble of digging out my tape collection.)

    40. Dan Seitz

      Hi, Steve. I just heard about this story via one of the blogs I work for and I just wanted to pass on my condolences for the loss of your friend. This is horrible. If there’s anything being started for Leo, please let me know and I’ll cover it for GammaSquad, help get the word out.

    41. srbissette

      Thanks, Dan, much appreciated. Keep your ear to the rail and eyes on MYRANT, we’ll keep folks posted here.

    42. Lawrence Gould

      I read that “violence” issue of Bizarre Adventures over and over again when I was a kid. Loved every page of it, especially your story in there. I wish I still had it. I’m pretty sure I do, in fact, back at my mother’s house a continent away–one of the select few comics/magazines I held onto when I was selling off most of my collection a few years back.

      I wasn’t sure who Steve Perry was until you mentioned that. Of course, I still don’t, but I know now that he did indeed affect my life, if even in just a small way.

    43. Lawrence Gould

      And I will certainly make a donation to the Hero Initiative in Steve Perry’s memory. I’m saddened to learn of his final situation, and it depresses the hell out of me to think that other former comic book professionals might find themselves in similar circumstances.

    44. Dr. Guy

      I’m just… I’m just sorry. That’s all. Sorry.

    45. Thad

      Steve’s Silverhawks episodes:

      Darkbird
      Fantascreen
      Limbo Gold Rush
      The Bounty Hunter Returns

      His Thundercats comics are just the three you mentioned:

      #14: Safari Jo [sic]
      #16: The Queen of Eight Legs
      #19: Doomgaze

      I’ve also updated all the Silverhawks episodes on thetvdb.com with writer credits. (Haven’t with Thundercats yet; I’ve found a site that gives writer credits for the remaining 4 episodes — none of them Steve’s — but need to confirm it’s accurate.)

      Will let you know if I find any others; I only have a few issues of the Silverhawks comic but I’ll see what I can dig up.

    46. Thad

      Silverhawks comics:

      #1: The Origin Story (adapted from the episode by Peter Lawrence)
      #4: The Copper Kidd Beats the Odds
      #6: A Few Laughs with the Old Crowd
      #7: Darkbird (adapted from the episode, also by Perry)

      Those are all the issues I have, but given that he wrote them all I wouldn’t be surprised if he wrote the entire series (I think it only lasted 7 issues — that would fit with the story about him losing his job right after negotiating pre-approval for adaptations of his scripts, as that’s what #7 was). I’ll see if I can scrounge up the others.

      You know, it occurred to me the other day that the first time my dad took me to a comic shop, when I was 4, he got me Thundercats and Masters of the Universe. I can’t say for certain, but it’s entirely possible that the first comic I ever read was by Steve.

    47. Thad

      Found the others; can confirm he wrote all of them. Titles:

      #2: Kidnapped
      #3: Clementine
      #5: Fantascreen (adapted from his episode)

      Clementine says it’s adapted from one of his scripts too, but there’s no episode with that title. It could have been retitled (in which case it would probably be Limbo Gold Rush, as Darkbird and Fantascreen both have comic adaptations and Bounty Hunter Returns is a followup to an earlier story), or it may never have been produced. I’ll look into it when I get a chance.

    48. Thad

      Confirmed: Clementine is the same story as Limbo Gold Rush. Smart money says the former was Perry’s original title and it got changed sometime during production of the TV episode.

      Incidentally, Silverhawks is FRICKIN’ CRAZY.

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