T. M. Maple
Burke's letters were quite popular among readers as well as editors, and he wrote prolifically to a diverse number of comic publishing companies and titles. Burke originally signed his letters as "The Mad Maple," but Marvel Comics editor Tom DeFalco abbreviated it to "T.M. Maple" to make it sound like a real name (thus circumventing a new policy at the company to stop printing letters submitted under pseudonyms). Burke took a liking to the new name and began using it exclusively (including variations like "Theodore Maddox Maplehurst") until 1988, when in Scott McCloud's Zot! #21 he revealed his real name.
Some believe that the Simpsons' character the Comic Book Guy was based on Maple. Simpsons creator Matt Groening, however, has repeatedly stated that the Comic Book Guy was based on "... every comic-bookstore guy in America".
- "Petition for the Return of the Letters Page!" Newsarama (Nov. 10, 2006). Accessed Sept. 28, 2008
- Cronin, Brian. "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed" #92, Comic Book Resources (Mar. 1, 2007). Accessed Sept. 27, 2008.
- Captain Optimist #1 (Fan-Atic Press, 1986).
- T.M. Maple tribute page at Sequential: Canadian Comics News & Culture (Jan. 23, 2007). Accessed Sept. 28, 2008.
- "Best. Comic. Fan. Ever." L-Dopa (Apr. 4, 2006). Accessed Sept. 28, 2008.
- Joe Rhodes (2000-10-21). "Flash! 24 Simpsons Stars Reveal Themselves". TV Guide.
- Cronin, Brian. "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed" #92, Comic Book Resources (Mar. 1, 2007).
- T.M. Maple interview, David Anthony Kraft's Comics Interview no. 24.
- "Sequential's archive of the message board thread T.M. Maple — Anyone ever meet the guy?", The Comics Journal message board (Dec. 11, 2006).