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William Messner-Loebs

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William Messner-Loebs
Messner-Loebs in 2007
BornWilliam Francis Loebs, Jr.
(1949-02-19) February 19, 1949 (age 75)
Ferndale, Michigan, U.S.
Area(s)Cartoonist, Writer, Penciller, Artist, Inker
Notable works
The Flash
Journey: The Adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire
Wonder Woman
AwardsInkpot Award (1987)
GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book (1992)
Macabre Award (2008)
Bill Finger Award (2017)

William Francis Messner-Loebs (/ˈmɛznər ˈlbz/;[1] born William Francis Loebs, Jr.,[2] February 19, 1949)[3] is an American comics artist and writer from Michigan, also known as Bill Loebs and Bill Messner-Loebs. His hyphenated surname is a combination of his and his wife Nadine's unmarried surnames.

In the 1980s and 1990s he wrote runs of series published by DC Comics, Image Comics, Comico, and other comics publishers, including DC's superhero series Flash and Wonder Woman among others. Additionally he has both written and drawn original creator-owned works, such as Journey: The Adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire.


William Messner-Loebs was born in Ferndale, Michigan.[4] His right arm was amputated above the shoulder in infancy because of a cancerous tumor;[5] he writes and draws with his left hand.

Loebs was a friend of Kevin Siembieda, and played in Siembieda's role-playing group in Detroit; in 1981, his mother Frances (Schepeler) Loebs loaned Siembieda the money to start publishing role-playing books for his company Palladium Books.[6]

His first comics work was for Power Comics Company[7] and on Noble Comics' Justice Machine with Mike Gustovich. His first ongoing series was Journey: The Adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire, about 19th-century Michigan frontier life, which he both wrote and illustrated.[5] It was published from 1983 to 1986 by Aardvark-Vanaheim and Fantagraphics, followed by a limited series Journey: Wardrums. He wrote the 31-issue Jonny Quest series published by Comico from 1986 to 1988[8] and collaborated with artist Adam Kubert on the Jezebel Jade limited series, a spin-off from the Jonny Quest series.[9]

In 1988, he began writing The Flash with issue #15 and continued through #61. He and artist Greg LaRocque introduced Linda Park as a supporting character in the series in The Flash vol. 2 #28 (July 1989).[10] He also reintroduced the Pied Piper as a reformed villain and established the character as gay, in issue #53 (Aug. 1991).[11]

Meanwhile, he wrote Dr. Fate #25-41 and the Jaguar series for DC's Impact Comics imprint. He wrote Epicurus the Sage which was illustrated by Sam Kieth, and scripted The Maxx which was illustrated and co-written by Kieth. In 1990, Messner-Loebs became the writer of the Batman newspaper comic strip and wrote the strip until its cancellation the following year.[12]

In 1992 Loebs took over writing the Wonder Woman series, with pencils by Mike Deodato.[8] During his run from #63 to #100, he created the character Artemis of Bana-Mighdall,[13] for whom he wrote the mini-series Artemis: Requiem. Meanwhile, he wrote Hawkman #9-27, penciled primarily by Steve Lieber.[14] In 1996 he had a brief run writing Marvel Comics' Thor. From 1997 to 1999 he wrote Impulse #29-49, penciled by Craig Rousseau. In 1999 he wrote the "V2K" mini-series Brave Old World for Vertigo, penciled by Guy Davis.[8]

In 2005, following years of limited freelance work and the loss of his and his wife's home in the early 2000s, Messner-Loebs's financial condition was publicized in the local newspaper and comics news sites and Internet message boards.[15][16] Author Clifford Meth teamed up with artist Neal Adams to create a benefit auction to help Messner-Loebs.[17] The two also created an art tribute book entitled Heroes & Villains with all proceeds aiding Messner-Loebs.[2]

His financial situation improved somewhat, and he had a number of works published, including an issue of Green Arrow in 2005,[8] and several pieces in The Three Tenors (Aardwolf Publishing), which he shared credits for along with Clifford Meth and artist Dave Cockrum. A new "Journey" story was included in the one-shot Many Happy Returns in 2008, and IDW Publishing reprinted the original material in paperback. He has done writing for Boom! Studios, including the four-issue Necronomicon[18][19] and stories for Zombie Tales. He has done illustration work for the 2007 humor book Chicken Wings for the Beer Drinker's Soul and a monthly cartoon for the Livingston [County, MI] Parent Journal. In 2008, he discussed additional, more substantial new works with various publishers.[20] In 2011, he wrote the DC Retroactive: The Flash – The '80s and DC Retroactive: Wonder Woman – The '90s one-shots.[21]

As of early 2018, William Messner-Loebs and his wife have continued to struggle financially, with Messner-Loebs working two part-time positions in Michigan.[22] In 2019, he co-wrote, with Amy Chu, issues #3–5 of the limited series Kiss: The End for Dynamite Entertainment, and contributed to an independent comic book anthology called YEET Presents.[23]

In September 2020, William Messner-Loebs was named Project Editor for Resurgence Comics.[24][25]


In 1985, Messner-Loebs was nominated for the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award.[26] He received an Inkpot Award in 1987[27] and his Jonny Quest series from Comico was nominated for the Kirby Award for Best Continuing Series and Best New Series that same year.[28] In 1989, Messner-Loebs was nominated for an Eisner Award as Best Writer for Jonny Quest and his Jezebel Jade series was nominated for the Eisner Award for Best Finite Series.[29]

For his work on The Flash, he received the first GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book in 1992.[30] He received the Bill Finger Award for Writing Excellence in 2017.[31]

In 2009 he won the Macabre Award for his Necronomicon comic book series.[32]

Awards won[edit]

Award Finalist[edit]

  • Russ Manning Award (for Most Promising Newcomer) 1985
  • Kirby Award Best Black-and-White Series (for Journey) 1985[28]
  • Kirby Award Best Black-and-White Series (for Journey) 1986[34]
  • Kirby Award Best Continuing Series (for Jonny Quest) 1987
  • Kirby Award Best New Series (for Jonny Quest) 1987
  • Harvey Award Best Writer (for Jonny Quest) 1988[35]
  • Eisner Award Best Writer (for Jonny Quest) 1989
  • Eisner Award Best Finite Series (for Jezebel Jade) 1989
  • Harvey Award Best Graphic Album (for Epicurus the Sage) 1990
  • Harvey Award Best Graphic Album of Original Work (for Wonder Woman: Amazonia) 1998



Aardwolf Productions[edit]

  • Aardwolf #1 (1994)
  • The Uncanny Dave Cockrum... A Tribute (2004)
  • The Three Tenors: Off Key (2005)

About Comics[edit]

  • Many Happy Returns (2008)

Angry Isis Press[edit]

  • Choices: A Pro-Choice Benefit Comic Anthology for the National Organization for Women #1 (1990)

Approbation Comics[edit]

  • Myriad #3 (1995)

A Wave Blue World[edit]

  • Dead Beats: London Calling (2021)

Boom! Studios[edit]

  • Cthulhu Tales #3, 6, 12 (2008–2009)
  • Necronomicon #1–4 (2008)
  • Zombie Tales: The Series #3, 5 (2008)

Brass Knuckles Magazine[edit]

  • Mousterian Investigations (2023)

Century Comics[edit]

  • Actor Comics Presents #1 (2006)


  • Jezebel Jade #1–3 (1988)
  • Jonny Quest #1–31 (1986–1988)
  • Primer #3 (writer/artist) (1983)
  • Silverback #1–3 (1989)

Cost of Paper Comics[edit]

  • YEET Presents #24, 26–27, 29, 31–34, 36–39, 41–44, 50, 52-53, 59 (2019–)[36]
  • YEET Presents Special: Loey the Liger and the Wizard's Tower #1 (2021)
  • Shamus and Katie #22 (2022)

Dark Horse Comics[edit]

DC Comics[edit]


Dynamite Entertainment[edit]

Eclipse Comics[edit]

Fantagraphics Books[edit]

  • Amazing Heroes #138 ("2nd Annual Swimsuit Issue"), #164 ("Swimsuits '89") (1988–1989)
  • Amazing Heroes Swimsuit Special #1 (1990)
  • Anything Goes! #5 (1987)
  • The Best Comics of the Decade #1 (1990)
  • Dalgoda #7 (Wolverine MacAlistaire backup story) (1986)
  • Dinosaur Rex #2–3 (backup story) (1987)
  • Journey: The Adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire #15–27 (1985–1986)
  • Journey: Wardrums #1–2 (1987–1990)

First Comics[edit]

Image Comics[edit]

Innovation Publishing[edit]

Kitchen Sink Press[edit]

  • Images of Omaha #1 (1992)

Last Gasp[edit]

Literacy Volunteers of Chicago[edit]

  • Word Warriors #1 (1987)

Marvel Comics[edit]


  • Moonstone Monsters: Witches #1 (2004)
  • Moonstone Noir: Bulldog Drummond #1 (2004)

Noble Comics[edit]

SD Publishing (Robin Snyder)[edit]

Ted Valley[edit]

  • Flint Comix & Entertainment #26–31 (2011)

Thorby Comics[edit]

  • Scandals #1 (1999)

Wisconsin Writers Association Press[edit]

  • Human Interest Stuff (2012)

Zenescope Entertainment[edit]

  • Mankind: The Story of All of Us #2 (2011)


  1. ^ Update Bill Messner-Loebs Set Up a GoFundMe
  2. ^ a b Meth, Clifford, ed. (2005). Heroes and Villains: The William Messner-Loebs Benefit Sketchbook. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 96. ISBN 978-1893905528.
  3. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011.
  4. ^ "William F. Messner-Loebs". INDUCKS. Archived from the original on April 20, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Bill Messner-Loebs". Lambiek Comiclopedia. 2016. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016.
  6. ^ Appelcline, Shannon (2011). Designers & Dragons. Swindon, United Kingdom: Mongoose Publishing. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  7. ^ Power Comics Company entry, Grand Comics Database. Retrieved Jan. 17, 2023.
  8. ^ a b c d William Messner-Loebs at the Grand Comics Database
  9. ^ Stroud, Bryan D. (August 2016). "William Messner-Loebs and Adam Kubert Discuss Jezebel Jade". Back Issue! (90). Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing: 68–75.
  10. ^ Cronin, Brian (October 26, 2014). "Almost Hidden – William Messner-Loebs' Run on Flash". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 13, 2015. He introduced Linda Park, which is likely his most significant contribution to the Flash mythos.
  11. ^ Cronin, Brian (August 8, 2011). "Almost Hidden - The Pied Piper Comes Out of the Closet". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on June 18, 2017. We gained one of the few openly gay superhero supporting characters in DC Comics History in 1991's Flash #53, written by William Messner-Loebs and drawn by Greg LaRocque and Jose Marzan Jr.
  12. ^ Greenberger, Robert; Manning, Matthew K. (2009). The Batman Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the Batcave. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Running Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7624-3663-7. Shortly after the 1989 feature [film], Batman even returned to the funny pages for a bit, in a comic strip by writer William Messner-Loebs...Lacking enough support from various papers to make it financially feasible, the new comic strip folded after two years, despite Carmine Infantino trying his hand at its art chores.
  13. ^ Manning, Matthew K. (2010). "1990s". In Dolan, Hannah (ed.). DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
  14. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 267: "Hawkman fought a new string of dark adventures with the help of writer William Messner-Loebs and artist Steve Lieber."
  15. ^ Brady, Matt (January 30, 2005). "Bill Messner-Loebs: Down but Not Out". Newsarama. Archived from the original on March 6, 2005.
  16. ^ Meth, Clifford (2005). "Past Masters: Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Fanboys". Silver Bullet Comics. Archived from the original on July 28, 2006.
  17. ^ "Clifford Meth and Neal Adams Tag-Team for Messner-Loebs". Comics Bulletin. February 23, 2005. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  18. ^ Manning, Shaun (June 2, 2008). "William Messner-Loebs Opens the Necronomicon". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016.
  19. ^ Brady, Matt (June 4, 2008). "Waid & Loebs Talk About The Necronomicon". Newsarama. Archived from the original on January 9, 2016.
  20. ^ Krug, Kurt Anthony (November 21, 2008). "Support from friends helps turn things around for artist". Grand Rapids, Michigan: MLive.com. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  21. ^ Goellner, Caleb (April 1, 2011). "DC announces Retroactive one-shots". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2011.
  22. ^ Kevra, Derek (March 27, 2018). "One-armed comic book artist worked on Wonder Woman, now homeless in Michigan". Detroit, Michigan: WJBK-TV. Archived from the original on March 27, 2018. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  23. ^ Cronin, Brian (May 12, 2020). "Comic Legends: Why Did The Flash Lose His Lottery Winnings?". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on August 2, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020. If you just want to see some more recent Bill Loebs goodness, check out Yeet Presents here, who have been working with Bill recently, with a brand-new Wolverine Macalistaire story appearing in YEET Presents #33
  25. ^ "William Messner-Loebs' Interview – Career, Achievements, and Future Projects - Nerdgenic". nerdgenic.com. 2022-03-24. Retrieved 2022-06-27.
  26. ^ Madriaga, Mike (July 17, 2019). "Homeless at the Con". San Diego Reader. Archived from the original on July 26, 2019.
  27. ^ "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
  28. ^ a b "1987 Jack Kirby Awards". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012.
  29. ^ "1989 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on March 23, 2019.
  30. ^ "Past Winners of the GLAAD Media Awards". GLAAD. Archived from the original on June 28, 2001. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  31. ^ "Bill Finger Award Recipients". Comics Continuum. Archived from the original on June 16, 2017. Retrieved June 15, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  32. ^ "Resurgence Comics".
  33. ^ "Ask Bill! Epos. 4". YouTube. YEET Presents. September 4, 2019. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021.
  34. ^ "1986 Jack Kirby Awards". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012.
  35. ^ "1988 Harvey Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on October 24, 2013.
  36. ^ "William Messner-Loebs". Motor City Comic Con. n.d. Archived from the original on July 14, 2019.

External links[edit]

Preceded by The Flash vol. 2 writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by Wonder Woman vol. 2 writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by Thor writer
Succeeded by
Dan Jurgens (in 1998)