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Donald F. Glut

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Donald F. Glut
Born (1944-02-19) February 19, 1944 (age 80)
Occupation(s)Film director, screenwriter, writer, musician
Years active1953–present
Notable workThe Empire Strikes Back novelization
Dagar the Invincible
The Occult Files of Dr. Spektor
Tragg and the Sky Gods
The Penny Arkade
AwardsInkpot Award (1980)[1]

Donald F. Glut (/ɡlt/; born February 19, 1944)[2] is an American writer, motion picture film director, and screenwriter. He is best known for writing the novelization of the second Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back.


Amateur career[edit]

From 1953 to 1969, Glut made a total of 41 amateur films, on subjects ranging from dinosaurs, to unauthorized adaptations of such characters as Superman, The Spirit, and Spider-Man.[3]

Due to publicity he received in the pages of Forrest J Ackerman's magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, Glut was able to achieve a degree of notoriety based on his work. This allowed him to increase the visibility of his films by obtaining the services of known actors such as Kenne Duncan and Glenn Strange, who reprised his most famous role as the Frankenstein Monster for Glut.

His final amateur film was 1969's Spider-Man, after which he moved into professional work full-time.

On October 3, 2006, Epoch Cinema released a two-DVD set of all 41 of Glut's amateur films titled I Was A Teenage Moviemaker. The total running time of both DVDs is 480 minutes, and includes a documentary about the making of those films, with interviews with Forrest J Ackerman, Randal Kleiser, Bob Burns, Jim Harmon, Scott Shaw, Paul Davids, Bill Warren, and others.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Over the next decades, Glut pursued a variety of professions in the entertainment field. He worked heavily as a screenwriter, mostly in children's television on shows such as Shazam!, Land of the Lost, Spider-Man, Transformers, Challenge of the GoBots, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, DuckTales, Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, X-Men, and many more.

He also claimed to have created some of the characters and much of the back story for the Masters of the Universe toy line, which served as the basis for the TV show.[5]

With the release of 1996's Dinosaur Valley Girls, Glut began a professional directing career that has seen him helm several exploitation-style films, such as The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula (2001), The Mummy's Kiss (2003), Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood (2004), The Mummy's Kiss: 2nd Dynasty (2006), and Blood Scarab (2007).[6] More recently he wrote and directed Dances with Werewolves (2017) and Tales of Frankenstein (2018).


Having been a classmate and friend[7] of Glut at the University of Southern California,[8] George Lucas approached him to write the novelization of A New Hope, but Glut turned him down due to the low pay and the fact the Lucas' name would be on the cover. Glut then wrote the novelization of The Empire Strikes Back (1980). While working on the novel, he had difficulty due to the fact that details of the script and the art design were compartmentalized inside Lucasfilm. Descriptions of some characters and scenes in the novel turned out different from the film, as Glut had to base them on concept art by Ralph McQuarrie.[7]

Glut has written approximately 65 published books, both novels, and nonfiction, plus numerous children's books based on franchises. Many of his nonfiction books have been about dinosaurs, including Dinosaur Dictionary and the Dinosaurs: The Encyclopedia series of reference works.

Glut created and wrote several series for Western Publishing's line of Gold Key Comics including The Occult Files of Dr. Spektor,[9] Dagar the Invincible,[10] and Tragg and the Sky Gods.[11] At Marvel Comics, he wrote Captain America, The Invaders, Kull the Destroyer, Solomon Kane, Star Wars, and What If...?. His work for Warren Publishing included Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella.[12] More recently, Glut has been working for Warrant Publishing Company, a company that is publishing magazines as an homage to Warren Publishing's past work using similar layouts and artwork. Glut is working as an associate editor and writer on some of Warrant's homage titles such as The Creeps and Vampiress Carmilla.


1967–1968 Glut played bass for The Penny Arkade. They recorded only one album, produced by Michael Nesmith of the Monkees. The album was not released until 2004 as a limited Record Store Day LP/CD by Sundazed Records.

Selected bibliography[edit]


  • The Dinosaur Dictionary (1972)
  • The Frankenstein Legend: A Tribute to Mary Shelley and Boris Karloff (1973)
  • The Dracula Book (1975)
  • Spawn (#43) (1976)
  • The Great Television Heroes (1975)
  • The Dinosaur Scrapbook (1980)
  • The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (novelization)
  • The New Dinosaur Dictionary (1982)
  • Classic Movie Monsters (1991)
  • The Complete Dinosaur Dictionary (1992)
  • Dinosaurs: The Encyclopedia (1997)
  • Chomper (Dinotopia No. 11) (2000)
  • Jurassic Classics: A Collection of Saurian Essays and Mesozoic Musings (2000)
  • The Frankenstein Archive: Essays on the Monster, the Myth, the Movies, and More (2002)
  • True Vampires of History (1971)
  • True Werewolves of History (2004)
  • Shock Theatre, Chicago Style: WBKB-TV's Late Night Horror Showcase, 1957-1959 (2012)

Comics bibliography[edit]

Archie Comics[edit]

Charlton Comics[edit]

DC Comics[edit]

Gold Key Comics/Western Publishing[edit]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Now Comics[edit]

Skywald Publications[edit]

  • Psycho #8 (1972)

Warren Publishing[edit]

  • Creepy #29–32, 42 (1969–1971)
  • Eerie #25, 30, 32, 36, 39–41, 51, 125 (1969–1981)
  • Vampirella #1–5, 8–9, 16, 18–19, 23, 37, 90, Annual #1 (1969–1980)

Television credits[edit]


The Penny Arkade[edit]


  1. ^ "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
  2. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011.
  3. ^ Sims, Chris (June 22, 2012). "The Surprisingly Coherent Spider-Man Fan Film From 1969". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. It's an 11-minute fan-film produced by Donald Glut in 1969, in which Spider-Man (played, of course, by Glut) battles against a supervillain called 'Dr. Lightning'.
  4. ^ Galbraith IV, Stuart (October 3, 2006). "I Was A Teenage Movie Maker: Don Glut's Amateur Movies". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on August 18, 2010. Donald F. Glut's amateur movies, shot between 1953 and 1969, acquired a kind of legendary status over the years partly because the films, with titles like Son of Tor and Spy Smasher vs. the Purple Monster, were frequently mentioned in the pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland and Fantastic Monsters.
  5. ^ Melrose, Kevin (March 10, 2014). "Mattel wins fight with comics writer over He-Man rights". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015.
  6. ^ Khosla, Abhay (March 31, 2010). "An Interview with Donald Glut". Savage Critics. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Guynes, Sean; Hassler-Forest, Dan. Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling (PDF). Amsterdam University Press.
  8. ^ Jones, Brian Jay (2016). George Lucas: A Life. New York City: Little, Brown and Company. p. 61. ISBN 978-0316257442.
  9. ^ Markstein, Don (2007). "Doctor Spektor". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on May 27, 2024. Dr. Adam Spektor, a researcher of the supernatural, was introduced in Mystery Comics Digest #5 (July, 1972)...The story was written by Don Glut...and drawn by Dan Spiegle.
  10. ^ Markstein, Don (2009). "Dagar the Invincible". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on May 27, 2024. Dagar started as a non-series character, the hero of a story that writer Don Glut...wrote for Gold Key's Mystery Comics Digest.
  11. ^ Markstein, Don (2007). "Tragg and the Sky Gods". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on May 27, 2024. Writer Don Glut...and artist Jesse Santos...supplied the comic, in which aliens from interstellar space had a profound effect on a tribe of Stone Age people.
  12. ^ Donald F. Glut at the Grand Comics Database

Further reading[edit]

  • "The Occult Files of Donald F. Glut: An Interview with the Creator of Dr. Spektor". Interview by Scott Aaron Stine. Trashfiend vol. 1, no. 3 (Jan.-March 2003) pp. 20–23.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Kull the Destroyer writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by What If...? writer
Succeeded by
Roy Thomas
Preceded by
Roy Thomas
Captain America writer
Succeeded by