William Messner-Loebs at the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo in Columbus, Ohio in 2007. Photograph by Margaret Liss.
|Born||William Francis Loebs, Jr.
February 19, 1949
|Area(s)||Cartoonist, Writer, Penciller, Artist, Inker|
|Journey: The Adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire, Wonder Woman, The Flash|
William Messner-Loebs (born William Francis Loebs, Jr., February 19, 1949) is an American comic book writer and artist 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.
Since the 1980s he has written substantial runs of series published by DC, Image, Comico, and other smaller comics publishers, including both high-profile publisher-owned superheroes and original creator-owned works which he has also illustrated.
Loebs' right arm was amputated above the shoulder in infancy because of a cancerous tumor; he writes and draws with his left hand.
Loebs was a friend of Kevin Siembieda, and one of the players in Siembieda's role-playing group in Detroit; in 1981, his mother Frances (Schepeler) Loebs loaned Siembieda the money to print the first roleplaying book for his company Palladium Games.
His first comics work was for Power Comics Company 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. 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.
In 1988, he took over writing the recently relaunched series The Flash with issue #15 and continued through #61 (penciled by Greg LaRocque). 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 (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.
In 1992 Loebs took over writing the Wonder Woman series begun several years earlier by George Pérez, with pencils by Mike Deodato. During his run from #63 to #100, he created the character Artemis of Bana-Mighdall, for whom he wrote the mini-series Artemis: Requiem. Meanwhile he wrote Hawkman #9-27, penciled primarily by Steve Lieber. 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.
His financial situation, following years of limited freelance work and the loss of his and his wife's home in the early 2000s, was publicized in the local newspaper and comics news sites and message boards on the Internet. Author Clifford Meth teamed up with artist Neal Adams to create a benefit auction to help Messner-Loebs. The two also created an art tribute book entitled Heroes & Villains (Two Morrows Press) with all proceeds aiding Messner-Loebs.
His financial situation has improved since then, and he has had a number of works published, including an issue of Green Arrow in 2006, 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 (About Comics) in 2008, and IDW Publishing reprinted the original material in paperback. He has done writing for Boom! Studios, including the 4-issue Necronomicon and a story for Zombie Tales. He has done illustration work for the 2007 humor book Chicken Wings for the Beer Drinker's Soul and produces a monthly cartoon for the Livingston [County, MI] Parent Journal. He is in talks with publishers for additional, more substantial new works.
- Justice Machine
- Journey: The Adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire
- Jonny Quest
- The Flash
- Dr. Fate
- Epicurus the Sage
- The Maxx
- Wonder Woman
- Brave Old World
- Necronomicon (with art by Andrew Ritchie, 4-issue mini-series, Boom! Studios, 2008-ongoing)
- Human Interest Stuff (written by Rodney Schroeter; adapted from a story by Albert Payson Terhune)
He received an Inkpot Award in 1987.
- "William F. Messner-Loebs". Coa.inducks.org. 1949-02-19. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- Greenberger, Robert; Manning, Matthew K. (2009). The Batman Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the Batcave. Running Press. p. 41. ISBN 0-7624-3663-8.
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.
- Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1990s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
- 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."
- "''Detroit News'' (Jan. 20, 2005): "Artist in Howell faces adversity with a smile"". Comicscommunity.com. 2001-09-10. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
- Newsarama board: "Bill Messner-Loebs: Down but Not Out" Archived March 6, 2005 at the Wayback Machine
- SBC (no date, c. 2005): "Past Masters: Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Fanboys", by Clifford Meth Archived July 28, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
- "Clifford Meth and Neal Adams Tag-Team for Messner-Loebs: News Bulletins". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
- "BARNES & NOBLE | Heroes and Villains: The William Messner-Loebs Benefit Sketchbook by William Messner-Loeb | Paperback". Search.barnesandnoble.com. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
- William Messner-Loebs Opens the “Necronomicon”, Comic Book Resources, June 2, 2008
- Waid & Loebs Talk About The Necronomicon, Newsarama, June 4, 2008
- "MLive.com, "Support from friends helps turn things around for artist"". Blog.mlive.com. Retrieved 2011-07-18.
The series was renamed Journey into Mystery. A new Thor series started in 1998 with Dan Jurgens as writer.
|Wonder Woman writer