William Messner-Loebs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
William Messner-Loebs
William Messner-Loebs.jpg
Messner-Loebs in 2007
BornWilliam Francis Loebs, Jr.
(1949-02-19) February 19, 1949 (age 69)
Ferndale, Michigan
Area(s)Cartoonist, Writer, Penciller, Artist, Inker
Notable works
The Flash
Journey: The Adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire
Wonder Woman
AwardsInkpot Award 1987
Bill Finger Award 2017

William Francis Messner-Loebs (/ˈmɛsnər ˈlbz/; born William Francis Loebs, Jr.,[1] February 19, 1949)[2] 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.[3] His right arm was amputated above the shoulder in infancy because of a cancerous tumor;[4] 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 role-playing book for his company Palladium Games.[5]

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.[4] 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[6] and collaborated with artist Adam Kubert on the Jezebel Jade limited series, a spin-off from the Jonny Quest series.[7]

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).[8] He also reintroduced the Pied Piper as a reformed villain and established the character as gay, in issue #53 (Aug. 1991).[9]

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.[10]

In 1992 Loebs took over writing the Wonder Woman series, with pencils by Mike Deodato.[6] During his run from #63 to #100, he created the character Artemis of Bana-Mighdall,[11] for whom he wrote the mini-series Artemis: Requiem. Meanwhile he wrote Hawkman #9-27, penciled primarily by Steve Lieber.[12] 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.[6]

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.[13][14] Author Clifford Meth teamed up with artist Neal Adams to create a benefit auction to help Messner-Loebs.[15] The two also created an art tribute book entitled Heroes & Villains with all proceeds aiding Messner-Loebs.[1]

His financial situation improved somewhat, and he had a number of works published, including an issue of Green Arrow in 2006,[6] 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[16][17] 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 a monthly cartoon for the Livingston [County, MI] Parent Journal. In 2008, he discussed additional, more substantial new works with various publishers.[18] In 2011, he wrote the DC Retroactive: The Flash – The '80s and DC Retroactive: Wonder Woman – The '90s one-shots.[19]

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.[20]


He received an Inkpot Award in 1987.[21] For his work on The Flash, he received the first GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book.[22] He was given the Bill Finger Award for Writing Excellence in 2017.[23]



About Comics[edit]

  • Welcome to Heaven, Dr. Franklin #1 (2005)

Angry Isis Press[edit]

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

Boom! Studios[edit]

  • Cthulhu Tales #2–3 (2008)
  • Necronomicon #1–4 (2008)


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

Dark Horse Comics[edit]

DC Comics[edit]

Eclipse Comics[edit]

Fantagraphics Books[edit]

  • Anything Goes! #5 (1987)
  • The Best Comics of the Decade #1 (1990)
  • Journey: The Adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire #15–27 (1985–1986)
  • Journey: Wardrums #1–2 (1987–1990)

First Comics[edit]

IDW Publishing[edit]

  • Journey #1 (2008)

Image Comics[edit]

Innovation Publishing[edit]

  • Justice Machine Summer Spectacular #1 (1990)

Last Gasp[edit]

Literacy Volunteers of Chicago[edit]

  • Word Warriors #1 (1987)

Marvel Comics[edit]

Noble Comics[edit]

Ted Valley[edit]

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


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010.
  3. ^ "William F. Messner-Loebs". INDUCKS. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Bill Messner-Loebs". Lambiek Comiclopedia. 2016. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016.
  5. ^ Appelcline, Shannon (2011). Designers & Dragons. Swindon, United Kingdom: Mongoose Publishing. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  6. ^ a b c d William Messner-Loebs at the Grand Comics Database
  7. ^ Stroud, Bryan D. (August 2016). "William Messner-Loebs and Adam Kubert Discuss Jezebel Jade". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (90): 68–75.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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 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.
  11. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1990s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
  12. ^ 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."
  13. ^ Brady, Matt (January 30, 2005). "Bill Messner-Loebs: Down but Not Out". Newsarama. Archived from the original on March 6, 2005.
  14. ^ Meth, Clifford (2005). "Past Masters: Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Fanboys". Silver Bullet Comics. Archived from the original on July 28, 2006.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ Manning, Shaun (June 2, 2008). "William Messner-Loebs Opens the Necronomicon". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016.
  17. ^ Brady, Matt (June 4, 2008). "Waid & Loebs Talk About The Necronomicon". Newsarama. Archived from the original on January 9, 2016.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ Goellner, Caleb (April 1, 2011). "DC announces Retroactive one-shots". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2011.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
  22. ^ "Past Winners of the GLAAD Media Awards". GLAAD. Archived from the original on 2001-06-28. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  23. ^ "Bill Finger Award Recipients". Comics Continuum. Archived from the original on June 15, 2017.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mike Baron
The Flash vol. 2 writer
Succeeded by
Mark Waid
Preceded by
George Pérez
Wonder Woman vol. 2 writer
Succeeded by
John Byrne
Preceded by
Warren Ellis
Thor writer
Succeeded by
Dan Jurgens (in 1998)