web stats

CSBG Archive

Aw, man, Wayne Howard died.

Passed away of a heart attack at age 58.

According to Wikipedia and this thread on the Soap Operus forums, started by a man who knew him.

Howard avoided publicity and didn’t do interviews, so I can’t give you much detail on his life. Wayne Howard started in the industry working for Will Eisner(!) and spent time in Wally Wood’s studio, sometimes ghosting for Mr. Wood. Later on, Howard did a few job for Marvel and DC inking Marvel Team-up and Wonder Woman, but the bulk of his work was for Charlton, including…

Wayne Howard 2.jpg

or, better yet….
Wayne Howard.jpg

A title Howard, solo, conceived. He also drew the covers for the book, did much of the interior art, colored, inked, and lettered, occasionally scripted and was creator-credited BY NAME on the cover – An unheard of practice for Charlton comics at that time. (Or ever.)

Midnight Tales, especially, is a favorite of mine – Heck it’s my all-time favorite Horror Anthology title periodfullstop. Instead of a single, Crypt-Keeper style narrator, the heroes of the series were Professor Coffin and his exceedingly comely niece Arachne who pull double duty – sometimes acting as observers, sometimes active participants in the stories. It’s a funny, sexy, all-round enjoyable comic series, scary only when you least expected it.

Sadly, Howard left the comics industry in 1983.

I never met him, but I had a hell of a lot of respect for his work.

I think the major strength of Howard’s art was it’s unpredictablity: The camera would swoop down and slide, telling the story from eight or nine different angles on a single page, until static shots were rare enough to mean something. The panels themselves would alternate between near George-Perez level detail (check the above and below covers) and uncluttered, one-or-two figure drawings depending on the story’s immediate needs. On top of this story-based-randomness, Howard had a psychologist’s eye for body language – Look at how much personality every one of the figures has in the image below.

I would unhesitatingly call him one of the unrecognized greats of his generation. And I know I’m not alone. I remember buying back issues at a Detroit Convention and ending up in a half hour long conversation with five or six strangers about how much we liked Wayne Howard’s work and how sad it is that he’s stuck in relative obscurity. So RIP, Mister Howard. Thanks for giving us as much of your work as you did, but we selfishly wish there had been more.
WayneHoward4.jpg

Howard is survived by his wife and one student, the last of the Wally Wood school.

34 Comments

[...] [Top Story] Mark Andrew brings word that longtime Charlton artist Wayne Howard died yesterday of a heart attack. He was 59 years old. Wikipedia has a good biography of the man and his long career in comics. [...]

It was my pleasure to know Wayne Howard and call him my friend, he will be missed.

A good friend, he was kind, respectful and the kind of man this world needs more of. Rest in peace. Things won’t be the same without you.

I, and anyone who had the priveledge of talking to this man, cannot avoid the fact that Wayne Howard was the most kind and normal person, I have ever met. He didn’t want to be famous, which is probally why he left the comics industry, nor did he want to label anyone different form anyone else. I’m proud to have called Wayne Howard a friend.

True that TC True that.

He was like a father to me.. and probably to a lot of other people. It has been such a pleasure knowing this kind and wonderful man and he will never be forgotten and his spirit lives on within his family and friends!
Love you Wayne :(

I met Wayne Howard when I was working for Wally Wood in 1974. We became friends and spent a lot of time together in those years. He was a very bright, interesting, and funny guy and the stories I could tell about him would fill a book. I’ll never forget him. May he rest in peace.

Wayne was a friend to me. But, more than a friend he was kind of a father figure. I met him 10-11 years ago when I was about 16. He had some part in shaping the person I am today. I only hope…he’d be proud of who I am. You were far too young to leave us, Wayne. Maybe I’m just selfish, but I’d have loved to have had you another 10 or 20 years. The single nicest man I’ve ever known, I only regret I didn’t know him better than I did. You’ll always be missed…and loved.

He was 58, not 59. Though we always joked he was 58 going on 12. He saw the fun in everything and his attitude was always highly contagious. For the past 10 or 12 years he’s been a friend and an advisor to me and to many of my friends, and I feel lucky that I got to know him and spend time with him. All I can say is that his heart attack must have been because his heart was just too big to fit in a human body. He was selfless and honest, two rare and unique gifts. I miss him dearly.

Who is the one remaining student?

I just received a call..all I can say is Mr. Howard was amazing. I think I can safely say there was a group of people who knew a side of him few did. Thank you, Wayne..

Nivi that was beautifully said, I have indeed never met anyone who had a bigger heart! I only knew him for the last 2 years but will remember him and his kind words forever!

Once again, another great childhood memory passes away. Go in Peace, Wayne…

Wayne Howard’s passing marks the saddest day of my life. I’ve known Wayne for some 10 years or so now. I don’t even remember the series of events that led me to him. All I remember is the overwhelming warmth and friendship that Wayne gave so freely to so many people. For my teenage years, I considered Wayne my greatest friend, confidant, and mentor. We miss him already.

Very nice comments, folks. (Really sad, but very nice.)

Thank you for sharing your memories.

I’ll miss you SE. You were one of the best men I’ve ever known.

Your friend,

-David

We will all miss him. He knew how to make us feel warm and welcome. He was a friend.

[...] Wayne Howard passed away at age 58 last Sunday. More than for his terrific work in the field of comics, he will be remembered by his closest friends for his warmth and honesty, his cheerfulness and the kindness he was able to project unto others at all times. Goodbye, Eagle. [...]

Wayne ran an IRC game channel for about 13 years. During that time there were probably 4-500 people who came through there… most of them hanging around for months or years till real life dragged them away. Some are still here from the beginning. They came every day, and every one of them was there because of Wayne. All ages, all nationalities and countries, all personalities… he accepted them all and created a home away from home for all of us that was a safe and happy haven.

There was never a feeling of a “clique”… each person was accepted for who they were. This was an amazing feat in itself… but to top it off, we all learned to react in the same way. Wayne was not just a friend to us, he was a best friend, a mentor, a father. He kept us on the straight and narrow with his common sense, down-to-earth advice, and he kept us off-balance with his wonderful gentle and candid sense of humor. :)

He made every one of us feel special in a way we’ve never been treated before. He was the most intelligent, kind, gentle, and honest man I’ve ever met in my life. And I don’t think anyone in our game channel would argue that. To most of us, he will always be remembered as the person who made the greatest impact on our lives, the person we most want to model our lives after. He taught us how to think, how to share, how to love unconditionally.

These words might sound hollow and euphemistic to most people reading them… but to the people in our channel, he was all things and more. He ran that channel with love and humor, and we will continue it in his tradition. He’s a part of every one of us, and there isn’t a person on this earth that could fill the place he has left empty. He’s in heaven now… the one place he wanted to be more than anything. May he have every joy, peace and love that he didn’t have on this earth.

We love him dearly and forever.

What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Perhaps a story of the man I knew.

I met Wayne through the IRC chat channel that he had created some twelve-thirteen years ago. I was there since the beginning. I was only a kid when I came in, Maybe 12 years old, dreaming of cheating in a video game.

Wayne was one of the most humble people I have ever met, but at the same time he loved people. He genuinely was interested in the things going on in peoples life, and was incredibly fun to talk to. When it came to relationships or career decisions, Wayne was the first person I turned to. I knew that he would help me. He was like a second father to me. As well as an incredibly good friend.

If I could end my life just being a fraction of what he was, I would die a very happy man.

I will miss my conversations with him.

God Bless You Wayne.

What can I say about Wayne that hasn’t already been said.

I met him several years ago while searching for another Irc channel. The first thing he did when I arrived on channel was say hi and offer me a cup of coffee. He was like that with everyone. There were times I would be up late working on one or two of my fanfics trying to work my way out of nasty plot holes and he would tell me

‘Calm down KW, you’ll figure a way to work yourself out of those holes’.
and then he offered me his trademark, a cup of coffee.

I considered Wayne such a friend that one day as I sat around working on another story, it hit me, create a character based off of Wayne to be kind of a father figure and friend to my main character. I remember the day I told him about that. I was nervous about how he would react. When he read what I had sent, he laughed and told me he liked the way I portrayed the character I created. Every time I finished a chapter, Wayne was the first person to read it and he always gave me good tips on how to make my scenes better. In his typical way, Wayne wouldn’t come out and just tell me how, he would make suggestions and subtly direct me in a way so that my work would be better. More often than not, his suggestions were better than what I had come up with on my own.

Wayne, I’ll miss you with all my heart and soul but I’m not sad, I know I’ll see you again sometime in the future and I know you’ll be there waiting with a smile on your face, a grin in your eyes, and of course……

that ever present infamous cup of coffee.

Farewell my friend.

Knightewolfe

Ben Carver put up a nice tribute to Wayne at his site here – http://www.pointguardian.com/

Mike Carlson

May 2, 2008 at 5:00 am

I was at college with Wayne, where he already had found his standard dress outfit, and once locked his room and went away for the holidays leaving a 45 of B.Bumble & the Stingers’ ‘Nut Rocker’ playing over and over on his record player…
all the comments about his honesty and sincerity were true back then and it’s good to know he didnt waver
He also produced, as his senior thesis, what would now be called a ‘graphic novel’, a fantasy story which
was quite good and probably around the same time if not earlier than Blackmark. I know I still have my copy, though it’s buried somewhere in my brother’s barn….
It’s good to hear how imprtant he was to so many people. Thanks.

I didn’t know Wayne Howard personally, but his artwork grabbed me enough to always pick it up and buy on sight. What a shame that this talented, sweet gentleman should leave his wife a widow at such a young age, but I’m glad he passed through and was appreciated by so many in his short time here.

Stephen Stanley

July 22, 2008 at 6:02 pm

So, I decided to google Wayne. And the title of this blog says it all.

I “met” Wayne in the mid 1960s when I bought a fanzine titled “Action Hero” from Wayne and his brother Sherman. I sent them a fan letter, and that started a few years of correspondence. Wayne, via the US Postal Service, taught me how to letter, encouraged my art and writing, and became one of my best friends, even though we never met and too soon lost touch.

Everything that has been said about him was true when he and I were teenagers (he was a few years older than I am). We lost touch when he went off to college.I finished up high school and went to art school. I stopped drawing, writing and collecting comics, became a graphic designer. Once in the 1980s I came across one of his comics. This was before the Internet and it was hard, if not impossible, to get back in touch with people.

So now I’m sitting here feeling the loss. I wish (hindsight…) I would have googled him a few years ago, gotten back in touch, reminded him of that friendship. We all have been enriched my this good man.

Thanks Wayne.

I haven’t been back to read these comments since last December, and I notice something really remarkable for me that had crossed my mind a couple times since, but really is just now coming to fruition for me. I, of course, recognize a lot of the people here who have left their comments, since we are all very close friends. But in all these years, until he died and we got a little more information about him, many of us didn’t know a lot of things about him. He really didn’t want us to focus on him at all, and his modesty continues to astound me as I discover these things. It never occurred to me that he was some terrific comic book guy (forgive my considerable ineptness at knowing the lingo of the genre, the only one who would have taught me anything about it is also the subject of this posting) or that he really was known by many other people than our small group of friends. He kept things like that to himself (although if you’d have asked, he would have probably just told you in private, he never had the air of trying to hide anything) and instead made ME feel special. It has been many months since he has passed, and I think that a great big part of the big sadness I still feel for the loss is my own guilt and realization of how selfish I see myself having been towards him. Wayne was so good at helping me deal with my own demons that most of the time I never stopped to think he might have had any of his own. I am sad to say that it wasn’t until after he passed that I actually looked into his artistry in comic book works, and bought up a good number of them to really see what things he had done. But, I am glad to have them now, and I have to believe that he really believed the things he said to me – and so I must assume that he really did know how much I loved him – so much, in fact, that I have a hard time putting him second even to my own father. And so, I am very happy to read all the other posts here and memories of things I never knew I never knew.

I still think of him daily, and I know this sounds cliche and cheesy and everything else, but I feel like he’s watching over me, sometimes, so I try to make my decisions as if he’s advising me – or just telling me to let something go. I hope to continue learning good stories about him for a long time to come – I really can’t get enough. :)

purple_reading_giraffe

September 25, 2008 at 7:52 am

I met Wayne Howard in late 74 or early 75 (it’s hard to remember exactly) as a teen. He was very interesting to talk to, kind, intelligent, funny and creative. I had the privilege of being asked to to be an ‘artist’s model’ for possible use as a character in one of his stories, and also had the privilege of seeing his apartment. He was unfailingly gentlemanly, set me at my ease, and set a high standard for me, at that age, of how a man should treat a lady. I have a very low tolerance for ‘leering’ as a result. That brief acquaintance has remained an important episode in my life, and I wanted to say that even a short time with this man is a treasure for a lifetime.

I also wanted to point out that the gentleman pictured at the far left of issue 2 of Midnight Tales – the man with the puppy at the veterinarian’s office – is a self portrait (which I asked him, and he humbly admitted). I think he told me the dragon on the cover of issue 12 was in part inspired by our conversation about The Hobbit and Smaug. I am grateful to the internet for allowing me to find his unique artwork once again so that I could be sure who that gentle, funny, kind, intelligent person was whose acquaintance is a treasured memory in my life. I only regret that when I finally ‘found’ him, he had gone beyond my ability to thank him personally.

Wayne was a very nice guy who made everyone feel like they were his friend, and he always seemed happy and excited no matter what.

Oh my gosh. That is a self portrait! I had that issue hanging on one of those sleeve things on my wall for a while, so I looked at it every day… But never noticed.

Cool.

Does anyone know if Wayne Howard ever painted in watercolor. I have seen a painting with his name on it and it is a lovely painting of a room with furniture and people in the picture. I just don’t know if it is the same artist.

Thanks for your write-up on my uncle, Wayne Howard. It’s nice to see how appreciated he is for his work.

Yes Wayne did paint in watercolor, arcylic, you name it. He explored all different kinds of media and subject matter as well. He was a great man. Quite humble and shy as well–that’s why no interviews.

Martine Dalton

July 11, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Going through some of Wayne’s comic’s, Wayne was one of the greatest cousin growing up, he made growing up no so painful. Always had a funny witty line, and you always knew your were special when you were around him. Very Sadly missed and loved. His stories live on forever. I just remember as a little kid getting into his red oil paint and smearing in all over everything, he never lost his cool.., That was Wayne

I met WAYNE in WALLY WOOD’S studio in New York and later, when I moved to Derby, CT to work for Charlton Comics as GEORGE WILDMAN’S assistant, there was WAYNE. We started a friendship which remained strong until I left Charlton. WAYNE was easy to like, a very generous man who laughed quickly and never had an unkind word to say about anyone. I remember one evening when he invited me over his apartment and after a few cups of coffee her said: “Nick, I have an idea for a comic book series called ‘Midnight’ and I’d like you to write it with me.” Later the publisher’s insisted on calling it “Midnight Tales”. WAYNE laid out the whole concept, including the narrators, Coffin and his niece Arachne. My only contribution were the cover ideas, I wanted them to be a gag with no connection to the theme of the stories inside. WAYNE agreed. I spent many evenings over WAYNE’s apartment hashing out issues with him. It was all his ideas and brilliant artwork which made each issue a success and a cult favorite. He even came up with some of the gag ideas for the covers. I miss WAYNE and I wish we had kept in touch over the years and now that he has passed on, it’s too late.

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives