10 Years Ago: The Wally Wood Letters


From Boing Boing 10 years ago: In the late 1970s John Hitchock started up a mail correspondence with Wally Wood, inarguably one of the world's most gifted comic book artists. For a variety of reasons, Wood had fallen on hard times, but he was a generous man and wrote 18 replies to Hitchock's letters.

"So my advice is, don't be a creator. It's much more fun, and much more rewarding to be a defacer with a title . . . "Creative Director" or "Assistant Associate Editorial Consultant". If you're a creator, you'll find yourself at the mercy of a kid fresh from writing dirty words on walls, who will take work you have spent hours on and write the singularly revealing message "Kill This" across it in bold strokes of his big blue pencil."
The Wally Wood Letters



  1. What a neat story! It’s always nice to see/hear about creators who take the time to correspond and share insights with readers (esp. passionate ones).

    FYI, some of the archive links go dead after the first few though.

  2. @cinemajay

    seriously? is that all you can say about the plight of creators?

    also, this being posted by a journalist is irony in itself.

    1. Why are you expecting anything else? It is a nice read. Chances are, most of us reading BoingBoing know the plight of creators and don’t have anything new to add. Should we all just not say anything at all if we can’t further a dramatic discussion about ? Sometimes, things are just nice and should be hailed as such.

      1. That was supposed to read “Should we all just not say anything at all if we can’t further a dramatic discussion about (insert human plight here)?” but I used < for the brackets…. So that section disappeared as html. Silly me.

        1. Ugh… I used the greater than/less than symbols and I assume it disappeared as html. I didn’t know a single symbol denoted html. For some reason I just assumed it needed to be a closed command… Ok, I’m going away now. :P

  3. The Iron Law of Editorial Distribution is that idiot editors are bestowed upon wise creators and yet idiot creators inflict their unedited effluvia upon the public without restraint.

    One who laments editors “defacing” works probably hasn’t suffered through Ayn Rand. The Galt speech, for example, likely constitutes a war crime. Someone writing “kill this” in bold strokes across half of Atlas Shrugged would have been an act of mercy.

  4. In regards to the comic cover that Mark posted: anyone know if the picture of Mr. Astronaut reeling from the shock of seeing his dead mirrored self is referencing a Bradbury story?

    My Dad always told me the plot of “Moon” (w/ Sam Rockwell) was a near carbon-copy of a scifi story that has been repeated many times over the years; is this one of them?

    1. It says on the cover there that it is. EC kinda notoriously lifted a lot of Bradbury stories early on, but Bradbury was a good sport when he contacted them about it, and from then on out, they treated them as official adapations.

      Wood was the quintessential comicbook genius. As talented as he was tortured, a terrifying cautionary tale to the rest of us following in his footsteps, and a triumphant master of the form.

  5. Wait, isn’t anyone going to raise a stink about the book cover calling Ray Bradbury a “science fiction writer?”

    (I personally think that term fits him as well as any but it seems like “oh no he isn’t!” gets thrown into every online discussion about the man.)

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