There’s no denying the importance of Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s New Teen Titans/Tales of the Teen Titans comics of the 1980s. Not only have those stories heavily influenced the recent Cartoon Network Teen Titans series (and movie), but the characterization and concepts are still being felt today. Furthermore, DC has announced that among its direct-to-video animation plans are a faithful adaptation of “The Judas Contract,” a classic story arc from 1984.
I was thumbing through my copies of the original comics, enjoying the rediscovery of the writing and art. I also discovered something else — some familiar names in the letters column. Welcome to another edition of Letter Bugs, in which we explore the fan letters of yesteryear written by the comics industry pros of today.
First up from the “Titans Tower” lettercol in Tales of the Teen Titans #42 from a fan who really loves George Perez…
Hey, you guys!
Perez is back! And with a vengeance! I’ve got nothing against Keith Pollard but nobody–not nobody–can compare to our own lovable George!
Wow! The Titans, The Outsiders, and The Fearsome Five all in one story, taking place in two titles! Sounds great. Judging from the first part, it is great! My favorites:
You’ve improved on Shimmer. Her face is slightly changed from the wasted look in previous issues. I like it. It gives her more individuality.
Dr. Light is once again treated like dirt by the rest of the group. I think he may be starting to realize he’s not the omnipotent villain he thought he was.
We learn some stuff about Baran and Selinda’s past. Good, it’s always nice to know bad guys’ histories (we sure get enough of the good guys’).
Whew! Terra almost got the Titan’s secret identities!
2nd panel, page 18. Hah! I love The Batman, but he got what he deserved there. Robin politely told him to butt out of his conversation!
Gulp! What’s going to happen to Cyborg’s arm (if he survives)?
By the way, if you haven’t guessed yet, I loved Titans #37.
Signed, John Neufeld, Brooklyn, NY
P.S. So what if it’s 75c, I’ll still buy two a month. Waitasec! Titans is gonna start coming out every two weeks soon, right? Okay, I’ll buy two issues ever two weeks!
The obviously enthused John Neufeld is now a self-described “Brooklyn-based alternative cartoonist.” He not only has contributed to Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor, but has published an array of his own comics, such as Keyhole, Titans of Finance and A Few Perfect Hours. He has a website — JoshComix.com — you should visit if you want to learn more about him and his work.
Moving onto the next issue, Tales of the Teen Titans #43, and its lettercol, we’ll find another familiar name…
Dear Marv and George:
“Who Is Donna Troy?” was one of the most moving stories that I have read in a long time.
I felt extra close to this story because as a parent of a seven-month-old son, I felt a certain amount of joy and heartbreak with Fay Evans as she found her little girl after all these years. I think that any parent that reads this story would have to really spill out some emotion over the heart-tugging scripting that went into this slice of life.
It was a real please to read a story of this high quality. Thank you all very much.
Signed, Stephen Scott Beau Smith, Barboursville WV
Yes, this mushy missive was written by one of the rootin’est, tootin’est, tough guys of comics today, Beau Smith. He’s been writing comics for years, and you should check out his latest project, Cobb: Off the Leash from IDW Publishing.
If you know of other fan letters written by pros, send me an e-mail and let me know.