The loss of fan-favorite writer Stever Gerber in 2008 was a blow to the entire comic book community. He not only created the amazingness that is Howard the Duck, but back in 1974-75, he wrote a lot of critically-beloved creepy stories about the Man-Thing – the muck-monster whose touch burns the fearful. Now, a lost script of Gerber's following up on stories from that era has been given form with revered artist Kevin Nowlan in a new three-issue series entitled Infernal Man-Thing. Somewhat eerily, the story is entitled "Screenplay of the Living Dead Man."
“I was intrigued,” Nowlan said of the project. “I'd read the story that preceded it, ‘Song-Cry of the Living Dead Man’ back in the 70's and remembered the characters as well as the trippy, stream-of-consciousness narrative. Later, Steve said he was disappointed in the ending and wanted to go back and conclude the story as he'd originally intended. I think that's what inspired this story. As a reader, I assumed he was writing about his own inner, emotional life. He found all those wildly creative techniques for making his ideas work in the context of a ‘horror’ story. I don't think there was anything comparable at the time; at least not in comics. We had super-heroics and soap opera and mystery and monsters, but Gerber was writing those wild, introverted stories about existential angst.”
“The main character's violent struggle against his own mind,” he continued. “On the surface, it’s ‘comic’ violence but it's painful and grotesque. I don't want to give away too much because there should still be some surprises for the reader. Smaller details of the protagonist's life will seem familiar to anyone who knows a little about Steve's career. There are a few, vaguely autobiographical moments. Some cartoon characters come to life. That's a Steve Gerber trademark.”
Check out this Kevin Nowlan preview art from Infernal Man-Thing #1, with a cover from Art Adams.