scottedelman (scottedelman) wrote,

Happy 71st Birthday, Jim Steranko!

I love Jim Steranko. Always have, ever since he first appeared on the comics scene. His work immediately blew me away, and I became a Steranko fanboy, which is why I bought a copy of what Wikipedia calls "the extremely limited edition Steranko Portfolio One" as soon as I saw it.

Here's the cover to the copy I picked up at one of Phil Seuling's July 4th cons, either in '70 or '71. I think it was in '70, the same con at which I paid for my copy of The Steranko History of Comics. (I write "paid for" because it wasn't yet available except as an advance order. I can still remember paging through the thick mock-up of what it would eventually look like.) As you can see below, I made sure to have Jim sign his Portfolio. [Click through several times on any images here to view at full size.]

I was still a kid when, not so long after, I read an article about him that appeared in the September 16, 1971 issue of Rolling Stone. For some reason, I was upset by the tales included there of his criminal youth, and decided to write him a letter about it to see if they were true.

If this happened today, I'd send an e-mail with a link, or maybe a letter with a photocopy of the piece, but back then, I actually copied over the entire long article by hand so he could see what I was referring to.

Those of you who've seen my handwriting may doubt whether Steranko would have been able to read whatever I'd written. But at the very least he must have deciphered my name and return address, because I soon received the following postcard:

I was grateful that Jim took the time to respond to a crazed kid. I still am. (Grateful, that is; not a crazed kid.)

Happy birthday, Jim! And thanks for the present you gave me so long ago.
Tags: birthdays, comics

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