Yesterday’s posting of four rejection notes I received from Paul Levitz caused one of you to ask whether one-line rejections were common. Since many of the rejects I received back during my comics years were received orally in face-to-face pitch meetings, I don’t have that much experience with written rejection. But I found one more reject from the late ’70s that will give a little more documentation of what it was like to have stories kicked back by a comics editor. At least from a horror anthology, that is.
Once I was no longer on staff at Marvel and was free to try selling comics scripts elsewhere, I not only hit up the editors at DC, but at Gold Key as well, because the latter company was still publishing both Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery and The Twilight Zone.
Here’s what editor Denise Van Lear had to say about three plots I’d submitted to her.
I’m not entirely sure when this letter would have been written, but the two Gold Key comics she suggested I try submitting stories for, Boris Karloff #87 and The Twilight Zone #89, were cover dated December 1978 and February 1979 respectively.
As for her suggestion that one of my stories, “A Model Murder,” might be “better suited for Marvel or D.C.,” she was right—the story ended up being published in House of Mystery #270 (July 1979).
And guess what? You can read it here!