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RIP Len Wein

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Hall of Famer Len Wein has passed away at age 69.

Wein was a mainstay of comics from the 70s on, co-creating Swamp Thing with Bernie Wrightson, creating countless characters at Marvel, such as Wolverine, and writing some of the most memorable tales of the Bronze Age.

Wein grew up with his fellow fan Marv Wolfman and they were early comics fanzine editors and came up together as part of a new generation that reinvigorated comics in the 70s. He was briefly the editor in chief at Marvel in the 70s, as well. He took the title up again for a run at Disney Comics in the early 90s.

Len was one of a kind; infuriating, inspiring, unforgettable.  There will countless Len stories over the next few days. I worked for him for a few years at Disney Comics, and learning from his wit and story sense was invaluable. Len had nearly died as a child from a freakish blood infection, and perhaps because of that had a relish for life and laughter that was infectious and never-ending. Even in recent years when his health took a very bad turn he was still laughing and enjoying conventions and friends.

I’m losing a lot of friends this year. Len is a tough one. My heart goes out to Christine Valada, his wife, and his stepson, Michael and the rest of his friends and family.

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. some years back I somehow scored one of those date books that can fit in your pocket. I say somehow ’cause I didn’t go out to buy one, but somehow or another came into possession of one. anyway, at the top of the page of every week is a quote from a broad cross section of famous people. mark twain, Kenny rogers, Michael Jordan, Churchill, bob hope, bill gates, Confucius, even trump (ugh)to name a few, you get the idea. but this quote, “a true friend is someone who is there for you when he’d rather be anywhere else.”, was credited to none other than Len Wein. I wasn’t sure if this was the same len wein , comic book writer whose work we all loved for all these years. so a few years back at one of the Baltimore cons he was attending, I brought the date book with me, showed him the quote, and yep, sure enough , he said that he indeed uttered those words of wisdom, tho’ he wasn’t sure how the quote ended up in the date book. he was nice enough to sign the page where the quote appeared (along with signing all kinds of marvel stuff that he had worked on)and I still have that date book to this day, even tho’ it expired years ago. a very cool and nice guy that I was very happy to meet. condolences to all family, friends, and fans.

  2. Len’s passing has received a surprising amount of mainstream media coverage. I presume that’s because he co-created Wolverine, a character that — thanks to movies — is now known to people who have never read an X-Men or Wolverine comic book.

    You can find NPR’s obit for Wein, and Glenn Weldon’s tribute, on NPR’s website.

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