LA produces a lot of awesome ideas. It rarely executes them well. Today, however, is an example of simplicity reigning on high and bringing success with it. Today in the city of angels, it's LEN WEIN DAY. Joining the proud tradition of politicians and founding fathers, Len Wein, comic book writer or legend and progenitor of some of Earth's mightiest heroes, has been awarded his very own day of worship. So call in sick, get out your Swamp Thing issues and Wolvie claws and GET TO WORSHIPPING.
I have had the immense privilege of getting to know Mr. Wein over the past few years. We've talked about character creation and played glow in the dark put put. Easy to talk to, good humored, and possessing a sense of sartorial elegance engineered to set fangirls a-swooning and fanboys a-coveting (of his embroidered denim jacket, who am I kidding, I want one so badly), our acquaintance has been completely freaking awesome.
If one were to compile a list of creative persons who deserved their own day on which to be kept holy, Len would doubtless rank pretty high. As the creator of some of the most popular characters in comic books, including arguably the most popular character in comic books (if you haven't picked up on this blog's Marvel bias yet, you can go home, now), Len changed the nature of who heroes could be yet still achieve wild successful.
Swamp Thing. Nightcrawler. Storm. Colossus. Jamie Fox. Lucius Fox. Clayface. Wolverine. Collaborating with some of comics greatest artists and editors, at time acting as editor-in-chief himself, Len has created all of the aforementioned characters- to name a few.
Wolverine. Conceive of a world without grumpy, sideburn stylin' Logan in it. You don't want to, do you? Well, of course you don't. You know else doesn't? That would be HUGH JACKMAN- -shown here shaking the scribe's hand, after leaping from the Hall H stage at Comic Con Int'l San Diego.
Because he couldn't contain his appreciation.
And let us not forget that the man edited Watchmen, and did such a good job of it that you cannot on any given page see his touch. Maybe that's just my personal criteria for what makes an awesome editor. But he damn well met it.
Well, kudos to you, LA. And Len, walk around with a nametag and a calendar because people, they need to know how awesome you are, since we all do. For you comic aficionados out there looking to give back this holiday season, Mark Evanier has set up a list at his blog of comics Len deserves to get back again, after suffering a fire that tragically consumed his home and invaluable collection of original works. If I had any of them, I would send them all, but I think if I start mailing him Fabian Nicieza X-Men issues, he's going to get offended or weirded out.
Len shown here with Phoenix, Rogue, Tony Stark and a chick in a ball gown cradling the ashes of Michael Sheard. Courtesy of P. Verrant.