Facebook post he wrote in response to the news that Martin Pasko passed away.
This is a hard one to write, bear with me. I just received word that Martin Pasko passed away.
Marty was part of my life almost forever. Fantazine, which he and Alan Brennert produced from just before Paul Kupperberg and I started our fanzines, was one of our inspirations. I still have the note Marty sent "resigning" from the fanzine business claiming we were doing what he'd hope he could do, scrawled loudly in his bold handwriting.
We became good buddies during his time as an editorial assistant to Julie Schwartz at DC while I was assisting Joe Orlando, and ended up rooming together for a couple of years when I moved out of my folks' house. He and I were part of now-legendary poker games, collaborated on a tale or three, and even though he headed out to Los Angeles to seek the next stage of his career, our lives stayed intertwined. He wrote stories for me when I was an editor, stood up in my bridal party, and connected back with me professionally when he was writing and story editing on Batman Adventures. After the Northridge Quake, he came back to New York, and did another stint at DC, heading a special projects editorial team before ultimately returning to LA.
But you're more likely to know Marty from his writing. He was the first of the fan generation to be the regular writer on Superman (then THE prestige assignment at DC), helped bring Wonder Woman back to glory after her detour out of costume, and touched the lives of most of the DC heroes. In television he built an impressive list of credits, including Roseanne, Twilight Zone and a ton of animation. He was the writer of Mask of the Phantasm, the first Batman animated movie. Along the way he picked up an Emmy Award, and the respect of his peers.
Marty connected with comics originally as a letterhack, with Julie Schwartz pinning the label "Pesky" Pasko on him. Whether commenting on the latest comic he read, the events of the day in politics, creative theory, or just making conversation, Marty had one of the sharpest wits of our generation, and opinions… oy, did he have opinions. I learned from him, learned by arguing with him, and took joy in ample helpings with the hamburgers or Chinese food we shared over the decades.
There are too many tales to tell (and quite a few I won't), and I'm pissed at him for dying when we can't even have a proper funeral. But the odds are you've read his work, credited or not, or enjoyed a comic or cartoon or tv show or even a theme park event he made better, even as he relentlessly complained about the difficulties of making it as good as it "should" be. Marty didn't have a genius for making anything easy (especially for him), but he had a real genius for making creative magic. Go read one of his stories or watch one of his shows, and raise a glass to a writer who always gave you his all.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
[Photo by Martin Pasko, used under the Creative Commons license.]
Guest Column by Paul Levitz
Posted by Paul Levitz on May 11, 2020 @ 5:44 pm CT
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