Paul Levitz

What Happens When You Answer Your Mail

What Happens When You Answer Your Mail 150 150 Paul Levitz

Got a lovely note the other day via FB, in response to my usual query to people asking to “friend” me (“”Thanks, but can you tell me why you want to friend me?”).  The writer said she was a single mom, and fondly recalled me taking the time to send a letter back to her 14 year old daughter when she wrote in, talking of her aspirations to be an artist.  I had sent the girl some books on how to draw (things that would show up from time to time in my office and needed to find a better home).

Now the girl was about to graduate college, having continued to focus on art, and her mother said my encouragement had a lot to do with it.  I recall how good I felt about a couple of responses to letters I sent to comic  companies when I was young, so I can believe it, but it made my day to hear the story.

Levitz by Tanghal

Old Photos

Old Photos 150 150 Paul Levitz

Digging through the files found some old photos, including this one of the 1973 New York Comic Art Convention, with me at what was almost certainly DC’s first ever convention booth. The con was held at what’s now the Grand Hyatt on 42 Street, formerly the Commodore (after Commodore Vanderbilt, the namesake of the nearby avenue and onetime leader of the New York Central Railroad which terminated at Grand Central).

A small strange story of that room. Many years later, when Carol Kalish* passed away suddenly, then Marvel President Terry Stewart held a memorial service for her. Terry had cast about for a comics-connected place to have it, and felt he’d failed, so he settled on the ballroom of the Grand Hyatt. But when we were there, I realized it was the old Commodore ballroom which had been the dealers’ room for the NY Con for a few years. Terry and I shared a happy moment as I told him the history, and we thought about how fitting it was for Carol to have her farewell in a room where so many fans had found joy in comics.

* Carol was the longtime direct sales person for Marvel, starting as their second hire in that area, and going on to lead the department as well to venture into editorial areas. She had been an early comics retailer in Cambridge, Mass., and was much beloved by the retail community. Decades after her passing, she received a posthumous award for her services to the industry from Comics Pro, which I was proud to accept on her life partner, Rich Howell’s, behalf.



For Paul Levitz, the goal of his Convergence: World’s Finest issues is to give a fitting farewell and tribute to the characters he’s writing — in the vein of Alan Moore’s Whatever Happened to the Man of Steel?

Keeping Moore’s legendary Superman story in mind, Levitz found an innovative way to bid farewell to the Seven Soldiers of Victory — by framing their Convergence story in a report being “drawn” and “written” by Golden Age cartoon character Scribbly Jibbet.

Read the full interview —


The Power of Comics (2nd Ed.): History, Form, and Culture

The Power of Comics (2nd Ed.): History, Form, and Culture 412 636 Paul Levitz

Fully revised and updated for its second edition, The Power of Comics remains the most authoritative introduction to comic books and graphic novels – the history of the medium, its many forms and manifestations and their place in contemporary culture.
The new edition includes:

An expanded historical section bringing the story of comic books up to the present and covering the rise of the graphic novel and the advent of digital comics
A new chapter on the memoir genre and a thoroughly revised chapter on the superhero genre
A revised chapter – “Exploring Meanings in Comic Book Texts” – introduces students to the theoretical tools they need to read comics critically
Study objectives, discussion points, activities and annotated further reading guides in each chapter, helping students master the topics covered

Illustrated throughout, with an extensive glossary of key terms, The Power of Comics also includes further updated resources available online at, including additional essays, weblinks and sample syllabi. – See more at:

World’s Finest Vol.4: First Contact

World’s Finest Vol.4: First Contact 474 726 Paul Levitz

WF v4


Power Girl and Huntress meet Superman and Batman for the first time in these tales from WORLDS’ FINEST #18-22 and BATMAN/SUPERMAN #8-9! How can the teams stop Kaizen Gamorra’s plot to depower Power Girl and unlock the secrets of the Superman of Earth 2?

In Conversation With Junot Diaz

In Conversation With Junot Diaz 960 300 Paul Levitz

At M.I.T. a while back, I spent a lovely evening talking with the incredibly smart and talented Junot Diaz, which is now available for your listening pleasure as a podcast: “Paul Levitz, in Conversation With Junot Diaz” — LISTEN

Putting Joe on the shelf

Putting Joe on the shelf 291 291 Paul Levitz

randomI just received a copy of Fantagraphics’ JUDGMENT DAY AND OTHER STORIES Illustrated by Joe Orlando, a book that made me smile on many levels.  Joe had singled out “Judgment Day” as his favorite story that he ever worked on—probably because it cause conniptions between the Comics Code and Bill Gaines, and Joe both hated the Code and enjoyed making trouble.  But I also smiled because the reason I knew it was Joe’s favorite is that he selected it to go in the AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS issue about him that I edited.  That made it the only E.C. story to ever be reprinted in a DC publication.

I’m probably overly fond of my own weird statistics, but this is a good place to share them from time to time so you can smile with me (or laugh at me—either one is fine).  I tallied up 890 text pages I wrote for DC, counting letters columns and the like.  Probably the most any one writer has done for the company, as far as I can tell.  It’s a pretty dubious honor, but I made at least one lifelong friend among my regular correspondents and a bunch of more casual pals.  I hated approving the request from the editorial staff to drop the letters pages when I was Publisher, but the argument that the velocity of the Internet had made them obsolete seemed valid.

Will Eisner and The NY Comicon

Will Eisner and The NY Comicon 960 300 Paul Levitz

Working on the Eisner book yesterday, having fun doing detective work…for decades, Will and Denis Kitchen have told flip sides of the same story of their first meeting at the 1971 NY Comicon, the first time either of them attended. I was always a bit jealous–that was MY first Comicon too–why didn’t I meet you guys and become best friends too? [Not that we didn’t ultimately meet and become friends, you understand, but still…]

But something bugged me. I vaguely recalled a SPIRIT cover on an earlier NY Con program book I had gotten when I was working for Phil Seuling in the early moments of SeaGate Distributors and the direct market. Dug down, found it. 1968 con…no article on Will in the book, though. 1969 con program, no transcript of the previous year’s guest of honor event, no photos. Hmm…

Emailed a few friends who had been at the cons before me. Memories fuzzy. Suggestions back: look at the progress reports, try this other friend. Paydirt!

Will was a luncheon guest of honor at the ’68 show with Burne Hogarth, or at least announced to be, and Will rarely missed a commitment. And another friend recalls other friends scoring him an Eisner sketch at the ’69 show.

Will apparently conflated his early con appearances into the one, which made the story better…and probably forgot that he did so in retelling the story again and again…

World’s Finest Vol.3: Control Issues

World’s Finest Vol.3: Control Issues 479 730 Paul Levitz

WF v3

In these tales from issues #13-18, Desaad and the Hellhounds of Apokolips are hunting Huntress and Power Girl, who may not survive the encounter! to find out what Desaad is really after, they must go deep underground and discover who is impersonating the missing Mr. Terrific!


Paul Levitz Goes BOOM! With New Board Position, Talks DC Work, Weeklies

Paul Levitz Goes BOOM! With New Board Position, Talks DC Work, Weeklies 150 150 Paul Levitz

When news broke that Paul Levitz, the former DC president and publisher, has been added to the board of directors at the Los Angeles-based BOOM! Studios, a lot of fans wondered what that meant for his current DC comic Worlds’ Finest — and whether the long-time New Yorker was moving.

Never fear, Levitz has told Newsarama — his current work will continue unhindered, and his commitment to New York is unchanged.