We don’t usually run celebrity or creator obituaries here at The Nerd Signal, but this one stings.
Keith Giffen was one of my favorite comics creators. He and various collaborators were responsible for the best era of the Justice League, Rocket Racoon, Lobo, the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle and my favorite superhero ever, Ambush Bug. And that barely scratches the surface of his nearly 50 years in comics.
I was fortunate enough to meet and have several long(ish) conversations with Giffen. We talked about jokes that he didn’t expect to get past the censors but did and jokes he thought would get past them but didn’t. I was a nosy third wheel as he and another favorite creator of mine, Kyle Baker, came up with the idea for a project together that never came to be and now never will.
His books, especially his work in the 80s, helped define my taste in comics forever: weird, funny, deconstructionist and unwaveringly opinionated. And if that means biting the hand that feeds, well, all the better.
One of my most prized possessions is the original art for the page below from Son of Ambush Bug #5, signed by Giffen.