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Friday December 24, 2010 5:55 am

Don McGregor: Locked Up In Paris

 

Spider Graphic Novel"They jeered and shook on the bars, and they reached through the bars, trying to grab Marsha, like Zombies in George Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead."

That's Don McGregor, who wrote acclaimed comics for Marvel and spearheaded the creator-owned comics movement, writing about a European trip of his in the late 1970s.

I haven't seen or talked to Don in quite a while, and I doubt he would remember me. He was a friend of several different friends of mine and when I lived on the East Coast, we bumped into each other a lot over a two or three-year period.

He was a ball of energy – and one of the first guys to explain to me how the business of comics actually worked and why owning and controlling the rights to your own creations was essential.

Go ahead and write the Batman fill-in if you want, it is what it is. But if you're going to create Sabre or Detectives, Inc., you're going to want - and deserve - a better deal. I'm paraphrasing, but that's the gist of several conversations.

He was, and is, strong on the subject of creators' rights, and I remember two great loves of his. One was Hopalong Cassidy, the great Western hero that I remember meant a lot to him as a kid (he was the Star Wars of Don's childhood). The other was his wife Marsha.

Don recently posted an engaging travelogue on his website. It's about a trip to Europe with Marsha.

Money was tight. His career was in transition, and she was pregnant with their child.

Don was going as a guest of the 1978 London Comic Con, but after the con the trip turned into something more…and Don and Marsha ended up stuck in the Paris Metro. To say more would spoil it. Bonus: lots of nifty photos.

Go. Read. Enjoy "Locked Up In The Paris Metro At Midnight!"

Johnny Bacardi has a great picture of Don from his time in the Marvel offices of the 1970s.

[Artwork: Cover to The Spider graphic novel by Don and Gene Colan]

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