By Sam Long: The latest issue of The New Yorker magazine has a short story by Michael Chabon, titled “Citizen Conn” that may be of some interest to fans.
Set in a Jewish old-folk’s home in LA, it’s the story of the interaction of the home’s rabbi (a woman), a resident (Feather), and an old associate of his (Conn). Feather and Conn went to the same high school before WWII, and they were both nerds (or whatever the equivalent at that time was). They both became comic book artists and writers back in the ‘40s through the ‘60s, very much into superheros, and quite famous among comics fans of the time, but they had a falling out long ago. Conn wants to renew their friendship but Feather won’t cooperate. Kind of a sad story, (Oh, and the rabbi’s husband is a latter-day comics enthusiast—I won’t say comixfan exactly, but he remembers the C & F comics from when he was a kid.) Astounding Stories, Doc Smith, Edmund Hamilton, and H. P. Lovecraft get a mention.
Editor’s P.S. An interviewer asked Chabon if the characters are based on anyone:
Well, the obvious answer is Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Stan and Jack met in the forties, began collaborating during lean times in the fifties, jointly revived the fortunes of Marvel Comics in the sixties, and then underwent a creative divorce that seems to have resulted in a certain amount of acrimony on Kirby’s side.