blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Howard the Duck 19 (December 1977)

Howard the Duck #19Howard’s adventures as a human continue, but Gerber sets him down a particular path. Howard ends up at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, which puts him in contact with a particular set of humans and maybe not the most interesting ones.

After a certain point–Howard is back in a hippy girl’s apartment–one has to wonder if Colan really just wanted to try out drawing someone doing yoga; the issue’s mostly talking heads, mostly Howard (the human) unable to understand the human condition while his fowl alter ego eggs him on to act more ducky. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

It’s really depressing stuff, actually. Gerber, Colan and Janson capture the misery in the bus terminal–Howard teams up with a homeless guy refused a seat in a coffee shop due to smell. The dysfunctional hippies are actually a mood booster in contrast.

The finale’s small joy is a big help.


Howard the Human!; writer and editor, Steve Gerber; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Klaus Janson; colorist, Phil Rachelson; letterer, Irving Watanabe; publisher, Marvel Comics.

One response to “Howard the Duck 19 (December 1977)”

  1. I first read Howard as a kid by buying the old issues over a year or so with my saved-up weekly allowance money, around 1994. This was the last one my comics shop had, so in those final days of ephemeral media it was the last one I was able to read for eight years. I didn’t even know if there were more. Eventually Marvel finally released their first Howard collection in 2002 (in black & white unfortunately) and I got read the next eight issues. But it still took a few more years after that for another collection to include the final four issues of the original ’76-79 series. So the perfect cliffhanger ending of “Howard the Human!” has always kind of been the series finale in my mind, although it certainly isn’t.

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