This is the space we would like to use for comments and recollections from ODD people. I especially invite those who were intimately involved in the creation of ODD to add their thoughts to this space. Just email your stuff to me at daveherring@mac.com.


By Marv Wolfman

Dave Herring asked me to write a remembrance of our glory days working on ODD, way back in the mid-1960s, when we couldn’t have been more than ten or eleven years old (making us no more than thirty-seven today). For reasons that still escape me, I immediately agreed.

After all, I thought, I had such good memories of those times.       

But the truth of it is, I don’t have good memories of that time. I don’t have bad memories of that time. I don’t have much of any memories of that time. I’ve always had a lousy memory for these kinds of things. Why is it the good stuff I would love to remember I don’t, while the bad stuff I’d like to forget, I can’t?

But I do have good FEELINGS for that time, so I’ll try to record those.

Most High Schools get their students from the local neighborhood. If, like me, you grew up in Flushing, Queens, almost everyone in your class would also be from Flushing, Queens. If you lived a few miles down the road in Whitestone, Queens, most of your fellow students would be from there.

But New York also had several schools that recruited their students from all of New York’s five boroughs, and The High School of Art & Design was one of them.

Art and Design-Dave & Marv

A&D, as the name indicates, was a specialized school for potential future artists. You had to take a test to be allowed into the school. Fifteen hundred students applied each year. Only five hundred were accepted. A&D had illustration classes, fashion design, sculpture, photography, painting, and a dozen other art-related classes.

Most High Schools have a 9AM to 3PM day. Our day was much, much longer.  Besides regular studies like math, English, history, etc. we also had four periods of art a day. Also, because all of New York fed into our school, we were centrally located in Manhattan, which meant everyone had a long commute, adding another two plus hours to our already crowded day.

Today, A&D is still in Manhattan, but in a new building around the corner from the school where I met Dave. By the way, because A&D was in Manhattan, where space has always been at a premium, our school couldn’t spread out. Instead, like all of NY, the school was built vertically. A&D was six floors high and we had escalators as well as stairs. I thought having escalators in school was the coolest thing ever. Running up the escalators was a memory I haven’t forgotten. We also had an elevator but that was for teachers only. Unless you could sneak aboard.

Anyway, as I think I recall, Dave lived in Rockaway. I lived in Flushing. So of course we met miles away in Manhattan.

I sadly don’t remember how we met or exactly when, but it was probably in our cartooning class, taught by Mr. Charles Allen,  who had once drawn Captain Marvel among other books — did I mention that all A&D teachers had to be a working professional in the field they were teaching?

Somehow Dave and I discovered we both loved comics, loved cartooning, and we especially loved the old Mad comics written by Harvey Kurtzman and drawn by his crew of brilliant artists.

Dave and I had one more element in common; we were both publishing fanzines, those hectograph/ditto master/mimeographed reproduced fan magazines were just starting to become popular. If you can call something that could only print about 125 copies before the master faded, popular.

I got into comics fandom right after I had a letter published in DC’s Mystery In Space comics, which included my address. Within a few days I received two complimentary fanzines in the mail.

And I was hooked.

Dave was publishing a humor magazine, Odd, and later Super Adventures, a super-hero mag, while I was publishing The Foob, a funny animal, political satire magazine, Stories of Suspense, a horror zine and What Th--? A comic book opinion zine where I would talk about what I liked and didn’t like in comics. Today that sort of blind, maniacal, self-indulgence is known as the Internet. Later on Dave handed Super Adventures over to me. Marvel’s “The Man Called Nova” first appeared in Super Adventures under the name Black Nova in a story I wrote and co-drew.

Having several things in common, Dave and I became friends, and once we were friends we began working on each other’s fanzines.

I loved Mad and wanted to write that kind of satire in the worst way.  And I succeeded. (inset rimshot here).

I wrote a number of comic book and TV parodies for Odd. As well as a few other almost humorous dribbles. I still have all the issues of Odd tucked away in a box somewhere, but they’re pretty unreachable. Fortunately for you, you can read along with my remembrances right here on the Odd website.

My specific memory of Dave was that I thought his artwork was heads and tails above my own. It was definitely eye-opening to see that old stuff, written and drawn when we were no more than eight or nine (making us both only 28 today). Dave was thisclose to being a professional. As an artist, I made a pretty okay writer.

My first appearance in ODD was actually an ad, in issue 3, for comics I was selling. The joke wasn’t bad for a 7 year old (making us 23 today) but the art….

Let’s move on. I returned to Odd in issue 6 with Batmaniac, a take off of, well, you know. I think I reached the pinnacle of my talent when I wrote such wonderful dialogue such as— 

Bobin: How will we ever get outa here, huh??? Huh???  
Batty: Don’t worry, Bobin. I noticed when the Jokester walked away his left boot was loose.  
Bobin: So?  
Batty: That means the cell door is open. He forgot to lock it – Idiocracies law of Stupidity. Chapter 4. “How Super Heroes get out of locked cells.”

In my defense, I was writing a parody of the pre-Julie Schwartz issues of Batman. It isn’t all that far off. It also wasn’t all that funny, either. But I was only 6 when I wrote it.


If there’s any conceptual similarity to Kurtzman’s Mad parody, Batboy, I completely deny it. Except that Mad showed us the way to do it and we did everything we could to follow their lead.

It’s hard to explain, but when you’re parodying something you love, you slowly learn that everything, especially those things you are obsessed with, has foibles and can be humorously dissected. It shows you the root of what you’re making fun of because humor comes from acknowledging some of the truths you otherwise pass over. It teaches you to lighten up; don’t get your panties in an uproar; everything crazy.

Or in this case, Odd.

I returned in issue 7 with a takeoff of Wonder Woman. It appears my fan concern that Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot – all of whom were actually manifestations of the same person, only at different ages, were now appearing together in the comic as if they were three separate people. I tell you, the things that upset the true fan are so mind-staggeringly important. How can we live without making earth-shakingly wrong things right again?

That WW/WG/WT time paradox lack of logic blew my little kid brain. So I wrote this to prove how dumb it was. Yeah. That’ll show ‘em.

Blunder Woman

Not many years later, to again solve this illogical concept (obviously years passed but I didn’t get any smarter) I wrote the original origin of Wonder Girl story in DC’s actual Teen Titans comic. The story made Wonder Girl a ‘real’ person rather than Wonder Woman as a teen, and it gave her a real name, too: Donna Troy.

The fanzines were never all that far from my heart.

For example: I returned in issue 8 with the Justice League of The United States. Not only did I shove in all the JLA members, but also the Blackhawks, Eclipso, the Doom Patrol, mentioned the Challengers Of The Unknown, Mark Merlin, Adam Strange and a zillion others. When I was a kid I thought the best thing ever would be to put every single DC character into one single story. That idea served me well when, almost two decades later, I used the actual versions of all those characters in my maxi-series, Crisis On Infinite Earths. But you can trace those crowded and tangled roots right back to Odd.


I wrote other parodies as well as short articles for most of the rest of Odd’s 12 issue run, as well. There is no better feeling than making up something that was funny and have people actually laugh with you. All of the stories were fun and wonderful to work on. And they also served as preparation for my life to come.

The fanzine days were our way of learning. Working on Odd with Dave and the others directly helped prepare me for working on Marvel’s parody comics, including Spoof and Crazy, which I also edited. My first professional award was not for Tomb of Dracula, as most people think, but for “Kaspar, The Dead Baby” a very twisted story I wrote in Crazy Magazine that explained the origin of a certain friendly ghost. You can find the story somewhere online. Working on Odd allowed me to learn how to write comedy.

I read that stuff today and think though the dialog is pretty, well, awful, the stories have ideas that still work.  And oddly… they do.

Nobody knows who quite originated this idea as it’s been attributed to so many different writers, but in one form another writers will say you need to write (then throw away) at least one million words before you begin to have even an inkling what you’re doing. I think that’s true.

The fanzines were definitely part of our one million words. However, we didn’t throw them away. Now, because of the net, they have been found and scanned and resurrected for eternity. But the fanzines, and Odd especially (because it was the first place I wrote so many stories for someone other than myself) were definitely lone part of what made me me.

Everything has an origin, and for me that’s Odd.

Thanks, Dave, for letting me try to remember those old days. I still marvel over our ability to write and draw all those stories, especially considering we were no more than four or five when we did them (making us all of nineteen years old today). So thanks for the memories.

Until I forget them all over again.

-Marv Wolfman
November 25, 2015