META: The Greats
milos_parker at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 10 08:30:46 PDT 2006
Some other thoughts on Panta, Hubert, and TALES:
TALES OF THE LNH were not only some of the funniet stories in the LNH,
but also some of the most memorable. I still remember, for example,
Rob Liefeld going nuts when someone requested a background. It was a
classic moment, and TALES was full of 'em.
The first LNH story I ever read was a Panta story. If I recall
correctly, it was # 360-- I do remember that it centered on
Self-Righteous Preacher harraunging everyone's favourite furry female.
One's first exposure can be a powerful thing: SRP and Panta were two of
my favourite LNHers, early on. My work with SRP was undistinguished,
even if the idea was interesting: it's execution that counts, and my
execution was severly lacking.
I remember Hubert Bartles as being very friendly, very helpful. I used
Panta a couple of times during my first year, and he was kind enough to
let me do so. As much as I enjoyed the character, I didn't quite *get*
her, I didn't write her correctly. He offered some suggestions-- not
only for characterization but for writing in general-- and I did
attempt to implement them.
My writing was still terrible and my handle on Panta was still shakey.
If I was in his shoes, I would have politely rescinded permission to
use the character when it become obvious that the writer was unable to
do it correctly. But Hubert let me post my terrible stories with his
character anyway. He was generous like that.
And I think he knew that no matter how other people might butcher his
character, it wouldn't stick, wouldn't damage the character in any way.
His writing was so good, and his character so well-concieved that she
was impervious to other writer's interpetations. When people want to
read a Panta story, they don't read one of mine or even one of the
great Gary St. Lawrence's: they read TALES.
I think one of the reasons why I had trouble getting a solid handle on
Panta is that, as Rob Rogers points out in the aforementioned essay,
she was really a mixture of many things, a number of seeming
contradictions brought together into a cohesive whole. In a Looniverse
full of characters defined by one trait-- like Super Apathy Lad-- this
sort of gestalt is tricky to pull off.
Hubert did it in spades.
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