Horror News Network is proud to honor Len Wein as this year’s Horror Comic Award Honoree.
The world of comics lost another giant when Len Wein passed away in September of this year. Wein was not only responsible for the creation of Wolverine in the seminal Incredible Hulk #181 (along with the late Herb Trimpe), but he also wrote the adventures of “the Green Goliath” for five consecutive years in the 1970’s, one of the longest tenures on the title by any writer to date.
And speaking of “green”, Wein was also responsible for the creation of one of the greatest horror characters in the history of comics: The Swamp Thing. Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson captured the attention of all horror comic fans in House of Secrets #92 (1971) which introduced Dr. Alec Holland and his more famous mossy alter-ego to the world. Due to the “muck monster’s” immediate popularity with fans, Swamp Thing soon earned his own series, running for a total of 24 issues (with Wein scripting the first 13 issues).
Wein was also Alan Moore’s editor on the relaunch of the character in the early 1980’s entitled Saga of The Swamp Thing, and under his guidance, Moore made the series one of the greatest ever published. Friend and long-time admirer Neil Gaiman pointed this out when he learned of Wein’s passing, saying that “Len Wein was the editor who brought the British creators to DC. He was one of the nicest people I’ve met, in 30 years in comics.” Gaiman also paid Wein the highest compliment possible for a writer of comic books, stating that “He showed 12 year old me that comics could be literature.”
Wein would also work with Moore in redefining the Comics medium with The Watchmen and would continue to write and edit comic books until his untimely death this fall. Over the course of his career, Wein impacted the industry like few others. He will certainly be missed by fans and fellow creators alike.