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Loeb, Jeph 1958-

LOEB, Jeph 1958-

PERSONAL:

Born January 29, 1958, in Stamford, CT; married; wife's name, Christine; children: Sam, Audrey. Education: Columbia University, B.A., M.A. (film).

ADDRESSES:

Agent—c/o Author Mail, DC Comics, 1700 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.

CAREER:

Writer, screenwriter, comics creator, producer, and publisher. Screenplays include Teen Wolf, Commando, Burglar, and Firestorm; Awesome Entertainment, cofounder and publisher; Buffy the Vampire Slayer (animated television series), executive producer; Maurice Sendak's Seven Little Monsters (television series), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), writer and producer; Smallville (television series), Warner Brothers, consulting producer.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Eisner Award, 1999, for Batman: The Long Halloween.

WRITINGS:

PLOTS AND SCRIPTS; SELECTED TITLES

Batman: Haunted Knight: The Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Specials: Three Tales of Halloween in Gotham City (contains Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special, Batman: Madness: Legends of the Dark Knight: A Tale of Halloween in Gotham City, and Batman: Ghosts: A Tale of Halloween in Gotham City, Inspired by Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol), DC Comics (New York, NY), 1995.

X-Men: The Age of Apocalypse, Marvel (New York, NY), 1995.

X-Men: Dawn of the Age of Apocalypse, Marvel (New York, NY), 1996.

Onslaught: To the Victor, Marvel (New York, NY), 1997.

Wolverine Gambit Victims, Marvel (New York, NY), 1997.

Batman: The Long Halloween (contains thirteen issues of the miniseries), DC Comics (New York, NY), 1998.

Superman for All Seasons, DC Comics (New York, NY), 1999.

Superman: No Limits, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2000.

The Witching Hour, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2000.

Batman: Dark Victory, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2001.

Superman: Endgame, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2001.

Superman: 'Til Death Do Us Part, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2002.

Superman: Our Worlds at War, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2002.

Superman: The Ultimate Guide, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 2002.

Superman: President Lex, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2003.

Daredevil: Yellow, Marvel (New York, NY), 2003.

Spider-Man: Blue, Marvel (New York, NY), 2003.

Batman: Hush, DC Comics (New York, NY), Volume 1, 2003, Volume 2, 2004.

Hulk: Gray, Marvel (New York, NY), 2004.

Writer for additional graphic novels and comic books for series and miniseries, including Batman, Superman, The Avengers, Captain America, Coven, Daredevil, Fighting American, Generation X, The Savage Hulk, Kaboom, Spiderman, Wolverine, X-Force, X-Men, and Challengers of the Unknown.

SIDELIGHTS:

Jeph Loeb is well-known for his association with both Batman and Superman comics, as well as many others, including Marvel's comics, but the writer's first stories were screenplays for films, including Teen Wolf, starring Michael J. Fox, and Commando, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, both of which could be considered live-action comics.

In an interview with a BBC Online contributor, Loeb said that his first writing job was as a freelancer for DC Comics. Challengers of the Unknown, his miniseries for DC, paired him up in 1992 with his frequent collaborator, illustrator Tim Sale.

"We're probably best known for Batman: The Long Halloween, a year-long detective serial we did for DC featuring Batman," said Loeb. "It won numerous awards, including the Eisner, which in the world of comic books is equivalent to an Emmy. We also did Superman for All Seasons, which was a graphic retelling of the Superman origin in a pulp-spun Norman Rockwellian kind of way. Between those two things, while I was still writing and producing movies and television, I suddenly had a new career in the comic book industry."

Anna Jellinek reviewed Batman: The Long Halloween for Dark Star online, calling it "a successful return to the Year One underworld created by Frank (Sin City)

Miller. Loeb brings back gangsters such as Carmine 'The Roman' Falcone, and underused villains like Solomon Grundy." Batman's relationships with Falcone and District Attorney Harvey Dent are important to the story, and in the case of the latter, shows how Dent became Two-Face. Batman is caught up in the murders of mafia crime family members who are killed on holidays during every month of the year by a killer dubbed "Holiday."

Reviewing Batman: The Long Halloween for 11th Hour online, Yannick Belzil wrote that it is "the prime example of how a storyline should treat Batman, by putting him in his natural element: a mystery.… Writer Jeph Loeb has crafted a story that is unique to the characters. It's a complex murder mystery, but it's also a Batman story. It couldn't have been done with another character or setting—it belongs solely to the Caped Crusader." Belzil felt that "we're not often treated to the emotional side of Batman, other than the personal tragedy that took his parents away, but this story reveals his feelings about his city and the people that surround him."

In Superman for All Seasons, Clark has recently arrived in Metropolis from Smallville and is at the beginning of his career. His story is told through several narrators, including his father, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, and Lana Lang. Tom Knapp reviewed the book for Rambles online, commenting that this "is a pleasant, low-key book which, in the end, will likely stick with you far longer than the usual book about supervillains and massive brawls."

Patrick M. Gerard interviewed Loeb for the UnOfficial Golden-Age Superman Site, asking him about his beginnings with Superman. Loeb mentioned that in the 1970s, when he was twelve or thirteen years old, he sent a script to Superman writer Elliot S! Maggin, who has inspired Loeb over the years. Of the character, Loeb said that Superman "is so simple to identify with—you put on a cape and you fly around the house. Great stuff. All comics lead from that single point of creation. He's important!" Loeb said that "the one thing that makes him Superman is really Clark. That's an interesting character. He has two wonderful parents who instill in him a spark of goodness, but even after he leaves, he uses his powers to help others."

With Batman: Dark Victory, Batman is the Dark Knight in a story that begins where Batman: The Long Halloween ends and is set in Gotham City during the period in which such Batman opponents as the Joker are gaining a foothold. The character of Robin/Dick Grayson is not introduced until the end, a move that Counterculture's Sion Smith said "gives the pacing a much-needed depth and a slant on the story that makes it so much fresher than its predecessors." Smith praised the characterizations of the Riddler, Two Face, and Albert the butler, adding that "this has all the look and feel of a real labor of love."

Batman: Hush, Volume 1, collects the first five installments of a twelve-part series that brings together Loeb, illustrator Jim Lee, and inker Scott Williams. Batman's opposition includes Poison Ivy and Killer Croc, and at the same time, he pursues the luscious Catwoman. Other DC characters, including Superman, make appearances, but all are being subtly controlled by a mysterious manipulator. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that "Loeb is especially talented at underwriting, not crowding the page full of long explanations and snappy patter; after all, readers have known these characters for years."

Loeb also wrote and produced Maurice Sendak's Seven Little Monsters for public television, a children's show by the creator of Where the Wild Things Are. Loeb's television credits also include the animated version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which he left before it went into production to become consulting producer for Smallville. Loeb told an interviewer for Comics Continuum online that Smallville is "Superman for this generation. I like the way the characters interact; the cast is wonderful and the whole 'making of a hero' is very appealing to me.…It very much reminds me of the graphic novel Superman for all Seasons …in terms of tone, and that makes me very comfortable on what is unquestionably the hottest show on television."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, July, 2003, Gordon Flagg, review of Batman: Hush, Volume 1, p. 1856.

Library Journal, September 1, 2003, Steve Raiteri, review of Batman: Hush, Volume 1, p. 142.

Publishers Weekly, July 21, 2003, review of Batman: Hush, Volume 1, pp. 176-177; September 29, 2003, review of Superman: President Lex, pp. 45-46.

ONLINE

11th Hour,http://www.the11thhour.com/ (June, 2000), Yannick Belzil, review of Batman: The Long Halloween.

AllNerdReview.com,http://www.allnerdreview.com/ (August 13, 2003), review of Batman: Haunted Knight: The Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Specials: Three Tales of Halloween in Gotham City.

BBC Online,http://www.bbc.co.uk/ (September 23, 2003), interview with Jeph Loeb.

Comic Book Resources,http://www.comicbookresources.com/ (July 10, 2003), Arune Singh, "Don't Mess with the 'S': Jeph Loeb Talks Superman/Batman" (interview).

Comics Continuum,http://www.comicscontinuum.com/ (June 6, 2002), interview with Jeph Loeb.

Counterculture,http://www.counterculture.co.uk/ (August 13, 2003), Sion Smith, review of Batman: Dark Victory.

Dark Star,http://www.darkstarorg.demon.co.uk/ (August 13, 2003), Anna Jellinek, review of Batman: The Long Halloween.

KryptonSite,http://www.kryptonsite.com/ (December, 2002), Craig Byrne, interview with Jeph Loeb.

Ninth Art,http://www.ninthart.com/ (October 26, 2001), John Connors, review of Batman: The Long Halloween.

Rambles,http://www.rambles.net/ (November 17, 2001), Tom Knapp, review of Superman for All Seasons.

Superman-Comics.com,http://superman.ws/superman-comics/ (August 13, 2003), Jeph Loeb, "About Superman for All Seasons."

UnOfficial Golden-Age Superman Site,http://www.superman.ws/kal-l/superman/ (October 22, 1999), Patrick M. Gerard, interview with Jeph Loeb.*

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