Gerry Conway Makes A Lightning Fast Retraction…

blacklightningAs recently collated – and then updated – on Bleeding Cool, DC Comics writer and ex-editor Gerry Conway decided to set the record straight regarding the creation of the character Black Lightning, just picked up Fox as a TV show. And questioned why the original writer he approached for the book wasn't in the creator credits.

This incensed Tony Isabella, creator of the character, who countered with how he created the script from scratch, without using anything from the previous writer.

Isabella has had a contentious relationship with the character – or rather its publisher, DC Comics, over agreements made regarding the character, its ownership,  its publication, its agreed creator credits and more. Though he had also posted some more reconciliatory comments after new DC Comics representatives reached out to him and a deal appeared to be done.

Later, Conroy wrote on his Tumblr, in apology.

Open Mouth, Insert Foot, Part Infinity

For what it's worth (since I can't seem to comment directly on Tony Isabella's Facebook post, I'll post my response to it here) I'm perfectly willing to admit my memory of events is faulty. I constantly am asked questions about things that I wrote forty to fifty years ago and I'm often embarrassed to admit I don't remember. I wrote a lot of stuff, did a lot of stuff, offended a lot of people, and hopefully supported many others. One fact I am sure about, is that memory is fungible and affected by many factors. Honestly, my memory of the sequence of events is different from Tony's, but given his firm adherence to his version, I accept it totally and offer my apologies. Rather than diminish Tony's work (though that was the outcome) I simply wanted to acknowledge Bob Kanigher's. In my memory there was more of a direct connection between Kanigher's creation (which we backed away from as soon as he delivered those first scripts, and tried to fix but absolutely couldn't) and the Black Lightning that came after. I feel protective of the older forgotten writers of the 60s, especially Kanigher, who was treated horribly by DC at the time (though no worse than Bill Finger, Gardner Fox, and Bob Haney) when the company replaced them with a new generation of writers like me. In my desire to gain justice for Bob I did a major injustice to Tony. Obviously I was wrong. Sorry, Tony.

And on his blog, Tony has replied,

I thank Gerry for his retraction and his apology.

I consider the matter closed and ask my friends here to do the same.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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