I never really knew Steve Gerber -- I don't think we ever met in the flesh. I sent him a fan letter when we were both on Compuserve, back in the very early 90s, telling him how much I'd loved a joke in the deadline doom issue of Howard the Duck about a Showgirl and her Ostrich battling an Evil Lava-lamp, and that I always hoped it would be a real comic and he wrote back to say that, actually, it might make a comic at that, and went and pitched it to Vertigo. (It was called Nevada, and was a fine comic which never found its audience.) Outside of a handful of friendly emails over the years, that was the extent of the crossing of our paths...
But Steve Gerber and Archie Goodwin and Len Wein were the three people who made me want to write comics. And of the three of them, Steve's comics were the quirkiest, the most personal, the coolest. When I grow up, I thought, if I'm lucky, I'll write comics like that.
Almost ten years ago I went to Archie Goodwin's memorial service. Now Steve's gone, too.
(And, superstitiously, I just went and checked Len's blog. He looks fine...)