Great News for Peter David fans! 10 weeks after having a very scary stroke on December 29th, his wife updated his blog, reporting that it is a “slow process but he is making steady progress.” She stated that Peter has returned home, is getting around the house mostly on his own, and is even practicing Tai Chi & bowling! He attends physical therapy twice a week and exercises daily! By the sounds of it, he has a terrific family giving him all the support he could ever need, as this adorable anecdote about David’s daughter reveals , “Caroline is so happy to have her daddy home. She spends most evenings curled up next to him.”
Personally, I love Peter David. I have never met the guy but he seems to be cut from the same fanboy fabric as most of us. I saw him speak on a panel at last year’s NY Comic Con and he was funny, radiating with passion, and he genuinely seemed to enjoy his work. And in terms of a story telling, he really loves his characters, as if they’re a part of his family. He has blessed us with his latest run on X-Factor for over seven years, weaving tales of our favorite rejects of the mutant community. Many people would agree that David’s incredible character development and emotion conveyed in the title, makes X-Factor one of the best X-titles out there.
David’s portfolio is vast and diverse. He had an incredible 12 year run on The Incredible Hulk. He’s the guy who gave the gamma powered beastie Multiple personality disorder (transforming Grey Hulk into Joe Fixit). David has also written over 50 novels, including the extremely popular Star Trek New Frontier series. His writing in television included loads of episodes of the series, Babylon 5, episodes of Young Justice, Ben 10 and more. David wrote most of the run of Spider-Man 2099 (all but two issues), She Hulk, Aquaman, Supergirl, among others.
He’s been the recipient of many awards, including the 2011 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic based on his work on X-Factor. In that title, Shatterstar ‘come out’ and began a tryst with Rictor. This not only showed the comic industry how to portray a great example of a loving relationship, but even better, it pissed off Rob Liefeld! Liefeld, Shatterstar’s creator, envisioned him as an asexual alien dude, not a gay alien dude. It’s always awesome when Liefeld is upset!
Another thing I love most about David is that he is so opinionated. He is so opinionated, in fact, that he has quit a bunch of comic series, based on his commitment to his values. He quit Incredible Hulk when an editor wanted him to change the character back to a savage monster. He quit Spider-Man 2099 when Marvel fired one of his friends. He also quit his first run on X-Factor when executives kept making him fit the title into bigger crossovers. David stands for his beliefs, even if he has to lose his job for them! Heck, the guy is notorious for criticizing the companies that pay him, including the top executives!
It is obvious that David cares deeply for each of his characters, a trait we see in his personal life, in the way close friends and family members interact with him. Each issue of X-Factor begins with an update on his family- their achievements at school and recent developments. It’s very moving and gets me all kinds of warm and fuzzy on the inside.
As someone whose entire life revolves around comics, I am forever in debt to the creators who made the mythology that shaped my values and morals. I can’t help but feel like we’re all part of a giant comic book family. Because of that, in times of hardship, I feel I have to help them in any way I can, to give back.
David’s blog mentions many ways you can help him recover, including making a donation to one of my favorite charities for creators in need, The Hero Initiative. Help out a great man and let us continue to help those who have given us so much. And once you’ve done that, make sure you pick up the latest copies of X-Factor. Not even a stroke can keep Peter David down! He is still writing, still making comics, and still on top of his game!