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Deadbeats Soulsearchers and Company Phantom of Fear City

Hi, Richard & Crew

     Just wanted to drop a quick note before the final issue of "Elvira" hits the stands. Even though I've bashed the comic here and there in the past, I am going to miss it. It was the only regular dose of Elvira that the long time fans could count on.

     I will miss the covers most of all. You've certainly pulled out all of the stops in regards to the covers the last 6 issues or so. You managed to use some never before seen shots and I really appreciated the two artwork covers! You always managed to do a great job with them with great color choices melding well with the photos making familiar photos seem fresh again.

     The lead story in issue #165 was a lot of fun and made for a great "JUMP IN" issue for new fans. All three of the "JUMP IN" issues you've done so far have ranked among my top 10 favorite stories ever done. They are always well researched with nuggets of info that hard core fans can appreciate. The art team on that story (Tod Smith and Al Vey) did a great job as usual. It has been a fun 14-year journey and I thank you. I hope everyone's stay in the unemployment line is a brief one.

  Marc Cawiezel


         Hello, it's us again.  We were broken-hearted to find out that you would no longer be printing comics. Your books were one of the few things that we could look forward to and know that our daughter would thrill to read when she was older.

         However, we were so excited to find out that you would be continuing the Deadbeats online.  Your comics have always been full of creative storylines, fantastic artwork & humorous & excellent storytelling.   We are so happy that we will be able to continue to enjoy the Claypool line, if only online.

         Have no doubt though that if you had not been able to continue online, Claypool comics would never have been forgotten. Thanks to your "Elvira" letter column, Brian and I met...and had our beautiful daughter (which was supposed to have been an impossibility). See the truly amazing things that Claypool has been able to accomplish?  

         The story of how we met will always be passed down through our family in addition to our Claypool comics collection.  But the kids won't get the collection until after we're long gone.   I'm sure they'll understand as some things are worth the wait.

         Thank you for the wonderful stories that you've given us & for the ones that you have yet to tell.


Brandy, Brian, and Jenna O'Keefe

p.s. We loved your work on the "Vision & Scarlet Witch" series!     :)



         A few months back, when I was telling my roommate Alan about "Deadbeats' " impending cancellation, I commented, half-joking, that one way to quickly wrap up all the long running plotlines in the series would be to have a "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" ending, i.e. all the main characters go charging forward against some unbeatable enemy, presumably rushing towards their imminent deaths.  But, well, I wasn't really expecting you to actually do that--kill everybody, that is.

         So now the apocalyptic future previously visited by Kirby appears to be an inevitability.  Which leads to the key question: was there ever a chance for Kirby to change the future, or was it preordained?  The fact that you previously established that theere are an infinite number of parrallel bands of time would appear to suggest that the future is in flux.  Yet at the same time, as we saw, all of Kirby and his allies' efforts to avert the oncoming apocalypse instead seemed to become part of the very events that led to that terrible outcome.

         Speaking of changing history, I *thought* that the entire Woodstarke clan was wiped out in "Soulsearchers & Company", which, as V.V. Ralston pointed out, appeared to be an early indicator that the current timely was diverging from the one Kirby visited.  But now in "Deadbeats" #81, an apparently very much alive Andreas Woodstarke shows up in the company of Lara Lamar and Evan Southland, leading one to conclude that the three will form the dictatorial council seen during Kirby's visit to the future.  Where did Andreas come from?  Did I miss something from the last couple of issues of "Soulsearchers"?

         Too bad you didn't have that classic blurb "This Issue: Everybody Dies!" on the cover, as popularized by "Uncanny X-Men" #142.  It would have been apropos, as Kirby did have his own "days of futures past" experience, witnessing the dystopian future fate of Mystic Grove during his time travels...that, and for once it would have been completely accurate, since more or less everyone did actually shuffle off this mortal coil in the pages of issue #82.

         So now what?  One more issue to go, and I have no idea what to expect.  The town is destroyed, everybody is dead, and the future looks very dark indeed. As the revived Kirby said on the last page, "Aw, man!"


Ben Herman



         Andreas Woodstarke returned to the mix in the final issue of "Soulsearchers and Company,"just in time for the Fall of Fear City--also, to speculate that "the future is in flux" is a massive understatement. We hope that you'll be following the "Deadbeats" Internet saga, accessible from this very site.


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