Comics writer Tom Veitch dies aged 81, RIP

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I never met Tom Veitchbut I knew his work and rather liked him, especially his series The Nazi with Bryan Talbot from DC Comics and The War of Light and Darkness with cam kennedy at Marvel Comics, which saw him picked up by George Lucas to write for Star Wars. Tom Veitch passed away this week and we are republishing the following obituary, provided to us by his comic book creator brother Rick Veitch.

Tom Veitch was born September 26, 1941, the oldest of six children, grew up in Walpole NH and Bellows Falls Vermont and was educated at Columbia University. From 1963 to 1965, he actively participated in the literary flowering of the Lower East Side of New York through the St. Mark’s Poetry Project. His first published work, “Literary Days”, appeared with Ted Berrigan’s “C” Press in 1964. Other early books of poetry include “Toad Poems”, “Cooked Zeroes”, “My Father’s Golden Eye” and “Death Middle School”. From 1965 to 1968, Tom was a cloistered Benedictine monk in Weston Vermont. The enamelled copper crucifix he carved still hangs in the main chapel of Weston Priory.

Tom Veitch CC BY-SA 4.0

In 1968, he moved to San Francisco where he met his wife, Martha, wrote a novel “The Louis Armed Story” and edited his own poetry journal, “Tom Veitch Magazine”. In 1969 Tom began collaborating with artist Greg Irons on numerous underground comix’s including “The Legions Of Charlies”, “Deviant Slice” “Slow Death” and “Skull Comix”. He also wrote screenplays for comic books illustrated by Richard Corben, Jack Jaxon and his brother Rick Veitch. In 1973 he won the Big Table Award for Poetry. Two other novels were published, “Antlers In The Treetops” with Ron Padgett and “Eat This!”. In 1976, Big Sky published “Death College & Other Poems” with an afterword by Alan Ginsberg.

Returning to Vermont in 1982, he worked for Hemmings Motor News. In 1988 he began collaborating with Scottish cartoonist Cam Kennedy on the Marvel/Epic Comics series “The Light and Darkness War” under editor Archie Goodwin. Tom sent the series to director George Lucas who chose Tom and Cam to create all new Star Wars comics. Dark Horse released Tom and Cam’s “Dark Empire” in 1991, followed by “Dark Empire 2” and “Empire’s End” in 1995. Kenner released four toy action figures based on the series in 1998 and elements from the series. story were later incorporated into Star Wars films. Wikipedia credits the series with “sustaining Star Wars profitability in the 1990s”.

Comic book creator Tom Veitch dies aged 81, RIP
Tom Veitch CC BY-SA 4.0

During the 1990s and 2000s, Tom was an active writer of mainstream comics, including “The Nazz” with artist Bryan Talbot, “Clash” with artist Adam Kubert, and “My Name Is Chaos” with the artist John Ridgway and “Animal Man”, for DC Comics.

A lifelong spiritual seeker, Tom founded and hosted the popular “Lightmind Forum” message board devoted to the discussion of various metaphysical schools of thought. He published a spiritual memoir, “The Visions of Elias (A True Story of Life In The Spirit)” in 2016 through his own Sky River Press.

Tom owned and operated Old Bennington Books, a bookstore in downtown Bennington, VT for many years.

Tom Veitch is survived by his wife Martha Veitch of Arlington, his daughter Angelica Veitch Stasolla of Brunswick ME. two grandsons Tommy Walls and Jacob Walls of Brunswick ME, sister Wendy Lillie of Rockingham Vt and brothers Robert D. Veitch of Minneapolis, MN Rick Veitch of West Townshend VT, Michael Veitch of Woodstock NY and Peter Veitch of Chester VT.

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