Michael "Mike" Fleisher (Born November 1) is an American comic book writer. He came to the attention of Joe Orlando whilst working on comic book encyclopedias and subsequently got solid work throughout the seventies and eighties. After a failed lawsuit he worked for 2000 AD for a number of years in the early nineties before largely leaving the industry.
He is probably best known for writing DC's Jonah Hex character for more than a dozen years (although a brief run for the same company of The Spectre in Adventure Comics has quite a reputation) - first beginning in 1974 in Weird Western Tales (taking over from the character's creator, John Albano), then from 1977-1985 in his own, self-titled comic, with a series set in the character's original wild west setting and then in the Hex series (1985-1987) which transported the character into a post-World War III setting, making him the lead in a sci-fi feature, following the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series.
Harlan Ellison, in a 1979 Comics Journal interview, described Fleisher and his comics work using emphatic terms such as "crazy", "certifiable", "twisted", "derange-o", "bugfuck", and "lunatic". Opinions varied as to whether Ellison's comments were entirely unflattering. For years Ellison and his friend Isaac Asimov had been comedically abusing each other in print and public in a similar style. Thick-skinned readers interpreted the comments as rhetorical backwards compliments and affectionately begrudging curses of Fleisher's singular talent for the macabre, similar to comments at a roast.
But a "devastated and appalled" Fleisher believed Ellison had been recklessly and falsely implying Fleisher himself was insane.
Fleisher sued Ellison, The Comics Journal, and interviewer Gary Groth, for libel, asking $2,000,000 in damages; the case came to court in 1986, and Fleisher lost.
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