In memory of Martin Pasko, I rewatched “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.”
Writer and editor Martin Pasko died at the age of 65 of natural causes on Sunday evening (May 10, 2020), according to friends former DC Publisher Paul Levitz and television writer Alan Brennert. Pasko had been living in North Hills, California.
Pasko’s career in pop culture spanned nearly five decades and left an indelible mark on the comic community.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, Pasko’s birthname was Jean-Claude Rochefort.
His career in comics began in 1972 after attending Northwestern University and New York University. He published a fanzine (fan’s magazine) with his friend Alan Brennert called FANTAZINE, which contained news in the comic book industry, interviews with professionals, and reviews.
His career at DC Comics began a year later in an editorial-support position through a new paid internship program at the time.
“You’re more likely to know Marty from his writing,” Paul Levitz said. “He was the first of the fan generation to be the regular writer on SUPERMAN (then THE prestige assignment at DC), helped bring Wonder Woman back to glory after her detour out of costume, and touched the lives of most of the DC heroes.”
As a former DC Comics Group Editor, he’s worked on a number of characters from Superman to Wonder Woman to Batman to Swamp Thing to the Justice League.
“Marty was a gifted writer, an Emmy Award winner for his work on BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, who wrote memorable stories in many media. But he was also a kind, generous friend who, among other things, helped me get through one of the worst periods of my life when I’d lost someone who was very dear to me,” Brennert said. “And now it is Marty himself whom I have lost, and it is difficult to find the words to express my grief.”
Expanding outside of the comics medium, Pasko made the crossover into television, working on “Batman: The Animated Series” as a writer and story editor, earning a Daytime Emmy Award along the way. He was also a co-writer on the series’ animated feature film “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.”
His television writing credits include “Cheers,” “Roseanne,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” and much more. He consulted on projects for Warner Bros. Studios such as Smallville and Birds of Prey.
Later in life, Pasko owned and operated the content supplier and consultancy Martin Pasko Creative Development, which specialized in developing branded entertainment properties such as comics and toy lines.