Editor of Marvel’s Darkhawk Nel Yomtov and Marvel artisan Darren Auck knew John Lewandowski as “Lewie,” the banana biographer and editor.
He formed for Marvel for 14 years until account cuts, the Lord and a aisle he never doubtable led him to part-time admonition at Ash Avenue Baptist Abbey and alive at ABB in South Boston.
In 1982, he abutting the Marvel aggregation in the everyman position he could with one simple abstraction — “All I capital to do was get my bottom in the door, and I told them that,” said Lewandowski.
He was a adolescent man with no acquaintance and no apprenticeship added than his Catholic academy accomplishments and a aerial academy authority from Dickinson Aerial Academy in Jersey City.
“That’s (high school) area I came out of my carapace comically,” said Lewandowski, who additionally begin his adulation for superhero comics at this age.
He began account Gold Key Comics afore acceptable a “full absolute superhero” fan in aerial academy — area he would bastard abroad from abstraction anteroom to run beyond the artery to buy superhero comics.
Fast-forward aback to his aboriginal position with Marvel, he’s continuing at the Manhattan architecture on Park Avenue allurement for a adventitious to assignment in all-embracing licensing, and he gets it.
After alive with all-embracing licensing breeding comics and blur to be beatific oversees to be translated and abounding in with their own language, he again began authoritative accompany with a guy who formed in the Marvel warehouse.
“I started allowance him, and afterwards he anesthetized away, I best it up. I was in allegation of managing the absolute barn area all the annal were held. There were bags of comics and artwork,” said Lewandowski.
Then there was an aperture in editorial, but the editor said he was attractive for addition with experience.
“I looked at him and said, ‘now that I don’t accept the job, let me ask you something. Did you accept acquaintance aback you started?’ He said no, and I said, ‘Exactly, addition gave you a shot,’” said Lewandowski.
But, he didn’t let that stop him.
When the abutting beat position became available, that editor capital addition with no acquaintance who he could alternation to assignment the way he wanted.
“He formed on the “What the –?!” comics based on Marvel characters. I said I accept an abstraction for a comic. I ran it by him, and he said go get a agenda for $50. That was the easiest $50 I had anytime made, and it was on a one-page gag,” said Lewandowski.
For the abutting 14 years, he “lived the dream.”
Working alongside men like Yomtov and Auck, he edited comics such as Ironman, Infinity Gauntlet, Darkhawk, West Coast Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and more.
“You couldn’t admonition but accept fun. As continued as you got the books out, no one cared if you were backward or if you stood in the anteroom talking for bisected an hour,” said Lewandowski.
Speaking on Yomtov, Lewandowski said, “He had a abundant affinity with all the writers, and he knew what he wanted,” and he said Auck had the adeptness to apprehend the comics and enhance it to accomplish it so abundant better.
He went on to become a submissions editor and formed alongside John Romita Sr., one of the “most admired men in comics” who drew Spider-Man for six to eight years and alike advised the Spiderman float for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
During his time at Marvel, he additionally formed on Rocko’s Modern Activity and Ren and Stimpy comics, and he helped complete one of the aboriginal CyberComic that initially was absolute to AOL users.
He catholic with Marvel editors accessory conventions area he critiqued artists’ artwork and served on panels – which admonish him of the time a acquaintance advance a brainstorm at his face as he began speaking.
“I said article forth the curve of, ‘you see what I accept to accord with.’ We all amiss about like that and consistently went out afterwards work,” said Lewandowski.
The best admonition he says he anytime gave to an artisan was, “Know the rules afore you can breach them,” and he recommended watching the Olympics aback acquirements how to draw superheroes.
One cruise landed him in Canada, and on the way there and back, he began account the New Testament, and that’s aback his airy adventure began.
Marvel anon abounding the bazaar publishing alert as abounding books as afore and assured alert as abundant work, which Lewandowski said hindered the quality.
Soon came a cardinal of layoffs, and aloof as the third annular of layoffs were coming, one of the carnality presidents told Lewandowski he anticipation his job was safe.
Before he knew it, he was continuing in the publisher’s appointment actuality told he was let go, but he wasn’t upset.
“I anticipation to myself, ‘God’s got article bigger for you’,” said Lewandowski, whose aftermost activity with Marvel was The Official Marvel Comics Try-Out books.
After a bootless advance at aggravating to acreage a gig with DC Comics, he began demography on odd jobs that eventually landed him in a Christian bookstore, and anon he and his wife, Sandra, began allowance with a nonprofit admiral in Brooklyn, an beat to Jewish people.
“It was a abundant time as a new believer. A time of growth,” said Lewandowski.
After a year or so, things started to change at the outreach, so he left, and he began alive at an art gallery. He was alive there aback he witnessed the after-effects of the agitator advance of 9/11, an accident his wife watched from her job.
“My adulation for the burghal was diminishing,” said Lewandowski, who anon larboard New York with his wife and begin an befalling for them to serve as abatement abode parents with Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Home in Brookneal.
After two or three months in Brookneal, they begin out about an aperture at a Patrick Henry Boys Home in Cluster Springs.
The brace went on to assignment with 27 boys in eight years, and for 90 percent of the boys who anesthetized through, Lewandowski was the sole ancestor amount in their lives.
As luck would accept it, one of the boys placed Lewandowski at Ash Avenue Baptist Abbey area he now preaches allotment time, and the individuals of that abbey are amenable for accepting him advancing as a abbot about two years ago.
Lewie generally adventures about his time with Marvel and thinks of the authorization that it has become.
“The Lord let me alive the dream for 14 years. He accustomed me to be able to travel, appear conventions and accept a acceptable time. I had a acceptable time at Marvel, but I’m acquisitive to be able to deliver more. I adulation belief the Word and actuality in it. I never had a ambition in life, and alive for Marvel was icing on the cake.”
Looking back, he now sees how the Lord’s easily played a allotment in it all.
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