In 1980 or ’81 — I forget — Jack had a stroke that paralyzed his right arm and his drawing/inking hand.
A few of us at Marvel went to visit Jack in the hospital in Queens. Roger Stern was with me, maybe one or two others, I forget. We tiptoed into Jack’s room, all unsure of what to say. Jack was almost unaware of us. He kept staring at his inert right hand, trying to move his arm and his hand without result. We muttered the usual platitudes and stood there stupidly. And ignored.
Then, Howard Chaykin came breezing in. Howard had been one of Jack’s roommates at Continuity.
Howard’s opening line was words to the effect, “You were a lousy inker anyway, so no great loss.” Then he proceeded to insult Jack’s talents, his ancestry, his looks, his wife, his kids…..
Jack looked up. At Howard. And fired back. And they had a raucous insult-fest.
It brought Jack back to life.
Thank you, Howard. You knew what to do and you did it, while we dimwits stood around helplessly.