...This came in the mail...
...And just like that, I was a professional writer! Several more stories for Charlton Comics would follow, as would a 48-year (and still counting) career for DC Comics, Archie, Marvel, and many other publishers, both in and out of comics. And as I do every year on this anniversary, I send out my thanks to editor (and writer and artist, co-creator of E-Man with Joe Staton) Nicola Cuti (October 29, 1944 – February 21, 2020) for rescuing me from the slush pile and making my lifelong dream (at all of 19 years old!) come true. "You don't owe me any thanks," Nick once told me. "If I hadn't bought your first story someone else would have."
"Yeah," I said, "but someone else didn't. You did."
Here's the story from Scary Tales #3 that started it all, with art by another comic book newbie, Mike Zeck.