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By Elliot S! Maggin

Krypto's Doghouse of Solitude

Readers' Comments!

Well now.  I am convinced that our dog is the reincarnation of Krypto.  We should have named her that instead of Lucky.  While trying to put on her leash to take her for a walk, she yanked me right out of my chair and off the front porch.  And I weigh 240 pounds.  She has pulled my wife down to the ground at least twice on such walks.

She is about the same size as the comic dog Krypto but not all white.  Most of her color is black but with white legs, abdomen, chest and throat.  Otherwise her shape is exactly the same with the barrel chest and sleek waist.  Her ears may be a bit shorter though.  It is a joy to watch her run through the yard and leap over both chains bordering the walkway in one jump.  She was a gift from our daughter for Easter of 2002.  Many people did not want "her" as she was so active, even for a puppy then, and they feared behavioral problems as she is actually a hermorphodite (born with reduced size genitals of both sexes).  She has been very stuborn to train but is so lovable we can't give her up.

But I always liked Krypto of the comics and often wish we named our dog Krypto, especially after experiencing her tremendous strenght and agility (frisbees rarely touch the ground with her around).

Thank you for this great website and keep up the good work.

Richard Landgraff a.k.a. "Krypto" on the Smallville forum.

April 2, 2003


I mean, what a wonderful website!  This is by far the most complete Superman site I have ever seen, and best of all, there is a bit about Krypto!!  Although I was born years after the Silver Age ended, I look at it fondly, and read as much of the material I can get my hands on.  I love Krypto and Streaky the Super Cat.  Kudos to DC Direct for producing those toys, and kudos to the webmaster of this site!

- Megan Higgins, August 5, 2002

Mr. Maggin:

Thank you for your work of fiction.  It is absolutely wonderful.  I am having a hard time seeing to write this e-mail, and that is the way good fiction should be.  I hope to see more of the Dog Of Steel, in the future.  I, like all the others who have read your work, and have read your works over the years, find you to have written some excellent stories and novels.  Thanks again, for your patience and time to read this.

In closing, I would like to say that I had dogs myself and loved every single one of them.  Let me tell you, it is hard to let them go, and it was as hard to let go of a fictional dog whether they are named Lassie, Krypto, London, etc.  Incidentally, Krypto was the dog who inspired mine and my brother's desire for a dog when we were children.  We didn't exactly get a "Krypto", but we did have a "FiFi" (A beagle with a short fuse), Lady, (A swedish Elkhound we know now) - she had a good life and she was a good friend.  When it was her turn to leave this plane, she went with more dignity and courage than I ever showed in my whole life.  God, I wonder how a shlemiel like Myself could be so lucky; Maybe I really was not so bad after all, and I was rewarded that well for those times. .  .

Thank you, sir, thank your muse, and above all, Thank the Dog of Steel.

J. Michael Reiter.


Despite being nearly blinded by tears, and nearly incoherent from profound joy such as good fiction should always bring, I managed to write this.  Again, Thanks.

- J. Michael Reiter, October 16, 2001

This is the reason I first became enamoured of comics in the first place!  Writing that MEANS something!  The legend is not dead, it's just in a state of finding itself.  The roots are the place where not only it begins, but where it is nurtured!  Your story nurtures the mind and the spirit!  PLEASE continue.

- Gordon Green, August 17, 2001

When our white terrier mix returned from the groomer with short hair and a long bandanna, I had this weird feeling that I had seen him before in some other lifetime.  I felt like the Richard Dreyfuss character in Close Encounters -- where have I seen that before?  Of course, it was in the early 1960s in DC comics -- and the bandanna had reminded me of Krypto's cape.  I wasn't sure if I really remembered what Krypto looked like, so I searched for some old photos on the web to print for my wife... and found this wonderful web page.  Can't wait to read Starwinds, and it was great to read all the reader's comments.

Thanks for helping keep the story alive.  Today's kids need it now more than ever.

- Matt Jansky, July 23, 2001

I'd like to thank all those at DC Comics who brought Krypto back!  I love the character so much (and am such a huge fan of Superman's) that 4 1/2 years ago when I bought my little white Lhasa Apso pup, he just had to be named Krypto.  He wears an "S" shield on his collar right there with his vaccination records.  Last week, at the Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois, he almost seemed proud to be walking through the crowds with his "S" and dog-sized cape flowing in the wind.  Again, thank you for bring him back to the comic!

- Matt Collins, June 16, 2001

Dear Elliot S! Maggin,

I don't ever remember leaving any comment for a story I have read online, but I am compelled to, I actually believe it would be a travesty not to.  I have missed Krypto for so long that I had felt like a three year-old ripping open the present I had always wanted. The story of devotion, love, and truth that you have told about the Dog of Steel is maybe the greatest tale told of any super being since the Last Son of Krypton.  I know that not many people have left comments on this site since 99, but I had to, as I have mentioned above.  The sheer power behind this tale is so amazing it was worth immeasurable time and energy.

My greatest fear is that you will no longer write any more Superman stories.

Hopefully reading this will not be a waste of your time.

- Jeff Pennington, Febuary 17, 2001

Starwinds Howl was a great story.  I look forward to many more and I hope they are coming.  The reunion of Superboy and Krypto was beautiful.

Thank you for giving us this gift.

- LArry Stanley, 18 Sep, 2000

What breed of Earth dog closely resembles Krypto?  I used to have a black lab but he passed on 2 months ago and I am looking to get a new dog one that closely resembles Krypto.  Any suggestions?  Also great story!!!  Tears glore!!!

- Roger Coghill, 27 Apr 2000


Are there any comic book stories of Krypto for the present superman we are now having in the comic books?  Where is Krypto now?  Will the dog of steel ever be seen again in a comic book series together with the current superman?

- ronald (philippines) 25 May, 2000

Mr. Maggin,

Starwinds Howl is a great story filled with all the wonder of the Silver Age of comics.

Not only do I now believe a dog can fly, but this story underlines my belief that the claim that the Superman Family was not interesting because it was too "strong" and the actions taken to dilute the super-formula were ill-conceived.

Thank you for providing a story not otherwise available.

- Dan Membiela, 31 Aug 1999

Mr. Maggin,

As with the rest of your Superman work, I found Starwinds Howl to be profoundly moving.  Your vision of the Superman mythos is so powerful and so apt that I can never think of any other as "correct."

As a comics fan, it is my sincerest wish that you were at the helm of the current Superman titles.

Thank you for your work, sir.

- Tony Rose, 24 Aug 1999

Dear Mr. Maggin,

I have just finished reading your story Starwinds Howl and the ending nearly brought a tear to my eye.  It reminded me of all the reasons I am a Superman fan.  It was interesting to read Krypto's story.  Thank you for such a lovely yarn.

Sincerely yours, Mark.

- Mark Taylor, 17 Aug 1999

The best comic book stories are those that take something potentially silly and turn it into something that seems real.  Starwinds Howl succeeds in this with flying colors. It's a clever, touching tale with (as usual for any Maggin Superman story) believable and compelling characterizations.

- Tim DeForest, 13 Aug 1999

When I read Last Son of Krypton, it renewed my long dormant love of the Supeman story.  The movies and the post 1986 continuity have killed it.  This story was wonderful and took me back to the joy of these characters that I felt as a child.  I loved your novel of Kingdom Come.

Now that DC has brought in Hypertime, maybe you can get them to let you do a story like this one.

Thank you for bringing back my childhood.

- Sam Tomaino, 10 Aug 1999

While the Jack London inspiration and influence is marked and well-noted, Elliot's writing is his own sweet and sensible prose.  There are few authors who can take dry science and make it bubble and spark with life.  The section on the photonucleic effect is simply virtuoso writing, but no less than the witty and warm characterization of the Kents (loved Jonathan's comment to Clark about telling him what he thinks he "can handle"), Lara ("You'll do nothing of the sort ... they love each other") and especially of Krypto himself.  Eliot's take on dog psychology is as fascinating as it is entertaining to read.  I know I echo others above in my fervent hope that the talented Mr. Maggin (of whom I've been a fan since his Justice League days) will return to our beloved four-color medium.

- Stephen Richmond, 9 Aug 1999

Once again, Elliot S! Maggin waves his wand and resurrects the REAL Superman.  And Krypto.  And the REAL Ma and Pa Kent!

Putting more warmth, thought, and sense of wonder into Superman than every book published after the Crisis, Mr. Maggin makes a simple tale of a dog read like great literature!  (Am I gushing?  What the heck!  The guy deserves every exclamation mark he's ever added to his signature!)

Mr. Maggin, I'd love to see another Superman story from you.  (Heck, another Justice League story would be such a treat!  Imagine the JLA as human beings instead of Cliff-Note cyphers!)  Warner and DC should be asking you to write a series of books.  It would give so much class to their heroes; something said heroes have been lacking for years, now.

- Scott Sherwood, 7 Aug 1999

What a wonderful depiction of the origin of popular culture's favorite super-powered canine!  I truly enjoyed Starwinds Howl -- it harkened back to the days when I had just begun to learn and yearn for the legends of Earth's greatest heroes.

Mr. Maggin is one of my favorite writers, and sadly, it was later in life that I finally discovered his work.  Maggin's Superman IS how the Pre-Crisis Superman should be remembered.

The modern Superman has undergone a variety of changes, most superficial and some detrimental to the fundamental basis of the character.  He has become the victim of gimmicky plotlines and stories which place him in a variety of unique situations from "death" to "resurrection" to a virtual change of power and costume.

I have sat patiently through these travesties, always and continually hoping that the Man of Steel will survive through them unscathed, and for the most part he has.  This fall marks a new beginning for the Post-Crisis Last Son of Krypton, as new creative teams have been allowed to weave new mythos and stories for Superman.  Let's hope that they show the first and greatest superhero the respect and reverence that we all know he deserves.

- B.L. Wooldridge, 5 Aug 1999


Your story was a pleasure to read.  I've been reading comic books to one extent or another since I've been able to read, which is about 38 of my 43 years, but I gave up reading Superman on a regular basis many years ago due to changing tastes and some minor degree of maturity on my part.  Occasionally I read a superman story here or there by accident or design, but none of them have ever been able to capture the kick that I had as a little kid reading about Superman with a sense of awe and wonder.  Your story came closer to it than any piece of Superman I've read as an adult.  Thanks.

- Ed Alexander, 5 Aug 1999

I was totally committed to not crying at this story, but you got right past my defences to the ten year-old boy who received his puppy on a cold winter's evening.  This is one of the most touching stories I've read in a long while.  I've always had a soft spot for the Dog of Steel and it was a treat to finally learn the hidden story of his voyage to Earth.

Have you read Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse's work on Supreme?  Forget the standard Superman/Supreme crossover; Krypto and Radar, the Hound Supreme!  Now there's a team-up!

Thank you.

Stacy Dooks

P.S. Have you considered writing another Superman novel?  I know you did the Kingdom Come novel, but I'd love a full length book chronicling the Man of Tommorow.

- Stacy Dooks, August 4, 1999

I've always had a place in my heart for Krypto.  Thank you for finally writing the story that he deserves - it's absolutely beautiful.

- Sam Alan, July 31, 1999

"Krypton" as an ancient word for "Ice"?  This is the first time that we've ever heard it, but it makes absolute sense.  Of course!

I love the way that you acknowledge and merge elements from Superman's Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Post-Crisis, and movie continuities.  This is a truly timeless epic.

Leave it to the genius of Elliot S! Maggin.

- Nathaniel Morgan, July 31, 1999

Thank you for writing this story.  A long time ago, I read in an interview where you said that you wanted to write it.  I've been waiting to read it ever since.

- David Schock, July 28, 1999

Elliot S! Maggin, you made me cry - again.

I was, I think, around 9 or 10 when I first picked up the UK paperback edition of Superman: Last Son Of Krypton.  I'd been reading comic books for about 6 years at that point, and the idea of a prose version of it was, to say the least, novel (no pun intended).  And yet, reading the words, the pictures were just as vivid in my head, being more.  This writer pulled together so many disparate Silver Age threads - Luthor's past as Superboy's friend and the attendant tragedy of their enmity; the history of Krypton and its final days; the Green Lanterns and the Old Timer...  and made it all work without sounding the least bit corny.  On the contrary, it sounded wonderous, and the final message from Albert Einstein to Kal-El brought tears to my eyes.  I finished the book thinking, "This guy should be writing comics!"

Little did I know he already was.  At 6, you don't really notice the names in the credit box, but from then on, I noticed Elliot S! Maggin. 

I wrote you a note a couple of years ago after I noticed you actually had a net-presence, to thank you for the wonder you brought into a young Singaporean boy's life all those years ago.  I'm glad to say you're bringing that same wonder back now that I'm just a bit older, but thankfully, still young enough inside to appreciate it.

I miss the firefalls, and the glass forests.  I miss the headbands, and the Rondors, and the Tales of Krypton.  All that has been wiped away since 1986, but as this story shows, it has not been forgotten.

I miss Krypto.  I didn't know how much until I read this tale.  You made me remember and made me cry, with joy and with happy memories.

Thank you.

- Terence Chua, July 29, 1999

Dear Sir (can I call you 'Sir'?),

I've never written a Letter of Comment before, but this latest issue was so good that-- waitaminute, this isn't "Krypto-Grams"!

But, seriously.  This story is a Good Thing.

These characters hold a unique place in human culture and in the universe, and their stories - their continuing stories - should be heard.  Few minds are tuned to receive and formulate these tales.  Fewer still are skilled enough, motivated enough to press thought to page.  Only through this rare alchemy (which is often hindered rather than strived for by those people clouded by fear, avarice, and ignorance) can these adventures be passed from mind to mind and in each lay the seeds of wonder, hope, and destiny.

The best stories that feature Kal and Krypto have as their basis certain essentials about both characters, which, guided by fate, have drawn them together: their character (here I mean character in the sense of integrity - that part of them which embodies their honor and loyalty), their loss, and their power.  Starwinds Howl, as much as any other such story, and better than most, brings these essentials to the forefront of the plot and exposition.

I find your writing satisfying on many levels.  Not only does your love for the characters, every detail of their existence and, dare I say, continuity, shine forth from every phrase and reference!  Not only do you show the writerly skill, showmanship, civility, and sheer sapience to treat your story with respect, delivering on every promise made at every stage of the plot with in-depth character study in the same mode and milieu that the premise demands!  Not only does your supply of incredible perspectives from which to view everyday and super existence continue to appear bottomless.  "But he's also the fastest typist I've ever seen!"  Oh, sorry, skip that last one - wrong movie.

More generally, I find your prose stories interestingly different from your comics work.  You take on meatier subjects and handle them with a kind of over-the-top courage.  Sometimes you put in so many great ideas, some of them just details in passing, and wrench them against one another to illustrate a subtle dynamic (here I think the example currently in my mind is Luthor's Gift).  These are the sorts of things I know I've seen done in the comics, but never with such magnitude, or maybe intensity.  (Here I have thoughts about the differences you may have had about the direction or feel for the character from what DC or maybe even just Julie had, but I really know very little beyond what one can glean from reading the books themselves, certainly not enough to even begin to speculate).  Anyway, I love that richness, when you delve into the relationships that a man of Kal's exceptional civility is capable of or falls into, or the implications of his limitless powers and abilities for those relationships and for his own state of being. 

More specifically, it was a great thrill learning more about the history of Krypton, more about how these characters interrelated during that time.  There were some great scenes - I can see in my head the wave of proto-kryptonite spreading out in a ring around Rao.  I'll never get enough of your Superboy material.  Young Clark is such an adventure for the Kents.  It's so endearing to me to see them crossing a sea of uncertainties with few but strong certainties, along with a hearty American doggedness, to see them through.  And for Clark, that time that is full of discoveries for each of us is taken to his usual astronomical heights.  You really nailed it with all the descriptions of the truth behind what mankind yet knows.  It brought me back to the first few Legion stories, where we got to see what's lying out there for mankind to accomplish. 

Thank you.

- Derek Doyle, July 23, 1999

Why has Krypto as a character survived in all our imaginations for all these years?  It's because he fulfills a need in many of our individually rich fantasy theaters.  The story of his bonding with the baby Kal-El, his being lost in space, his adventures and will to survive even after he is lost and his homeworld is destroyed, his spectacular reunion as a grown dog with the boy Clark Kent ...  this is the stuff of legend.

- The author


STARWINDS HOWL by Elliot S! Maggin

Krypto's Doghouse of Solitude!