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Chris Clairemont, circa 2008 {By Luigi Novi, CC}

Award-winning omic book writer Chris Clairemont has written the adventures of some of Marvel’s most popular characters, the Uncanny X-Men, Iron Fist, Dracula, Luke Skywalker, and Leia Organa. He’s 71 today!

Claremont created some of their more popular characters: Gambit, Kitty Ptyde, Rogue, and Mystique, and one of their worst villains, the Rev. Mr. William Stryker.

Christopher S. Clairemont was born November 30, 1950 in London, England. He immigrated to the Inited States when he was three. He is of Jewish heritage and spent some time in his youth in a kibbutz in Israel. He grew up in Long Island, New York.

When he was a college student in 1969, an undergraduate at Bard College, Marvel Comics hired him as an editorial assistant. His first writing assignment for Marvel was Daredevil #102 in 1973.

Chris Clairemont is best known for writing the Uncanny X-Men and its spinoffs for years. “During his 17 years as X-Men writer, Claremont wrote or co-wrote many classic X-Men stories, such as “The Dark Phoenix Saga” and “Days of Future Past.” He also wrote the poignant Star Wars #49 and #50, where Princess Leia had to deal with the effects of killing another sentient being up close and personal, rather than shooting a blaster from asafe distance or giving the orders for someone else to fire an ion cannon.

hris Clairemont had Shakespeare-quoting villains. He made the parallels between anti-mutant hatred and racism crystal clear. The New York Magazine said ” Claremont’s take on the series has been likened to writing “the Great Amweican Novel  about complex characters who just happened to fly”, incorporating surprise character developments and emotional nuances amid the operatic battles that otherwise typified American superhero comics

X-Men,” says Claremont, “has always been about finding your place in a society that doesn’t want you.”

A lifelong science fiction fan, Clairemont has also written original science fiction and in other people’s universes. He wrote World of Fire, set in the Star Wars universe, notable for the sympathetic, honorable Imperial officer , Major Wil’m Grau. He co-wrote sequels to the movie Willow with George Lucas, the Chronicles of the Shadow War trilogy.. He wrote the novelization of C-Men: The Last Stand. His original work includes the First Flight trilogy, First Flight, Grounded , Sundowner. He wrote short stories in the Wild ards shared universe anthologies.

Chris Clairemont mentioned at San Diego ComicCom in 1987 or 1988, that bringing a fanbase of millions of readers was neneficial when negotiating his contract with Ace Books for First Flight.

“During his seventeen years writing for the series, Claremont is credited with both developing strong female characters as well as introducing complex literary themes into superhero narratives while turning the X-Men into one of Marvel’s most popular series.”Some of the female characters he created or developed include: Kitty Pryde, Dr. Moira MacTaggert, “Psylocke, Storm, Rogue, Lilandra Neramani, Stevie Hunter, Jean Grey, Wolfsbane, Catseye, and Emma Frost. senators Leia Organa and Mon Mothma; and Nicole Shea.

Chris Clairemont is married to writer/editor Beth Fleisher. They have two sons.

Awards (Partial List)

Chris Clairemont has won many awards in his career.

  • 1979 Eagle Award for Best Comic Book Writer (U.S.)
  • 1979 Eagle Award for Favourite Single Story – X-Men #111 – “Mindgames” with John Bryne
  • 1979 Eagle Award for favorite Comic Book, X-Men
  • 1979 Eagle Award for Favorite Group or Team, X-Men
  • 1980 Inkpot Award
  • 1980 Eagle Award for Favourite Comicbook – X-Men
  • 1980 Eagle Award for Favourite Team – X-Men
  • 1984 Eagle Award for Favourite Group or Team (US) – X-Men
  • 1986 Eagle Award for Favourite Group or Team (US) – X-Men
  • 1992 Comics Buyer’s Guide Fan Award for Favorite Graphic Novel or Album for Star Trek: Debt of Honor.
  • 2013: Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters from Bard College.

We anticipate that Mr, Clairemont will win many more awards in the future.

Happy Birthday, Chris Clairemont, and thank you for the years of reading pleasure. Live long, snf prosper, sir, and may your pen never run out of ink.

-30-

Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.

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