I decided it was time to let somebody die.
--Milton Caniff, writer-artist of the once-popular (it ended in 1973) comic strip Terry and the Pirates
Please take the skin off the artist who murdered Raven Sherman.
--Letter to the Editor
In 1941 Caniff precipitated a national incident by permitting one of his characters the almost unheard-of comic-strip prerogative of dying. The victim in this case was one Raven Sherman, an American heiress for whom Caniff had won unusual sympathy by portraying her as an undaunted and high-hearted young lady overcoming all obstacles to aid the Chinese in resisting what Caniff, at the time, was calling the Japanese “invader.” Miss Sherman was rudely pushed off a truck, and subsequently died of her injuries. She was buried on a lonely Chinese hillside in a ceremony so moving that millions of funny-paper disciples were plunged into their own peculiar kind of melancholia. Flowers poured into the offices of the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate, which distributes Terry and the Pirates, and several hundred college students in the Midwest felt constrained to bare their heads and turn toward the east in a last reverent gesture.
--Collie Small, “Strip Teaser in Black and White,” The Saturday Evening Post, August 10, 1946
It saddens us to have to say that the whiplash effect ["SNAP!"] she underwent when Spidey's webbing stopped her so suddenly was, in fact, what killed her. In short, it was impossible for Peter to save her. He couldn't have swung down in time; the action he did take resulted in her death; if he had done nothing, she still would certainly have perished. There was no way out.
--Marvel Comics editor Roy Thomas
As you said, Spider-Man #121 was a shocker. Frankly, I wonder what kind of home life you people must have, or had, as children.
--Letter to the Editor
I was just getting ready to go to Europe on some sort of a business trip...to meet somebody to discuss something about Marvel. And I think I wasn't thinking too clearly, because when they said, "We'd like to kill Gwen Stacy," I said, "Well, if that's what you want to do, okay." All I wanted to do was get them out of the office so I could finish packing and get out of there...and when I came back and found out that Gwen had been killed, I thought "Why would they do that? Why would Gerry write anything like that?" And I had to be reminded later on that I had perhaps reluctantly or perhaps carelessly said "Okay" when they asked me.
--Marvel Publisher Stan Lee, who by 1973 had left the writing and editing of the comic books to others.
She was a nonentity, a pretty face. She brought nothing to the mix. It made no sense to me that Peter Parker would end up with a babe like that who had no problems...So killing Gwen was a totally logical if not inevitable choice.
--Spider-Man scribe Gerry Conway
To this day people ask me for drawings of Gwen Stacy, and tell me how it hurt them when she died. And I tell them the story when [Dude Hennick's] girlfriend Raven Sherman died in Terry and the Pirates. I was 10 years old, and for the first time I remember grown-ups talk about a comic strip character as if they were alive. I remember somebody said, "Did you hear that Raven Sherman died?" And I thought to myself, "Wow! This grown-up thinks of her like I think of her. That that's a real woman." And he says, "Isn't that amazing that Raven Sherman is dead?" That's the closest I've come to that kind of immortality, when people tell me that they still think about the day Gwen Stacy died. You know how great that makes me feel? I want to buy them a drink.
--Spider-Man artist John Romita Sr., who, in collaboration with another artist, Gil Kane, and writer Conway, chronicled the demise of the lovely Miss Stacy.