Martin Nodell, creator of the Green Lantern: "I picked out the name from the train man on the tracks who was waving a lantern, going from red to green.... green meant go and I decided that was it. Then I needed a colorful and interesting costume. I was interested in Greek mythology and so the costume took on elements of that. It just all fell into place. When I sent it in, I waited into the second week before I heard the word to come in... I did the first five pages of an eight page story, and then they called in Bill Finger to help. We worked on it for seven years. After that, I retired from comics and went into advertising. I came back to comics in 1981, when I began touring comic art conventions with my wife, Carrie. I've been at it ever since and have enjoyed every minute. At the Megacon this year, a young lady showed her admiration for the character by dressing up as a member of The Green Lantern Corps-- what a thrill!"
Forgive a moment of tenderness for a man I never met and a childhood remembrance: when I was a very small child, being kept quiet with my neighbors' comic books, long before I discovered the more sophisticated charms of Marvel's Silver Age, I always kind of had a soft spot for DC's Green Lantern.
The stories were never as good as the platonic idea of the character or the imagery of that emerald light and the chiaroscuro it created-- I don't think I've read but one or two "Green Lantern" comics since early childhood, with the exception of Neil Gaiman's wonderful adult fantasy, "The Heart of a Star" in ENDLESS NIGHTS about how the light and the lanterns and the good people of Oa came to be.
The thing is, I always remembered the Oaths, and the Lanterns chosen for being honest and brave, and the importance of the light in so much darkness. A silly child's totem, perhaps, akin to T.H. White's foolish candle in the wind that Arthur tries to guard, or the flickering candle wrapped in barbed wire to represent the prisoners sought by Amnesty International...
And what shall we live by instead, when we become adult and too sophisticated for dreams of justice and the belief that Truth would have a virtue and power of itself? Adopt the cynical pose of the culture of television-baby hipsters? The realpolitik of a Kissinger and his clones? Become small and mean instead?