Check out letters from those who agreed with us, and those who didn't on M.C. Hammer, ''Duel,'' and ''Doonesbury''

Mail from our readers

Hammer Time
Hammer’s Success (91, Nov. 8) is built mainly on one album and shrewd commercial marketing. His shameless attempt to associate with James Brown and reclaim the glove of Michael Jackson smacks of a frantic attempt to achieve credibility. Frankly, he can’t touch either of them, because his hammer has no claw.
Mike Vore
Independence, Kan.

The most ambitious man in pop? More ambitious than Michael Jackson? Paul Simon? Sting? You’ll have to forgive me for not reading Ivan Solotaroff’s story — I was too stunned by the cover line to turn the page.
Kyle Counts
Los Angeles

It’s hard to believe that Hammer can have the nerve to compare himself to Michael Jackson. I bet he’d love to get his hands on Michael’s glove, but there is no way he could ever fill his shoes.
Valerie Michaud
Pembroke, Mass.

‘Backdraft Backlash’
To say Robert De Niro, the greatest actor working today, is deflating is almost a sin. I hope De Niro keeps doing films like Backdraft and Guilty by Suspicion, giving him breathers between powerhouse performances like GoodFellas and Awakenings. Doing an award-winning performance each time can tire anyone out, even this master.
Eric Morris
Salem, Ore.

From time to time I have read your magazine when your cover story caught my eye. However, if you consistently combine such diverse and captivating reading material as ”Jughead,” ”Ghoulardi,” and the absolute best TV movie of all time, Duel, then I anticipate becoming a regular EW reader. Thanks for the ’70s memory jog.
David Ball
Bellevue, Ohio

Duel has haunted me since 1971. Repeat viewings confirm this low-budget thriller’s high-tension shock appeal. Steven Spielberg manages to evoke sympathy for tormented motorist and maniac trucker alike. That’s genius!
Julia Buonocore
New York City

Real Love
I was very happy to read Marisa Fox’s enthusiastic review of Lisa Stansfield’s new CD, Real Love. I was going to buy her new one on the strength of her debut alone; the review only confirmed my intentions. EW gets an A from me.
James J. Derby

Shattered Allusion
As always, I enjoy reading your magazine. However, I couldn’t let slide the error in ”Use Your Allusion.” The movie 2,000 Maniacs wasn’t a ’50s B movie but in fact was made by Herschell Gordon Lewis in 1964. Surely an article on this great director is due?
Jonathan Englender
Venice, Calif.

Ghost Stories
When will the recording industry come to its senses and properly recognize the incredible talent of Weather Girl Martha Wash? This gifted woman merits a throne on the Mount Olympus of great R&B singers with Aretha, Gladys, and Patti, but instead is reduced to performing a ventriloquist act with some Barbie doll. What’s next? Will the vocals of the ”voluminous” Pavarotti be attributed to the more aesthetically pleasing Gerardo? I think not. If we want Plasticine glamour, we’ll go to a wax museum. If we want great vocals, we’ll go to Martha Wash.
Matthew Phillips
West Mifflin, Pa.

May I say that I was among the most astonished of your readers to discover that I am Garry Trudeau’s ”ghost” on the comic strip Doonesbury! Reading quotations attributed to me was especially shocking in that many of them seriously perverted a telephone interview I had with one of your reporters. At no time in the interview was the context of my being Garry Trudeau’s ”ghost” or ”cocreator” for Doonesbury claimed by me. I take a certain pride in working with Garry Trudeau for the past 20 years as his inker for the art and lettering of Doonesbury. My work here in Kansas City has enabled him to meet tight deadlines with the press syndicate office located here. I believe I fully and accurately described the processes of how the strip is produced each week. Certainly within the context of that interview I made no claims about ”redrawing Garry’s pencil roughs” or that ”no tracing is involved.” Tracing is involved. Inking Garry’s roughs using a light table is involved. That is not redrawing. Your story was a serious, if overzealous, misstatement of my role in Doonesbury. Garry Trudeau needs no ”ghost.” I truly am aghast at the misrepresentations about me and Doonesbury.
Don Carlton
Kansas City

Ed. note: Mr. Carlton is correct. A review of our interview tapes and research material has convinced us we misinterpreted the way Doonesbury is produced and overemphasized Mr. Carlton’s role. We regret the error and apologize to Mr. Carlton and Mr. Trudeau for any damage our story may have caused them.