R.I.P. Dylan Williams
I'm not ready to write this. But I won't ever be. Dylan Williams, artist and publisher of Sparkplug Comic Books has passed away.
I first met Dylan over twenty years ago. It was a brief meeting at a run down comic book store. Months later, I met him again on the street while I was in the middle of a scavenger hunt. One of the items to collect was "a stranger". I tried to get Dylan to join us, though as I had met him before it was a bit of a cheat.
He declined to participate, but we still became good friends. We worked together at Comic Relief. We were two of the founding members of the small press collective called Puppy Toss. We collaborated on several comics projects together. We would critique and proof-read each other’s work. He was with me the first time I met my wife, and he drove me to Sacramento at the drop of a hat when she was in the hospital. We went to Disneyland together when his girlfriend broke up with him. I was there when his wife Emily wasn't his wife yet and was only known as "that Paper Heaven Girl" - the one Dylan had an obvious obsession for.
Dylan taught me about the history of comics. He helped me understand the beauty of Toth and the genius of Ditko. We spoke every week, working out various problems with life together. So much of who and what I am as writer and as a human being can be laid at his feet.
I just spent a week with Dylan at the hospital. We talked about comics and Doctor Who and what makes storytelling strong. I was there on my 40th Birthday and Dylan and Emily conspired to pick me up a hamburger cake. It was a great birthday for me, getting to spend time with my friend. He kept apologizing for the circumstance, but it wasn't important to me. His company overshadowed any negative impact of the surroundings.
When I left, he was getting healthier every day. We planned my return trip. Despite his ongoing health concerns, his passing was unexpected. I will miss him. I cannot describe how much I will miss him. But more importantly, the entire world of comics should mourn his passing. His understanding of the medium was exceptional and his efforts and dedication to help bring unusual artistic perspectives to the world was invaluable to the evolution of the medium.
When he became ill, I alsked him what I could do. He said "promote Sparkplug Comic Books". His work as the publisher of Sparkplug Comic Books can be found here.
Rest in peace Dylan.
A picture of a picture of Dylan, me and Eric at Disneyland around 1995 - I think.