Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures - Reviews and interview

It's been a rough week. But seeing these reviews pop-up has been a tremendous help. This is all from the website: The Brave and the Old - a fan website dedicated to all-ages comics where the reviewers are primarily children. Awesome to see.

Here's the first part of the interview.

Here's a review of issue #1.

Here's a review of issue #2.

And here's a review of issue 3.

I just have to say, it's exciting and rewarding to see this level of dedication and interest in fans so young. Here's a picture of the two reviewers, The Comic Wizard and Super Reader:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dylan Williams and our imaginary feud...

Things keep coming back to me. There's 20 years of history constantly welling up in my mind whenever I stop repressing my gut reaction to this.

Sometime in the mid-nineties, Dylan and I began an imaginary feud. This was mostly born out of a response to some poorly informed observations made about Eric Jones and myself and our relationships with certain people (Dylan included) that Ariel Bordeaux had made in an interview (1997?). The same interviewer was speaking to us and doing a Puppy Toss retrospective article for a local Berkeley paper, and Dylan and I each spoke separately to him about the huge conflict between us that never happened. I think Eric was in on this fabrication too. We claimed that it all ended in a brutal fist fight. We tried to spread word of this feud whenever possible, but I don't think anyone actually ever believed it. Eventually, we just gave up.

Eric, Dylan and I also had plans on working together under the name Darcy Lynn Lidera (I'm probably misspelling it, it was a combination of our three names). We did a one page piece, meant to appear in an anthology that Scott Morse invited us to participate in. Sadly, that anthology (also the comic Little Gloomy was originally created for) was never published. I believe Scott (maybe) still has the original page, something I will have to harass him about someday.

Dylan took the art of comics very seriously. But he found taking ourselves as comics creators seriously, in an industry that should be fun, kind of amusing. We never had the energy to really pursue the practical jokes we planned. But we liked planning them.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

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.