Tuesday, January 04, 2005

"The Sadness of Passing"

Trying to sit here and mull over a few lines I could write regarding the passing of two people who have passed away that I greatly admire: Frank Kelly Freas, and Will Eisner.

As with a lot of others, probably my first exposure to Freas was on the covers of MAD magazine. But I really grew to become of fan of his work later on with the various covers he did for science fiction and fantasy paperbacks. There was many a sf pb I wouldn't have bought and read had it not been for his work gracing the cover which interested me enough to buy it off the racks, so he was chiefly instrumental for my introduction to a LOT of great writers. (And for that alone I can be greatly thankful.)

The first time I saw Eisner's work was in a Super Comic reprint of The Spirit. I didn't know who he was at that time, and didn't know his name really until I first read a copy of Jules Fieffer's The Great Comic Book Heroes (circa: 1965). It was approximately the same time I was with my parents on a trip to see releatives in Louisville and they stopped at some little 7-11 gas/grocery when I saw the Harvey Spirit Giant on the rack and bought it that my true appreciation for Mr. Eisner began.

I have never since that day not had a copy of that comic in my collection. If I sold most everything else, I always kept a copy of that one; it was just too good! In time I became aware that not only was Will Eisner an excellant illustrator but one of the best writers around.

The trouble with growing old is that everyone you always admired grows old as well. Most of us were kids when we first discovered these great people and they were already, a lot of them, in their 40's, so now time is quickly taking them away from us. People like Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and others are no spring chickens; many like Bill Everett, Gil Kane, Bill Woggon, Carl Barks, Hal Foster, Russ Manning,Wally Wood, Jack Kirby, and so many more have already left us.

All we can do is appreciate what legacy they have, and be thankful for those who are still among us.

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