I woke up this morning to news that brought tears to my eyes. As I write this, I continue to get emotional about it.
I got up like I normally do. Check emails, check the convention message boards, and then check Newsarama to see the happenings in the comic world. Then it hit me:
Michael Turner Passes Away
Sitting in an emotional state of shock, I was hoping I was still sleeping, and this was a horrible dream I was having. I ended up clicking the link.
"From Aspen Comics' Vince Hernandez
Unfortunately it's with great sadness that I must inform everyone that Michael Turner tragically passed away last night, June 27th at approximately 10:42 pm in Santa Monica, Ca. Turner had been dealing with recent health complications arisen in the past few weeks. More details concerning Turner's passing, and services, will be given shortly.
Anyone wishing to send their condolences to Michael Turner's family is encouraged to send to:
Aspen MLT, Inc.
C/O Michael Turner
5855 Green Valley Circle, Suite 111
Culver City, CA, 90230
Aspen also encourages anyone wishing to make a charitable donation to please send to Michael Turner's requested charities:
The American Cancer Society
The Make-A-Wish Foundation"
While reading that, I began to tear up. I couldn't believe it. I didn't want to believe it. I still don't want to believe it.
Being hours after first reading the news, I am still hit with emotions on this news, as it also brings back many memories.
Although I wasn't into comics when Michael Turner first started off in comics or his earlier work (such as Witchblade), I've heard the name from both my brother, and a few friends in high school. This was during my years of playing Star Wars: CCG (which I also stopped playing, during my high school years).
One of my friends kept drawing in the same style of Michael Turner, with hopes of one day becoming a comic book artist. I haven't seen him since high school, and hope he's doing okay.
During 2004, my brother showed me a copy of Superman/Batman #9, which I thought was stunning and beautiful. I had to check it out. Then the release of Superman #203, which was the final issue of the Superman: Godfall story, featuring a cover by Michael Turner, and a bonus sketchbook preview of Jim Lee's upcoming Superman run, I was hooked.
Comics became my heroin, sketches are my cocaine. Bro, was the drug dealer that gave me the free sample.
Comics also kept a part of me out of reality. As I was dealing with horrible memories of a car accident I had sustained the previous year, which totalled my car, but miraculously left me only a sore forearm, and two cuts smaller than the size of a Tic Tac (one on my middle-knuckle on my right hand, one on my right knee). I was still picturing my car spinning out, and cutting across six lanes of the snow-covered Hwy. 400, with many cars travelling, that I could've either hit, or been hit by, before crashing into the centre median.
The car accident, I've told many people about. These horrible memories are something I don't think I've ever told anyone, until now, where I'm telling everyone. Comics helped me push those memories aside for happier memories, and it started with Michael Turner's artwork.
Though I wasn't really full-fledged in comics before (I enjoyed it, but was never a regular buyer), this became the start of my life with comics. I went around to different shops, buying whatever I could find that Michael Turner was involved in. I also discovered Aspen Comics, which was Michael Turner's company.
My first convention since returning to comics, was the Canadian National Expo (now, Fan Expo Canada). Michael Turner was one of the guests. I had to be there. First line I went to, Michael Turner. I was third in line.
Not knowing the etiquette, I brought up 33 books to get signed. Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald signed them all, Turner with a smile on his face. The next day, a signing limit of 10 was placed, when I lined up again, to get my brother's books signed, since I got all of mine signed the first day. Uhh... oops.
Anyways, both times, I tried asking to see if Michael Turner was sketching. Both times, he declined, because of the length of the line.
I tried again the following year, but was again declined. My mistake for being near the front of the line, during the first two days.
On Sunday August 26th, 2007, at Fan Expo Canada 2007, I was finally able to get the sketch I had hoped to get, since getting back into comics. This is my trophy sketch, since it was Michael Turner's art that got me back into buying comics. As always, Thanks to Brian and Saif for encouraging me to ask Michael Turner for a sketch, at the time that I did.
If my brother didn't show me that issue of Superman/Batman #9, who knows what I would've been doing nowadays. I may not have gotten back into comics. I may not have discovered what a wonderful medium comic books are. I may not have discovered all the talented writers and artists that are working in the world of comics and graphic novels. I may not have made so many new friends and acquaintances. Thank you Danny, for reintroducing me into this wonderful world.
And to Mr. Turner, you will forever be missed. The impact you had on my life was significant. I am greatful to have met you on those occasion at the conventions in Toronto. Thank you for everything, Mr. Turner.
My condolences go out the family and friends of Michael Turner.
August 26th, 2007 - Michael Turner (L) & Me (R)
Rest In Peace, Mr. Turner.