Saturday, June 28, 2008

RIP Michael Turner

I was blown away this morning by hearing of the passing of one of the comic field's truly nice guys and huge artistic talents....Michael Turner.

After doing some digging I found out the some of the details:
Artist Michael Turner has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 37. Aspen Comics’ Vince Hernandez told CBR News Saturday morning that Turner passed away Friday night at 10:42 Pacific Time at Santa Monica Hospital in California.

The news spread quickly at Wizard World Chicago, during what would have otherwise been a riotous night at the hotel bar, the mood suddenly turned somber with remembrances of Turner from friends and acquaintances. A minute of silence will be observed during Wizard World Chicago Saturday afternoon.

Turner is an artist best known for his work on books like “Witchblade,” where he got his start in comics, moving on to titles such as “Black Panther,” “Superman/Batman” and his very own creator owned series “Fathom” and “Soulfire” through his publishing company Aspen Comics. A prolific artist, he’s done work for both DC Comics and Marvel Comics, and has provided covers to some of the best-known comics published in the last ten years, including Brad Meltzer’s “Identity Crisis.”

In 2000, Turner was diagnosed with cancer -- chondrosarcoma in the right pelvis, which resulted in his loosing his hip, 40% of his pelvis and three pounds of bone. What followed was 9 months of radiation. The cancer has gone into remission and returned multiple times since he was first diagnosed.

For anyone who’s met Turner, they’re likely to tell you what a genuinely nice guy he was and how his spirit for life was higher than anyone else they had ever met. Oddly, my path crossed with Turner’s numerous times. We both live in Los Angeles, and on at least five different occasions we would run into each other at clubs or special events around the city. He seemed like the kind of guy who was up for anything and had a great sense of adventure, especially as evidenced by his love and excellence at water-skiing and martial arts.

Turner’s fight with cancer was truly inspirational. He fought it with dignity and grace.
More details concerning Turner’s passing are forthcoming.

Those wishing to send their condolences to Michael Turner's family are encouraged to send them to:
Aspen MLT, Inc.

C/O Michael Turner
5855 Green Valley Circle, Suite 111
Culver City, CA, 90230

Aspen Comics also encourages anyone wishing to make a charitable donation in Turner’s name can do so to his requested charities, The American Cancer Society or The Make-A-Wish Foundation
The entire article can be viewed at: Comic Book Resources (CBR)....

On a personal note, I first met Michael at a convention in Tulsa back in the mid-90's, when I was promoting my Template series...and we we kicked butt in a game of hotel-bar-trivia one night! Michael was just beginnings to shake up the industry with his work on Witchblade at that time.

Over the years I saw him almost annually at most major events around Texas, (and of course San Diego) and he always seemed to be very supportive of the indy and small press creators who would approach him for insight, advice or comments on their artwork and never took a "holier-than-thou" attitude because of his success.

His kindness and compassionate nature, not to mention his incredible artistic talent, will sorely be missed.

R.J. Luedke

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