Saturday, June 28, 2008

Michael Turner

I started my career as a comicbook artist at Top Cow Productions..assisting various artists on background duty to help maintain the ever-dreaded deadline. I was fortunate to be working in such a creative capacity, and even luckier to have known several superstars of the artform, including Michael Turner. I remember when I assisted him on TombRaider #25....it was huge deal at the time, as Mike was returning to draw Lara Croft for the first time in a long time since his smokin' hot TombRaider/Witchblade crossovers.The book was a huge crossover event for TopCow...featuring new characters, a triple team-up of Witchblade, Fathom, and Tomb Raider, all drawn by the company's top dogs. A good number of us from the studio were planning a trip to Hawaii around the same time TombRaider #25 was to be done, including Mike and myself.Needless to say orchestrating such a crossover event with the multitude of artists and storylines....well, it was no surprise that 4 days before we were to enjoy our vacation there were 10 pages left to draw. Mike comes by my desk with this goofy grin..."Dude, let's put this puppy to bed! I think we could really kick ass on this book and cool our heels in Hawaii...whatta you say?".I was thinking"wow, how are we gonna do it?" Of course I said yes. Mike says"Sweet....hey, round up the guys...lets do a couple a rounds of Halo." We of course finished the book in the nick of time,Mike and I were up for two days straight working from his apartment till the 11th hour.We chatted about what ridiculous drinks with umbrellas we would by for one another just to keep us going...and of course there we were ,the very next day, cooling our heels on the beach. I look over at Mike and he gives me a nod and hang loose gesture as we toast our drinks, saying" you just gotta enjoy the ride, dude!" That was Mike...through and through he always found a way to rise to the challenge...find the positive in every situation...it was part of his charisma. And it was what I will miss most about him... JOEL

20 comments:

Ted.E. Baroody said...

Mike has been one of my favorite (if not overall favorite) artist since I first saw his work on Ballistic and Witchblade. I loved the old Image-style art and when Mike came into his own I followed with Fathom (and all the 10 million variants).

I'd extremely saddened to hear of his passing. I've always loved his art and covers, regardless of what some say, and thought he had one of the most distinguishing and recognizable styles in the business. From what I have always read he was a class act - great guy with a great personality. I wish his family and friends the best and I hope Aspen Comics continues it's success.

Mike shall always be remembered by this one;

-Ted

warren said...

One of my favorite artists. He will be missed!

GTJDorris said...

Truly a tragic loss to the world of comic books, to the world of art, and to the world in general. I should never complain again about not having enough time to get things done, as this man truly painted a portrait of someone who faced his illness and the knowledge that his time was limited and then made the absolute MOST of his remaining time. He defined the word "brave" as he continued to turn out more and more stunning pieces. I personally believe that his depiction of Supergirl will go down as the definitive picture of the character in addition to the rest of his body of work. He will be missed.

My condolences to his friends and families.

Chris S said...

Far too young and talented to be gone.

EricCallen said...

No, no, no...

Joel. Your blog entry is how I found out about Mike's passing.

Very sad news.

I remember the first time I met Mike. I had him sign his Ballistic mini series that co-starred Wetworks (STILL one of my all-time favorite minis.. go find it!!) and he was quite impressed that I wanted THAT issue signed. He proceeded to tell me a bunch of fun little tid-bits about the book that made the book even more personal for me. One of my favorite comicon memories. I often talk about that meeting to this day.

I had the pleasure of meeting him maybe just 4 other times and EVERY time he was... just, well...

Mike.

What else is there to say.

We miss ya, dude.

Thanx for the story, Joel.

Prayers for all.

Eric

christopher said...

we have lost one the unique and extraordinary LEGENDS in the comic-book biz,and there will NEVER be another MICHEAL TURNER!
"R.I.P!!"

ccaprile said...

I sit here utterly heartbroken by this news. I had no idea. I don't know what to say. I've admired his work for years, and always marveled at each new piece. His art was full of beauty, and I wish that I'd had the chance to meet him. My heart and prayers go out to his family.

Fabrizio said...

This is very, very, very sad.

Fab

emilio said...

Loved his artwork.
He will be missed.

Gelatomettista said...

Good to see the support...it's rare you get to meet such a special individual...Mike had an energy about him,an enthusiasm about life that made you want to experience it with him...I was always impressed by how people who didn't know or care about comics would react to Mike the same way one would if they were fans of his work...he was an engaging charismatic guy whose profession happened to be comic books. I'm lucky to have known him

JOEL

Gio Paredes said...

In my opinion, he is one of the best comic book artist of all time. I feel very sad that he can no longer draw those wonderful art that I always enjoy looking.

patman said...

mike,
you will be missed. thank you for the awesome art and for sharing your zest of life to so many people who have taken it for granted. RIP

Jonathon said...

A revolutionary creator gone too soon. He is already missed. RIP.

JeffLav said...

I so admire how even when sick he kept producing, and his volume of work he churned out during his career speaks to his proficiency. He was a true artist. I found him most impressive just watching him sketch at the Pittsburgh con that he always attended. I will miss his work, and his presence.
Personally this is heartbreaking and sort of horrific for such a young vibrant energy to be taken away.
Mike, I'll see you on the other side-

Jason Johnson said...

It's a dark day for comics. He will be missed. RIP Michael Turner.

Kong said...

Amazing story sounds like he was one hell of a guy! I wish I could have met him.

Vittorio said...

We're going to miss his incredible skill. RIP.

Phil said...

Damn cancer. I really hope we kick that disease's ass one day so we don't lose talented folks like Mike ever again.

I shall heft a drink in his honor tonight.

Yano said...

Found out before going to WWC on Saturday...it was a major blow since I've always been a big fan of his art, and even more than that, an admirer of his strength and love for his fans. It was a somber weekend, and the world of comics will never be the same. In the many times that our paths had crossed, he was always friendly and welcoming. My heart goes out to his family, and to the Aspen family.

He shows us all that with determination and good people around us, we can accomplish anything.

Steven said...

Joel, well said my friend. I haven't been able to write anything, but it is good to read all that is being done. Hugs to the Cliff jumper and talk soon.

Stay Strong,
Steven E. Simon