Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tribute to Michael Turner

My three favorite comic book artists are Jim Lee, Marc Sylvestri and Michael Turner.

Michael Turner passed away in June 2008 at the age of 37 after fighting cancer for eight years. Turner was the founder of Aspen Comics and creator of titles such as Fathom and SoulFire.

Just a few weeks before he died, I had gone to the Philadelphia Wizard World convention where I hoped to see Turner and perhaps get a photo and a few more autographed books to add to the many I already have. The people at his booth said he wasn't able to make it because he was not well. I knew he had been fighting cancer but I didn't guess that I had missed my last chance to see him alive.

Perhaps I had a premonition because I spent about an hour at his booth paging through about 10 books of exquisite original pencil drawings. The quality of his pencil lines, that is so evident in the originals, does not show up in copies. An original pencil drawing by Mike Turner sells for several thousand dollars (even before he died) so they were all beyond my budget. At the booth they had the original pencil drawing for perhaps the last cover he drew for Marvel's Ultimate Wolverine (left). I believe, again even before he died, it was on sale for $40,000.

I asked if the inker worked from a copy since they had so many original pencils for sale and was told that Mike's pencils were so tight they were scanned directly into the computer and the "inking" and coloring were done in the computer.

I'm sorry that we have lost, at such an early age, one of the greatest pencillers who ever lived.

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