Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sorry to hear you're gone Dylan

I was very sad to hear the news of the death of Dylan Williams today.

Dylan was one of the most generous, decent, sound people in the world of comics, a brilliant cartoonist, Sparkplug comics publisher and all-round source of good vibes.

I sent Dylan some of my mini-comics on spec soon after I first started making comics and I was stunned to find him full of encouragement and support via email. He went on to distribute some of those minis and eventually published the Matter Summer Special in 2006. Despite probably driving him crackers with the amount of time it took me to get that comic together for publication he would still regularly get in touch to see what else I had on the go and how it was progressing and could he publish it?

The first time I met Dylan in person was my first real visit to the states in the early 2000's. The centrepiece of the trip was the SPX con in Bethesda of that year. On my own and undergoing extreme culture shock, I very nervily introduced myself at the Sparkplug table and Dylan immediately went out of his way to make me feel welcome, put me at my ease and introduce me to other cartoonists. Subsequent meetings at other cons met with the same generous welcome and sharing of his time. I particularly fondly remember a trip to Portland zine Symposium when I was living in Canada when Dylan his partner Emily and bunch of local cartoonists took me and Jesse out for something to eat after the con and treated us like old friends.

I had the privelege of helping out with interview of Dylan on the Inkstuds podcast and despite my sometimes inane and ill-informed questioning remained his usual gracious, self-effacing and encouraging self. Dylan's positive attitude and generosity were an inspiration that have definitely rippled outwards and will continue to do so - it's an attitude that's at the source of the Summer Edition fair and the Dublin Comics Jam over here and I've no doubt many others have been similarly touched.

Dude, I'm sorry I never managed to thank you properly, pull the finger out and do you some really worthy comics in time.

You will be missed.