Monday, August 20, 2007
The quick watercolor I did right before we left the beach. Jamar did one too which he should post on his blog.
I thought I'd take a break from the blog for a few days last week as there was a lot going on mentally and emotionally. Last Friday my buddy Jamar and I met up at the Philly airport and flew down the Ringo's memorial in Durham. What a nice turnout, a lot of his long time pals and friends like Mark Wade flew in from LA and there was a Marvel and DC contingent, but really, this isn't about companies or articficial names and job descriptions, it's about people. Mike was like that. His brother Matt and his wife Suzanne, Todd Dezago were the strong pillars there along with Mike's Dad and Mom. Depsite the sadness of the reason we were there it was great to see so many people made it and that so many people really loved and were touched by Mike.
While Mike lay there he was surrounded by his freinds, family and it was nice that they also had his art up too. Drawings from when he was a kid and Tellos, Spider-man etc. Hugs, tears and great little stories mixed in with laughs and great memories. In short it was a Ringo love fest in the truest sense. They say you judge people often by the character of their friends and if you did that with Mike...well he was one hell of a great human being. It was great to meet Mike's family and to let them see how much Mike was loved and respected, his brother Matt said when they were at Mike's house they kept hearing this "pinging sound", well it turned out Mike's "puter was still on and they saw all the posts from the internet including my private yahoo group about Mike and they were really comforted with this outpooring from the comics community.
My other Philly friends Rich Faber and his wife Traci were there too having driven down from Philly and after the memorial we all went down the street to a local pub and chatted and laughed and I have to say it was for me anyway a great sense of closure. Jamar, Rich and Traci all got up to speak and talk about Mike, and I did too. I have to say I don't quite rememeber what I said---it's like an emotional blur now, except that he will be an inspirtation for generations of cartoonists to come. It was funny to have everyone basically say they all talked to Mike 90 minutes on the phone---no wonder he had deadline stress :-) We were all calling him and slowing him down.
Saturday, Echo, Jamar and Darci headed down to the beach and spent a day relaxing, laughing and just living, enjoying things, just like Mike is doing somewhere right now. I just took the time to think, let the wind blow and maybe recharge the bspirit a bit. I took a nap laying there with the cool wind blowing off the ocean and thought about Mike and life a bit. It seems every year this time there is a huge change going on. Schools start, jobs start, the holidays rush at you, lots of change, lots of energy. I felt that maybe this was the last chance to reflect before the wave crashes in.
I know after they finally put Mike to rest the family will need a little downtime too. I know they are overwhelmed by Mike's death-- but also the intense outpooring of love from the comic community. I think there will eventually be a good tribute done, maybe more than one, but I think they should be the ones who give the green light when they can catch their breath and it doesn't hurt to breath.