Today, the 22nd, a good friend of mine passed away. A friendship that has spanned more than 15 years where we endured as much tragedy as we have comedy. We stuck together through online flame wars, other friends passing away as much as enduring silly and fun things like sharing videos on Youtube. We went to Dragon*Con a few times and tore shit up in some chat rooms. Heaven knows we’re no strangers to drama. We thrived on it most of the time. Chaos was always our element.
is a good friend. It’s important to remember that just because someone passes away it doesn’t change what and who they are. We can refer to the events in the past tense but the person needs to always be remembered in the here in now. Just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not here anymore. If a man wins a championship they remain a champion even after they lose the title. They just aren’t the current champion, they are a champion nonetheless. It was a champion that said it best just before he died when he said:
“Every man's heart one day beats its final beat, his lungs breathe their final breath and if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit will be immortalised.”
He never judged me. He never made me feel bad. He never had unrealistic expectations of me. He never pushed me. Yet he did what he could to help me realize some dreams. He helped me become published. He put me as a person in his comics. He put my car in as well. He listened to my ideas on character development. I was one of his first go-to guys who he would turn to when he needed some kind of scientific or mechanical angle on something in his books. He always did what he could to help me. Ultimately we began our own project “Carc & ‘Slide” and we had a blast talking about that. He was beginning another title that he brought back from his old creations that got him interested in making comics in the first place. Lone Wolverine Presents. He would have had his favorite character, Night Grappler #2 (NG2) and Hellraise along with a lot of other characters. Sadly he never got to see those come to fruition. I might try and fix that by at least sharing some of it if I can.
Every week, usually on a Sunday or Monday he would call me in the evening and we’d chat it up. He’d talk a long walk to help bring his blood sugar numbers down and I’d play videogames or work on my car. We’d talk about pro wrestling, comics, movies, music and whatever else was going on in the world. I talked to him just this last Sunday night. I am glad he sounded like he was in good health and good spirits. It was a sudden natural death that was quick. So he didn’t suffer.
Steve and I had each other’s backs until the very end. It will be hardest for me when it comes to the little things. Not having our talks over the phone. Not sharing ideas for the comics, and that’s a big one because my mind is almost always on my characters and stories in some way and that had a very real impact on his works. We had JUST started a comic going into Landslide’s origins. A dark and grim story. I’ll miss not sending him Youtube videos I find or sharing scientific theories. I’ll miss recording video game progress to show him on DVD. He has had a big impact on my life and it’s direction. My only regret with him is I never got him out here to visit me. I never got to give him a ride in the Camaro. Never got to take him to our local cool spots. I never got the chance to give him a tour of his old stomping grounds in Colorado Springs. Otherwise… we had a hell of a lot of fun.
The Native Americans never really had a word for goodbye. We just say “Until we meet again” or “Our paths will cross again”
Steve is one of the best friends I have. I will miss him and I will miss him often. But I take comfort in that I brought him some pleasure and gave him some more purpose in his life and brought him inspiration. I also thank him for everything he has done for me.
Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.