Today my family and I just returned from Rome, where I had the honor to have my artwork displayed at the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica in association with Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign. It was a wonderful and meaningful week, and I will write more on the subject tomorrow.
Right now, I need to express the shock I felt on our arrival home, when I learned that a colleague of mine died while I was away. Dwayne McDuffie started working on staff at Marvel not long after I did. While I can’t say that he and I were close friends, I knew him well enough to appreciate his humor, warmth and overall kindness. Dwayne was very well loved and respected by his peers, he was a talented writer and an extremely funny man. Waaaay back in 1990 I had the pleasure of drawing an issue of Power Pack that was written by Dwayne (and inked by the late, great Dan Spiegle). The story featured ghosts living in toilets. In retrospect, I believe this project foretold my successful foray into toilet & vomit illustrations that kept me busy for a few years on J-14 Magazine!
Last summer, Dwayne kindly reached out to me when I was looking for freelance work, hoping to collaborate on a graphic novel concept of his. While it didn’t work out, I really appreciated that he’d considered me. Today, I wonder about this missed opportunity to get to know Dwayne more intimately.
The comics and animation industries have lost another special creative talent this week. He was too young to be taken so soon. My condolences to his family and friends.
One year ago, my own father passed away. Something I have thought a lot about while racing around the many churches in Rome. As a Catholic--and an Italian!--I feel he would have been proud of my latest adventure, and I’m sorry that he isn’t around for me to share it with. I miss him.
Of course it’s not the same, but tomorrow I’ll share my thoughts with all of you who care to read it. Arrivederchi!
For more thoughts on Dwayne, here are some links...
New York Times obit
R.I.P. Dwayne McDuffie, from The Beat
Why We Needed Dwayne McDuffie, from The Beat