I originally posted this blog on my personal Facebook back on July 7 2008. As I’m making plans to attend the 2016 FanExpo in Toronto, Canada, I’m thinking back to why I try to attend the annual event?
- Learn from my heroes
- Be inspired by new fans and friends
- Network with the industry
- Geek out on pop culure
- Buy cool stuff
Meeting Michael Turner was one of many highlights in my early career as I was learning and perfecting my comic book art skills. I hope you enjoy this story and share it with others. I’ll share some other Fan Expo stories in the coming weeks.
R.I.P Michael Turner (April 21, 1971 – June 27, 2008)
During FanExpo 2005 in Toronto, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my comic artist idols. I lined up at the Aspen booth just waiting to get his autograph. I haven’t been following the comic scene in-depth for a while. It was then in a discussion I had with someone in the line that had told me Michael was on hiatus for a while due to being diagnosed with a form of bone cancer. I was shocked to hear that, and to consider how young he was. I guess that puts your life in perspective. You never know when something like that would happen to you.
After another 30 minutes waiting in line. I had finally got the chance to talk and get some comics signed by Michael. The first thing I told him how much of a fan I was of his art, and to see him feeling better from his cancer treatment. All of the sudden his face just lit up and he acknowledged my best wishes. I’m not sure if I was the 1st person to ever say that to him that day. But for some reason he was just smiling and gave more time to talk to him in line. Usually you’re given less than 1 minute. I wasn’t those kind of people where I brought stacks and stacks of every issues. I probably had 2-3 different books. I had also brought my portfolio to bring to the Marvel workshop. But having Michael look through it was a treat. He gave me some pointers as well to improve my stuff overall. I shook his hand and before I walked away we had mentioned “You coming to my workshop?”. I replied Of course, thats why I’m here.
Later that afternoon, Michael was doing a workshop on “Drawing Comic Book Covers”. Michael was known for doing great covers, as well as drawing sexy girl poses. It was just amazing to see him at work, drawing so fast and fluid on that projection screen. I think I still have the notes from that workshop, I should over those again.
Even though he passed away on June 27, I didn’t find out until yesterday from my brother who told me just when I had gone to bed. I couldn’t sleep for a while, I was just thinking back to that summer in 2005. This summer I plan to go again to see another idol Alex Ross. It would have been nice to see Michael again though. 🙂