This is about comic books.
Or at least it has its origins in my love of the comic storytelling medium.
And it's about the passing of my father two days ago.
My true introduction to buying comic books for myself occurred in 1978, with a Marvel Comics series based on a toy line from Mattel:
THE MICRONAUTS, a Bill Mantlo conceived gem of a series, was where I was introduced to the incredible artistry of illustrator Michael Golden. He became the first artist that I, as a fledgling comic fan, made the conscious decision to follow the ongoing work of. I was obviously not alone in this, as many successful creators in comics today cite his work as one of their prime artistic inspirations.
Michael Golden was a guest at the first convention I ever attended in 1980, and there I purchased my very first artistic commission: an original sketch by my favorite artist.
Following the release of THE MICE TEMPLAR in 2007, one can only imagine my reaction when I attempted to give Mr. Golden a handful of the published issues only to learn he had already purchased them himself. This larger-than-life artistic idol of my youth was already a fan of my book.... How does one even respond to something like that?
We talked about him doing a cover...someday.
I needed to make that conversation a reality. And so it began.
On Friday morning, January 15, Michael Golden's cover for MICE TEMPLAR: DESTINY #9 arrived in my mailbox.
I was scheduled to take my mom to see my dad that afternoon. He had faded rapidly since our last communication only a week before. But we were told that he was conscious and aware even when he appeared to be sleeping. On Friday afternoon I got to share with my father how the fulfillment of a high school dream had occurred that morning: the first comic industry superstar to ever stir my imagination was now providing the cover for our next issue.
I do not know if my father heard me speak, or if he could even understand my words any longer. But I got to share this very special news with him the afternoon before he passed.
Michael Golden never knew it at the time...
But he provided far more than his artistry with the amazing cover he produced.
I am grateful to both the artist and the man.