I don’t know how to start this, so I’m just going to get right into it. This past weekend during SPX, good friend and fellow cartoonist and publisher Dylan Williams passed away. He was making the news rounds lately for a fundraiser after another cancer diagnosis, and the comics community showed up in full force to contribute and help spread the word. Everyone loved the shit out of Dylan and I hope he knew and understood that.
I’ve been reading a lot of tributes to him online, there are too many to link and linking them seems weirdly inappropriate anyways, but for anyone who knew Dylan, I’d suggest reading Austin’s post. I’ve known Dylan for about six or seven years now and he was one of the most supportive people I’ve ever met, not just to me but to countless other cartoonists. I don’t want to fill this post with platitudes, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that I, as well as many others, would be hard pressed to think of someone who was more nurturing and supportive of our work. He’d probably pretend to hate that I was using those words in reference to him but I mean it with all my heart.
Some of my favorite memories of Dylan were watching him and Tom headbang like teenage boys to a metal show they somehow dragged me to in Brooklyn, and spending a week in San Diego with him and a bunch of other boys in a condo while they sat around talking about their balls all day (and old movies and comics of course, but that was the running joke) before we all road tripped up to San Francisco. He was iconically curmudgeonly at conventions and I always looked forward to it because it came out of a place of love for comics. Dylan was also one of the first people I reached out to for help during my drinking years and was one of my biggest advocates in that area. I’ve stumbled many times in that area over the years and Dylan was always so encouraging and forgiving and never judgmental. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t handle the news in the manner I wished I could have this last weekend, but I know he would understand. I suppose this is the point where I should also apologize to anyone with whom I might have had a run-in with at SPX. But that’s not what this is about.
It was jarring to get the news at the convention, but I can’t think of a better place for us to all have been when it came down. I don’t talk about this much online, but the comics community is one of the most loving and supportive groups I’ve experienced, and every day I’m grateful that I get to share my time and career with them. I love those idiots, and we all loved Dylan and although this news is immensely sad, I think he’d be happy to know that it brought many of us closer together.
The post previous to this was mostly about Dylan’s fundraiser, so if you missed it, please go back and consider buying some Sparkplug books. I’m tempted to post a nice photo of Dylan but he hated getting his photo taken, so in solidarity I’ll just use this one I took of him hiding behind Tom Neely (with John Porcellino) last May in Toronto. I’m so glad I got to know him for the few years that I did and my sincere condolences to Dylan’s family and friends, especially Emily. He will be missed by everyone, all the time.
(I keep trying to close the comments on this post but it’s not working, so please just consider them shut down, however I appreciate the comments that came in earlier that I pulled off the site. No offense, they were sweet. Just one more time, please consider supporting Dylan’s family and friends by buying Sparkplug books)