A Perfect Way to Remember My Friend

By | Thursday, July 28, 2022 1 comment
As I mentioned here last month, my friend Matt passed away. On Tuesday, I was able to go to a celebration that some of his friends had put together and pick up some items that Matt had willed to me. I was nervous about going, not knowing any of Matt's local friends, but I was pleasantly surprised to see as big of a turnout as it was. Probably around 75 people, and it included Ohio State Representative Michael Skindell and Lakewood City Councilmember Tristan Rader. Not surprisingly, everyone had wonderful things to say about Matt. I don't know that I got all the closure I'd like there, but it helped and I'm glad I went.

I picked up his comic collection while I was there, as I said. Apparently, I was something of a minor celebrity for it -- not through anything I had actually done but because, as far as I can determine, I was the only non-family member Matt specifically called out by name to leave anything to. His 'regular' books were offered up for anyone to take if they wanted with the remainder going to the local library; his mother and brother, I think, got everything else... except his comics.

I haven't had a chance to do more than skim the top of a few boxes; it looks like it's mostly a mix of 80s, 90s, and 00s books from Marvel and a variety of graphic novels from the likes of Eddie Campbell, Daniel Clowes, and Seth. But then there was a large enevelope as well and, in it, I found two Marvel letter page paste-ups from the mid-90s. Late enough that the text was typed up on a computer, but early enough that the full page still had to be laid out and pasted up by hand. I recall Matt showing and talking about them with me years earlier but I had forgotten about them. He had actually written in to Marvel and had two of his letters published and, for some reason, they sent him the paste-ups. He even has the correspondence from Marvel stating that were as sort-of prize or thank you for writing in. (Why he got those pieces of art and not anyone else whose letter was published in those issues, I don't know.)

The comics are nice, and I'm glad that Matt thought enough of me to set them aside, but these pages are special. They're a unique intersection of comics and graphic design -- two of both my and Matt's interests -- plus they feature Matt's writing, which he did a lot more of in later years. They're a unique gift that are almost perfectly tailored to me for remembering Matt, encapsulating the original interests we shared when I first met him back in the 1990s.

Thanks, Matt. I miss you, bud!
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Billy Hogan said...

My condolences to you and his family.