Wednesday, September 24, 2008

missing mike...


so, i've been missing mike more than usual this past week or so. not in a sad way; more of a "i wish you were really here to see this, rather than a voice--and a laugh--in my head." i guess i should say, he's been with me more. he's been with me as i race to get everything done that i've gotta get done before we leave for baltimore. he's been with me as i try, desperately, to get the very late tellos colossal 2 together and off to the printer. and he's especially been with both craig and i as we gush over the incredible artwork his brother's been sending us and yelling along with us, "shut UP, matt!--this stuff is fantastic!"
(i can't wait for you to see matt's story...)
probably it's the season; mike and i used to get really excited over the new fall season, new shows and returning shows alike. or maybe it's autumn, a time when i always feel a little more creative. but i honestly think that what triggered it this time was this picture i got a week or so ago...

one of the things that everyone always says about mike is how very generous he was. i like to think of myself as a generous guy, but mike certainly had me beat. he was generous with his time, with his attention, and with his talent. remembering when we were struggling up and comers ourselves, mike would gladly do variant or guest covers to try to help out other creators for free. when doing sketches at shows, mike would always make a point of pausing once in a while to look up at the (usually thrilled) person he was doing the sketch for and keep the conversation going. and while craig and i were raised, i think, to avoid and deflect panhandlers and homeless people with a "sorry--not right now...", mike always remembered his own hard times when money was tight and would always dig into his pocket and empty his change into their hands or maybe a dollar or two. (sure, the three of us would walk away wondering what he or she was gonna "blow it on"--nail polish and video games, no doubt--but it was the thought that counts...) now, craig and i never pass by someone who is obviously going through some hard times and help them out as best we can. mike is there with us too...

of course, more than any of that, when we were together, we were usually laughing. sometimes at the obviously, most times at some inside joke between the two of us. or the three of us. or sometimes at nothing at all.

so when i saw this picture, i thought of mike. we woulda laughed and laughed and congratulated this guy and given him five bucks each for his creativity.

ten if it was true.


not to belabor the point, but today IS wednesday, september 24th, and you'd BETTER get down to your local comic shop and pick up thew all-new, all-different PERHAPANAUTS 4, 'cause, baby--you don't wanna miss that!!


i'll be putting the word out officially sometime next week, but i wanted to remind you all that, with halloween swiftly approaching, i'm sending out the call for your stories of ghosts and ghouls and halloweens past, of creepy creatures and strange occurrences! we'll have a contest and vote on the best or creepiest for a prize to be announced later!
so start thinking--it's gonna be fun!

gotta go and pack!
smell ya later!


Brian said...

Rotten, sinkin' ninjas, I'll blast 'em with my mess you up gun.

Heywood Jablomie said...

i damned near fell outta my chair laughin' at that pic man! i'd give the guy money too only for giving me a well needed chuckle.

Matt Wieringo said...

There should be a book called "Mike and the Panhandlers". When we were attending VCU, we were both pretty short on funds. Mike, because he was paying his own way through school. Me, because I was dating a girl with expensive tastes who refused to ever pay for anything.

One day, we and some friends were walking to the Safeway to get something for lunch and a guy came up to us and asked for money for food. He was eating a Subway sandwich and it looked like he'd only taken one bite out of it but had chewed that bite for three days straight. It had been reduced to this nasty paste that oozed down his chin. Dad had taught us to not give money but assistance. So Mike, generous guy that he was, went into the store and bought the guy a bag of groceries. Bread, plastic knives, a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly. He brought the bag out to the guy with a smile.

The guy roughly pushed the bag away and said, "F*** THAT sh**!! I look like I need food?" He stuck out the hand with the sandwich and we recoiled. "I said gimme sum MONEY!"

Mike was so mad he screamed at the guy for, like, two minutes while the rest of us held our stomachs and laughed. Obviously, Mike got over it. Didn't seem to dampen his generosity any. And them peanut butter and jelly sammiches were mighty fine.

Brian said...

Apparently that guy misheard the phrase as "beggers CAN be choosers."

Christian D. Leaf said...

Matt's story has officially put me off Subway for a couple weeks. I'm just gonna picture that paste if I order and believe me, "That ain't horsey sauce!"

Picked up and read my 'Haps #4 at lunch. (Though my cover was reddish/orange instead of pale green.) I don't want to spoil anything, but definitely a splendid tale and Craig's art on a certain reoccurring character really jumped off the page. Excellent stuff, good sirs!

Scott Weinstein said...

I hadn't heard about Mike with beggers before. But, I'm not surprised he was so generous.

Great picture, Todd. I believe that's a Tracy Morgan character.

And I can't wait to get to the comic store this evening to pick up my copy of Perhapanauts.

renecarol said...

Love the Mike stories. Its good know I'm not the only one missing Mike these days. God I always am. Something always, always reminds me of him. I actually just recently put a few sentences together on Mike for my myspace hero thing. Mike was the better person that I wished I could be. I was always amazed at his generosity.

I loved Matt's peanut butter story too. I can just see Mike doing that.

~ Wendy ~ said...

*hug* .. I wish I had met Mike. he sounds like he was such a wonderful caring person with a great sense of humour. Keep the stories coming, 'k?

I have my Perhaps copy!! Can't wait to read it! I love the way one cover & story is upside down.. too cool!!

(leaving shaking my head and laughing .. ninjas .. hee hee)

Anonymous said...

Oh, man!
I totally missed Wednesday.
I was working on some new stuff and didn't realize what day it was.
I'll have to go to LCBS today to pick up my copy of "The 'Haps"

Love reading these kinds of stories.
Hope you guys have a great time @ Baltimore.

I don't usually give money to panhandlers, but I would give some to "kung fu lessons guy" for originality.

~ Wendy ~ said...

OMG!! WHAT were you thinking! I can't believe you ended the Perhaps like THAT! And now I have to wait another month to see what happens!!???
Great story (both of them) .. wonderful art work (as always- wouldn't expect anything less from the perhaps team(s)!!)..
.. but man oh man .. can you tell a story with a cliff hanger!!

Squeeze said...

Just to clarify one point in Matt's story......I was NOT said girlfriend who had expensive tastes but refused to pay for anything. This was B.S.- Before Squeeze. I'd like to think I paid my way these 17 years Matt and I have been together- 15 of them as spouse and spouse.

We picked up 'Haps but I have not read it yet.

Matt and I were just saying how we missed Mike more lately- and my theory was that it was the time of year we would've been talking to him about the new football season, the new shows, bitched about how long it would take for LOST to return (FREAKIN' JANUARY) and especially the elections. He would've gone on for hours about the current candidates for President. There's so much to talk about right now that he would've made us laugh about. That would've lead to the thing that we run into the ground for the next several months.

We miss him so much.

Russ Burlingame said...

It's weirdly gratifying to see whenever people talk about Mike. The stories are uniformly uplifting, and he's always missed in just the right way. The joy he brought into the world and into the lives of those who knew him is evident in the way that everyone talks about him, and in the fact that nobody talks about the sad stuff, but only ever about things like this. God bless you, Todd and all the others, for sharing these stories and bringing a little piece of Mike back for all of us.

And for anyone who hasn't yet? Go find and purchase 'Haps #4. It's GOOD.