Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dear Comic Art Fan,

As most of you probably know, superstar comic artist Michael Turner passed away last Friday following an eight year battle with cancer. After breaking into the business drawing Witchblade for Top Cow, Turner launched his own label, Aspen Comics, where he created Fathom and Soulfire. His cover work was in constant demand and both DC and Marvel hired him for their biggest titles and crossover events such as Identity Crisis, Civil War, and Justice League of America. To see some of the finest examples of his talent, please check out the CAF gallery of Turner's friend and Aspen partner, Frank Mastromauro.

But despite his ability to draw dynamic action and beautiful women, most people who knew Turner or even just met him briefly at a signing or convention remember him best for being friendly and gregarious with everyone and willing to go the extra mile for his fans. Even after multiple surgeries that made it excruciating to sit for long periods of time, Turner would show up at conventions to sign and sketch for his legions of fans. And he had kind word and bright smile for each of them.

On behalf of CAF, I would like to offer the sincere condolences of the entire community to Michael Turner's family and friends. He was a fantastic artist and a great guy in an industry that needs more of both.

Anyone who wishes to send a personal condolence can do so at the contact information listed below.

Aspen MLT, Inc.
C/O Michael Turner
5855 Green Valley Circle, Suite 111
Culver City, CA, 90230

To make charitable donations in Michael Turner's name please contact the American Cancer Society or the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

See you next week. And to all my fellow Americans, enjoy the Independence Day weekend.

Colin Solan
CAF Assistant

Premium Member of the Week :: Rich Cirillo
1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and I am one of six kids. I have been a life long comic book fan having picked up my first comic, Justice League of America  #100, at the age of 4, and never stopped reading comics, even through high school and college. I just turned 41 this year. I remarried two years ago to my wife Dawn, who is also a CAF member. After I dragged her to a few conventions she got interested in art as well. She can't tell you who is a DC or Marvel character but she can name an artist by looking at a piece now. She has two boys: Justin (13) and Brett (12) from her first marriage and I have an older son Brian as well. Between us we call it My Three Sons! I have worked for the last 19 years at a Licensing Apparel Company as a Graphic Artist/ Licensing Approval Manager. We basically make t-shirts and accessories for TV, Movie, Comic Book and Video Game properties for major retail stores. Chances are if you have owned a T-shirt with one of these you probably bought one of our designs. My life long dream was to be a comic artist, and I have secretly been creating my own universe of characters since I was 10. Recently I have been doing digital coloring commissions on the side and been working toward doing published work as well. I also love to write and I just finished an article for Bob McCleod's Ruff Stuff Magazine which should see print this coming year.
2. What is your favorite piece in your gallery and why?
Picking one piece is real tough as I love so many artists' work, but I do love my Alex Ross Battle of the Planets painted cover for sentimental reasons. I wanted a Ross painting for years and missed an earlier opportunity to own one. When I was getting married, Dawn suggested we buy this cover as a wedding present to ourselves. I had a hard time spending that amount on one piece but she convinced me to buy it. I was a huge fan of that cartoon from the 70's and recently started a sketchbook of these characters, so it was the perfect piece for my collection.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I got my first con sketch at a local Long Island con back in 1986 of Ratman from the Elementals by Bill Willingham. I only got a few other con sketches back then including an early Adam Hughes sketch in 1990. Then in 1999 for some reason I came across published art on Ebay and bought my first George Perez Avengers page, and it has been a growing sickness since then. At first I collected both nostalgic panel art and newer art that I could afford, and as I attended more conventions I leaned toward more commissions and con sketches. I love the nostalgic pages from books I grew up reading but I also love the personalized art you can get directly from an artist.
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
We have a few pieces hanging on our walls, including some Frazetta nudes canvas prints we purchased on our honeymoon when we went the Frazetta Museum in PA. Most piece get put into portfolios for safe keeping, in a high-tech vault, surrounded by a moat filled with piranhas.
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
1. Top of the list has been a Frazetta original for many years now. I love his pen and ink work in particular and also have a fondness for the water color pieces from The Pillow Book.
2. A Michael Golden Micronauts cover, especially #38 (I loved this book as a kid, and Michael's art in particular). I am also on the look out for the Baron Karza pin up by Golden that was in Micronauts #3.
3. The Avengers Chronicles fanzine cover by George Perez (my friend has had this for many years and I'm sure he's bored of it by now.)   :) I would also love to find the Perez New Teen Titans color poster art from the early 1980's! (I can dream can't I?)
4. The cover to Tiger-Man #2 by Frank Thorne (an obscure 70's comic by Atlas Comics).
5. The cover to Amazing Heroes #53, a partially painted Elementals cover by Bill Willingham!
I am also looking to put together two childhood books: Marvel Team Up #13 by Gil Kane, and Avengers #129 by Sal Buscema (my first Avengers issue).

View Rich Cirillo's Gallery

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6.28.2008: Michael Turner - RIP

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06.26.08: Steve Borock Original Art Collection on ComicLink

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6.20.2008: Fanfare-SE Updated!

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