Descanza en Paz, Michael Turner...
Se ha convertido en el deporte de moda dentro de los foros de comics el criticar a más no poder el arte de Michael Turner. Y casi que sin sentido alguno, por lo que puedo apreciar. La calidad de su trabajo ha sido constante durante la gran mayoría de su carrera, y si bien no es perfecto, estoy seguro que muchos de los cuarentones fofos que frecuentan estos sitios desde los sotanos de sus madres (yo sé que es un estereotipo, pero todos los estereotipos lo son por un motivo) no podrían dibujar algo ni remotamente similar a su trabajo por más que lo intentaran. Ahora, si he de ser honesto, si he notado que el trabajo de Michael ha decaído un poco últimamente. Me imagino que ese pequeño desliz en calidad es lo que tiene a los ñoños en revuelo, y es lo que más me enoja de ésta situación, y es que la razón de ello es que Michael Turner ha estado luchando siete años de su vida contra el cáncer. Sufre de chondrosarcoma en la pelvis izquierda, y en el año 2000 se sometió a úna cirugía donde perdió toda su cadera, 40% de su pelvis y tres libras de hueso. En marzo del año pasado, Turner descubrió que el cáncer, el cual había estado en remisión hasta ahora, había vuelto a sus sistema, y está tomando las medidad necesarias para combatirlo. Pero no!!!! Don Ñoño Ñoñín cree que la portada del 375 de "Fantastic Four" es más importante que la vida de Turner!!!! Esa actitud me enferma y me decepciona...
El anterior fragmento lo posteó su servidor en la galería de imágenes de Wackoon.com, allá en septiembre del año pasado con referencia a un pequeño altercado que tuve mientras visitaba los foros de Newsarama.com. Me pareció la forma más apropiada de comenzar este entry.
El 27 de junio de éste año, Michael Layne Turner perdió trágicamente su lucha de ocho añois contra el cancer, mientras permanecía internado en el Hospital de Santa Mónica, en California. A su madre, Grace Crick, su hermano, Jake, y su prometida, Kelly Carmichael, les ofresco mi más sincero pésame. Habiendo yo mismo perdido a una persona muy querida para mí debido a esta horrible enfermedad, sé que no es fácil reponerse de tal golpe. Sin embargo, debemos siempre recordar que si aun esa persona ya no se encuentra entre nosotros, su dolor ya ha terminado y no deberíamos de llorar por él.
La muerte de Michael, la cual sucedió en medio del "Wizard's World Chicago", uno de los eventos más grandes de la industria del comic, opacado únicamente por el Comic Con de San Diego, sin duda tomó por sorpresa tanto a creadores como fanáticos, cubriendo al evento en un aire de luto y duelo. Múltiples artistas, escritores y editores de varias compañías aprovecharon la oportunidad de estar unidos como comunidad y compartieron con el público sus pensamientos y anécdotas sobre el singular artista. La página Newsarama.com incluso compiló varias de estos pequeños pero emotivos panegíricos, los cuales me gustaría compartir con ustedes:
It is with tremendous sadness that I learned of Mike Turner's passing a couple of days ago. He was 37 years old. He was both too young and too great of a person to be gone so soon. Mike was one of my favorite "convention mates:" fellow pros that I see three or four times per year, and with whom I share a few beers and swap con stories. Mike and I shared a love of pool -- he was a brilliant player, and we would literally take over a table and play game after game until we were either booted out of the pub or lost interest and went onto the closest video game. We were always talking about playing a round of golf whenever I was in L.A. He said he was going to make me cry like a big girl. I told him I was going to beat him with my eyes closed. Then, Mike was diagnosed with cancer. He lost a portion of his pelvis to the disease. We still talked about our round of golf... the big throw-down would occur when he recovered. He said he wouldn't accept any strokes -- he was going to kick my ass anyway. I watched him endure all kinds of chemo, physical therapy, radiation treatments... and you just had to know Mike to understand how cool he was about the whole thing. He did not complain, not once. He continued to make fun of me and asked me if I would want strokes whenever we got around to the links. There was a time when we were both on crutches -- me after knee surgery and Mike after something a lot worse -- that we considered going out just for the hell of it. In the last year or so, Mike's cancer took a lot out of him. He always smiled and joked with me but I could tell he was feeling a little rough around the edges. He told me he that when we got out, he was going to beat me with one of his crutches and a Pink Flying Lady ball. My enduring memory of Mike is from last year's Chicago convention: I was playing pool for charity, and Mike and I had lined up an exhibition match, best of seven. He showed up looking very tired, and the game took a lot out of him. I felt bad... I wondered if he wanted to cut the game short. "No f*#%ing way, dude," he replied. "Gotta finish the string out." I will never feel that Mike lost his battle with cancer. How can you lose when you have that kind of attitude? Mike constantly kicked its ass, and the disease just cheated
Paul Jenkins (escritor de "Wolverine: Origin")
As comic creators, we work in worlds inhabited by super-powered beings. We're surrounded in our daily lives by high-flying heroes and golden gods, mythic men and women who accomplish the impossible. In these escapist fantasies we know and love, good usually triumphs over evil. But sometimes, despite our best efforts to avoid it, cold hard reality creeps into our lives. Michael Turner had been battling cancer for years. And much like the heroes he so beautifully illustrated, Mike fought an overcame the illness inside him on numerous occasions. He had the strength and the will to beat it back time and again. For those of us who knew him, it became almost an after thought. If Mike had a relapse, we took for granted he'd be back on his feet before long. We knew in the back of our minds that there was always the possibility things could take a turn for the worse, but that was never part of our reality. Until now. Mike passed away on Friday. And with him, the worlds of his family, friends and fans immediately fell into darkness. His light, one that burned so brightly to everyone whose lives he touched, be it through his friendship, his smile, his attitude or his comics, was extinguished. We really did lose a hero that day. Mike's death reminded so many of us of our own mortality. But through his spirit, his talent, his art and the memories of the good soul that he was, Michael Turner leaves behind a legacy that guarantees him immortality.
C.B. Cebulski (editor para Marvel y escritor de "The Loners")
I found out about Michael Turner via text message at a small dinner party out on Shelter Island. My dinner companions were teasing me, assuming it was some new gig or contract negotiation or my agent with news or something else presumably important enough to interrupt our evening. But it wasn't. It was a friend telling me Michael had died. The rest of the weekend I was in a bit of a daze. I can't say I knew Michael very well; we'd been on a panel or two together; hung out at the bar at various conventions; and worked together, along with Jim Lee and Tim Sale, on the "Heroes" covers for TV Guide (I remember admiring his assertiveness in the conference calls during the planning of those covers, and how I wished I had the strength of will he did to just cut to the chase and get the job done). What I can say is that from the moment we met, he was nothing but kind to me. He was nothing but gracious during conversations in person or over the phone, and when I didn't recognize him after his chemo left him bald, he was absolutely game to joke with me about my shock upon realizing just who it was sitting next to me. I didn't know him all that well, but it feels so strange for him to be gone. Mike was a really good, decent, talented guy. I'm really, really happy I knew him and got to work with him. And I'm really, really sad for all those people who loved him and admired him and got to know him and laugh with him and got to work with him, and don't get to do that anymore. Gone at 37. That sucks.
Phil Jimenez (artista en "Infinite Crisis" y "Amazing Spider-Man")
Mike Turner died last night. He fought the same cancer my son Sam had for eight years. He was 37 years old. His friends and family were with him. There was never a nicer guy. There was never a greater pal. He was a friend and mentor to Sam. He's been a big brother to my daughter Audrey. In terms of his legacy, in addition to the dozens of covers that he did for Marvel and DC, I'm pretty sure that the only interior work he did outside of Top Cow or Aspen was our 6 issues of Superman/Batman. Bringing Kara back to the DC universe as she was originally intended, as Superman's cousin, was the story we told. Supergirl now will always have some of Mike's joy and spark. Doing Soulfire with Mike and Aspen was a blast. It was so inspiring working with him. Whatever he touched as a creator, writer or artist was the finest. Did I mention he was the world's greatest guy? And there is a reason why the people at Aspen, like Frank and Peter and JT, are so loyal and of such fine character. Mike brought that out in everyone. I know you know all this.. but I wanted to write to you and this is what came out. Supergirl is crying right now. I know that much.
Jeph Loeb (escritor de "Superman/Batman" y "Hulk")
Mike Turner (cover artist on Identity Crisis and JLA) was always smiling. Always. And over the past few weeks – as I wrote to him and knew things were getting worse – I always tried to keep that in my head. He didn't have a cocky smile (and he'd earned the right to a cocky smile). It was a true smile. A real smile. But writing about smiles doesn't do him justice, so let me share the one story that does. It was after we finished Identity Crisis. We knew we would be doing JLA together. That was always in the plans. And then he decided that he was going to start doing covers for Marvel. And so...man, I remember him telling me this story in L.A. like it was yesterday...he tells me that he's making this deal with Marvel. And then, the guy who he's negotiating with from Marvel says (as he should say): The only catch is, if you want this deal with Marvel, you can't do the JLA covers. You have to be just with us or the deal's off. I choke inside because I assume this is where Mike tells me why he can't do JLA (and listen, I appreciate that that sometimes happens. That's the business). And then Mike says to the Marvel guy, "Okay, then I'm out. Deal's off." I can't believe it. As he tells me the story, it's clear he means it. He's fully ready to walk away from his entire deal and the crazy Marvel money. And then Mike lets loose with this awesome smile – one of the best ever smiles and says, "One second later, they caved. I'm in for JLA." I guess that's where the story was supposed to end, but of course, me being guilt-ridden me, I somehow feel guilty that JLA got in the middle of his negotiation, so I start telling him, "Listen, please...you didn't have to do that. I'd understand and..." No, Mike protested. "I made a promise to you." And right there...I can picture that moment...I'll never forget that moment. Right there, Mike wasn't just some guy who drew the covers and sold some copies. He wasn't the guy who could do that movie poster feel for your book (look at his first Flash cover), always making every 60 year old character suddenly seem brand new. He wasn't the guy who made every book we worked on jump off the shelf (think for a moment, he was the only true 'name' on Identity Crisis. Why do you think people picked it up from issue one?). And he wasn't just another superstar. He was my friend. A good friend. And a friend who would've given up something he really wanted. For someone else. In life, those are the friends you treasure. And I treasure Mike Turner. I should also say, in all the time he was on JLA -- with all the sickness and all the crap he was going through, he was never late, never complained, never once did anything but be himself and smile. He has no idea how much I'd taken his lesson to heart – long before today. So forget the half-mast flag. Wear your smile loud and proud in his honor. Rest easy, Mike.
Brad Meltzer (escritor de "Identity Crisis" y "Justice League of America")
La verdad es que no me importa si Michael Turner fue famoso o no. No me importa su trabajo en "Witchblade" o "Superman/Batman", sus portadas para "Flash", "Justice League of America" o "Identity Crisis" o sus trabajos independientes como "Fathom" y "Soulfire" para su editorial Aspen Comics.
No estoy triste porque nunca más vaya a volver a ver su arte, o porque nunca voy a llegar a conocerlo. Estoy triste porque una madre perdió a su hijo, un hermano perdió a su hermano y una mujer perdió al hombre que amaba y creo que todos podemos simpatizar con eso.
Estoy triste porque por los testimonios de toda esta gente, y de varios fans, perdimos no a un dibujante de comics prepotente y con complejo de diva, como cualquier persona de la fama de Michael podría pensar que tiene derecho a ser, sino a un humilde y muy humano amante de los comics, del medio, de sus fans, y de la vida en general. De una persona que aun en la cara de la adversidad nunca perdió su sonrisa.
Esa es la verdadera tragedia...