Dylan Williams, publisher of Sparkplug Comic Books, has died. He was not my friend, in fact, we've only ever met at conventions. A few years ago we had dinner together with a bunch of people at a macrobiotic restaurant after MoCCA. We sent a few emails. He always had the grace to pretend to remember me at cons, and may, in fact, have actually remembered me at least one of those times. He was charming and sweet in an industry known for its jerks and weirdoes. He was an important force in comics that exposed us to new and exciting voices and respected those voices with excellent production. He was a good cartoonist too, no matter what he said about his own work. I always had a little crush on him.
When it was recently announced that Dylan had cancer, the community rallied around him with cash and well wishes. Nobody did that because of the comics, even though the comics were good. Everyone flooded Sparkplug with orders because they loved Dylan. And surely, our love (and money) could beat cancer, right?
I'm sorry it couldn't. I'm sorry that most of us had to be shocked by his death, and then feel stupid for being shocked. I'm sorry that someone so lovely is gone. I'm sorry for me, I'm sorry for you and I am sorry for everyone who will never get to meet Dylan and think, "What a great guy."
Let's talk about it.
Edited to add: For more memorials to Dylan, see The Comics Reporter's Collective Memory page.