Tuesday, August 14, 2007

3 musketeers

david petersen sent a nice condolence note and in it called mike, todd and me the "3 Musketeers of the East Coast cons".

whether or not anyone else felt way, we certainly did... at any conventions we were at, we were practically joined at the hip, usually laughing at an in-joke that wasn't really funny to anybody else (although, given enough time we managed to get a few laughs... just ask his sister-in-law suzanne about some "bitty"). most of those shows, we'd also get together early (and make a side-splitting road trip down to heroes) and stay later, just to have the chance to spend time together. as much as we enjoyed spending time with all of our friends (and of course, mike had a LOT of friends... that's the kinda guy he was... just read the hundreds of messages being posted about mike) at shows like this, we'd selfishly just try and go off by ourselves for a meal or two. these shows were the only times we got to spend together all year (of course we'd spend hours on the phone talking about comics, tv, movies, sports, politics, life in general... but it wasn't quite the same), and i know we looked forward to these times for weeks beforehand... and talked about them for weeks after.

which isn't to say mike wasn't at the shows for the fans. from the start of show until close of day on sunday, there was always a line of fans waiting for mike, and he'd make'm feel like he was the lucky one to meet them. he'd sign stacks and stacks of books, talking all the while, never complaining... and rarely even getting up for a walk. he (mostly) stopped sketching at the shows because he never had the time to put pencil to paper with all the fans waiting for an autograph or a handshake.

i made no bones about the fact that mike and todd were clearly the superstars of the trio (the sting and stuart copeland to my "other guy in the police"), i was just happy to be along for the ride with my friends. humble to a fault, mike always made me feel like an equal, when i never even felt in the same league.

much has been made about mike being a nice guy (and he was... easily one of the nicest and most generous guys i've had the pleasure of knowing)... which made his wicked sense of humor even more funny (he could tell jokes that'd make bob saget blush)... often soft-spoken, he'd let loose with a joke that'd have the whole room howling and gasping for breath.

we felt like we were brothers... not by blood (we each have our own brothers that we're very close to), but by choice....

comics lost a truly great talent. we'll never get the chance to see more work from a true modern master.

i lost a brother... and my other brother lost a best friend.

and we lost our third musketeer.

we'll miss you, brother.


WildWeasel said...

Craig, I (as with many others) are truly sorry for your loss. I had the pleasure of talking to Mike (albeit only briefly) a couple of times at cons in the late 90's. He was a great guy and probably one of the nicest in the business.

I don't mean to be nosy or anything, but has there been any word on how this happened? I mean from what I've read, it sounded like he was a pretty healthy guy. Such a freaky thing to happen.

Again, I'm my condolences. Just try to remember the good times.

Unknown said...

Craig, thanks for reminding me of how you guys were when you came to Houston a few years back. I'm still in shock about this whole thing, I was just talking (email) to him last week. Honestly you have me teared up again just reading and thinking about Mike and what a great guy he was.

I'm not sure that the comic community as a whole will ever understand how much we have lost with the death of one man, a man that always made everyone around him feel like they were the center of his world.

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cully Hamner said...

Craig, I didn't get the chance to express any condolence to you the other morning when we talked, caught up as I was in my own shock and then grief. You lost your brother, really, and I'm so sorry for this loss you have to go through.

I know you loved him. I loved him, too.



Rich Faber said...


Allow me to echo Cully's sentiments. I'm so sorry.

I wrote a bunch of my memories of Mike up on my blog, if you want to check it out:


I don't know if it will help you get through this, but it helped me to share some of my thoughts, so maybe I can pass it on in the hope that it will do some good.

Take care, buddy.


Heywood Jablomie said...


This was a nice post. I'm really sorry for your loss. Mike seemed to be one helluva guy. I chat back and forth with Todd here and there, and this is my first post on your blog, I am a huge fan though, but I just wanted to send my condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with all of Mike's family, friends and fans. Take care, and I'll post here more often now that I know it's here!


Neil Hill said...

Thanks for the story, Craig. Mike and his influence on this most cherished industry will be missed.

Brian said...

I too thought of you guys as the Three Musketeers and I'm sure I'm not the only one as it was obvious from just seeing the three of you together how close you were.

Mike will live on in his work and in the hearts of his family, friends and fans and in his work. Speaking of which, in reading the hundreds of tributes to Mike, I came across one from Chris Mills. He and Bob Staton are doing a comic of their on-line strip, "Femme Noir," for which Mike, as he did for a lot of independent comics, graciously did a cover.

The pencils are now with Bob to be inked so we will have at least one more piece from Mike to enjoy.



I am sorry you lost Mike, your friend. but I want you to know to me you never were "the other guy"
you were aawesom in your own right.
and might I add the charlotte con for me was all about Mike, Todd, and you.

stay cool