Saturday, April 23, 2011

Michael "Page" Turner

That wasn't his real middle name, but the man deserved it. It would have been his 40th birthday, 2 days ago. To go into detail on how much his creativity inspired me would take too long, and I am known to ramble on about things I love.

It's insane to think how much I would spend to secure a variant cover that he did, from any publisher he worked with. Or how much I'd look forward to the convention when he'd make the long trek to Toronto.

Perhaps most impressive about him was his personality. Even if you just met him, you felt like you were the only one in the room, the way he spoke to you, and the stories I have with him I'll keep with me forever. Just like the drawings he did for me.

A marker sketch of Rainier in a hardcover one year, and an even better one which leads me to my fave story of him.

I was at the last Fan Expo he attended, and on the last day, I didn't bother bringing much stuff for him to sign, I just lined up to basically thank him for making the trip, considering his health issues. I told him that with my parents separating, and the drama of moving and balancing that situation and my cat passing away, having him attend made that summer shine. He felt bad and offered to draw me a sketch near the end of the day.

Yes, HE felt sorry for MY situation. Anyone unfamiliar should look up what THIS man had to go through in his life. What he STILL was able to accomplish, his lust for life, all with a great smile on his face. I was shocked! I don't remember what I said right after, but I noticed my friend Saif just happened to be right next to me when Mike made that offer.

So I went back later, and after he came back from a Space TV interview he let me come to his drawing table near the back of his booth to get a sketch. I had a great conversation with him while I got to watch how smooth his pencil lines were, as he drew a Grace head sketch, head held high, with tiny dragons in the clouds in the distance. My favourite sketch ever.

Right after, I asked him to do a sketch in Saif's hardcover, which he signed earlier. It was Saif's B-day the day before. When I passed it to Saif, Saif walked right back and shook the man's hand and Mike told him happy birthday.

Then! Jason Truong, blogger extraordinaire, and the man who quietly photographed what was the last photo of me and Mike together (Above, right on top of my unworthy drawing, thank you, J), didn't wanna bother him so me, feeling on a high, asked Chris Rupp of Rupps comics, a man I gave hundreds of dollars to, online and in person, to get em to take a pic together...and J got a sketch too! Happy Times!

Cherished memories, lots of photos and videos, and a smile on my face after typing this. A familiar feeling from anyone who met him. Bless him, and I hope he can see what influence he left on his fans.

1 comment:

Heron said...

Everything you've said is dead on. I'm not the biggest fan of Mike's work but I do realize how he influenced a generation of artists. A Mike Turner cover on a book would boost the sales by thousands of copies.
I remember I'd seen Mike at cons before (it seems like he went to every convention), so I recognized him even though I'd never wanted to have anything signed by him or stand in his huge line to get a sketch. At his last Fan Expo I remember he was walking around with crutches and you could tell he was in a lot of pain but yet he never stopped smiling. I was walking by and just looking at him and he made eye contact with me and smiled. I said, 'Hi, Mike', he just said, 'Hi'. It was crazy that even though I was intimidated by this once-in-a-lifetime artist, Mike smiled and immediately made you feel that you were on the same level with him. It's pretty sad that he's gone.

R.I.P., Mike.