Monday, June 30, 2008

Very Sad News: Artist Michael Turner Dead at 37

I don't own any of his books nor did I follow his work closely, but I remember quite a few years back seeing a profile of Michael Turner as a hot new artist at Image with a photo of a smiling handsome guy who if I remember correctly was into activities that didn't involve being chained to a drawing table or computer 16-hours a day; things like karate and snowboarding. In other words a new breed of comics artist and a veritable picture of health.

So even though I didn't know Michael Turner I felt crestfallen reading an interview earlier this year which described the artist as incredibly upbeat even as he had to constantly shift positions because of the pain he was suffering from the onset of cancer. But recent reports had suggested Turner was in remission and was working again so it's terribly sad to read that he succumbed to cancer over the weekend.

From Jonah Weiland at CBR:

We here at Comic Book Resources are very sad to report that artist Michael Turner has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 37. Aspen Comics’ Vince Hernandez told CBR News Saturday morning that Turner passed away Friday night at 10:42 Pacific Time at Santa Monica Hospital in Calfiornia. The news spread quickly at Wizard World Chicago, during what would have otherwise been a riotous night at the hotel bar, the mood suddenly turned somber with remembrances of Turner from friends and acquaintances. A minute of silence will be observed during Wizard World Chicago Saturday afternoon.

Turner is an artist best known for his work on books like “Witchblade,” where he got his start in comics, moving on to titles such as “Black Panther,” “Superman/Batman” and his very own creator owned series “Fathom” and “Soulfire” through his publishing company Aspen Comics. A prolific artist, he’s done work for both DC Comics and Marvel Comics, and has provided covers to some of the best-known comics published in the last ten years, including Brad Meltzer’s “Identity Crisis.”

In 2000, Turner was diagnosed with cancer -- chondrosarcoma in the right pelvis, which resulted in his losing his hip, 40% of his pelvis and three pounds of bone. What followed was 9 months of radiation. The cancer has gone into remission and returned multiple times since he was first diagnosed.

More details concerning Turner’s passing are forthcoming. Those wishing to send their condolences to Michael Turner's family are encouraged to send them to:

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

A remembrance over at the studio blog gelatometti which includes Jim Lee

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