Darwyn Cooke

    The news about Darwyn's cancer is now public, and this is a very hard time, and I've had a difficult time thinking about what to say, because there's nothing I can say. Everything about this is awful. I cried when I found out. I'm crying now that everyone else is finding out. Darwyn Cooke is my favorite comic book artist. I honestly think he's the best cartoonist in the industry, and every nugget he delivered was gold. 


    On top of that, Darwyn is our friend. We met him in 2008, because we wanted to put him on our video show. He was one of those larger than life characters. And we were completely intimitated by him. We were at a party at Isotope in San Francisco celebrating the release of The New Frontier animated movie, and it was a very special time for iFanboy. I'd just quit my job to do the website full time. Darwyn had a line out the door all night. He is great with fans, and gives them all his time and attention. Around 1-2 in the morning, we finally made it up to him. He asked us if we "bitches had the stones to meet him at 9 in the morning" to do a video interview, and of course we said yes. The next morning, he showed up 30 minutes late with his then girlfriend, now wife, Marsha, in a green tshirt that said "You Looked Hotter on MySpace", and we talked about comics and his work in what was a high point for us. Every other time we had the chance to talk to him, we did. He was always funny and candid, and truly wise. He is a guy who really lives the way he wants to. He has the talent to back that up. He doesn't suffer fools. We became friends. We had dinners at Cons together. I didn't get to go, but we were invited to the wedding. For Darwyn to embrace what we did, and give us respect for it meant the world to us, and push me, Ron, and Conor forward. It was an immense validation of what we were doing, and that it was valuable. Why would this guy, this legend, give us the time of day otherwise? I cannot stress enough how meaningful that was and is to this day. 

    A year ago, Dar had been invited to do a spotlight panel in Anaheim, and he asked that the three of us come out to run the panel. And it was all three of us, or nothing. He offered to pay my way if I couldn't afford the ticket. I don't know if I've ever been so touched. You have to remember that not only is he a nice guy, and extremely popular in the comics world, I genuinely love his work. I think his work is as good as modern comics has to offer. Imagine your favorite musician or director offering to pay to have you come talk to him. We did the panel, which was so much fun. I drank some whiskey, and we had an amazing lunch and discussion afterwards. Darwyn tells the best stories. Inside comics industry stories, naming names and shining a light on the absurdity of it all. For the rest of my life, I'm going to be saying "What's your end game here?" because of Dar. We're keeping that explanation to ourselves though. 

    It is the saddest thing in the world to see talent snuffed out too early. All of my love and thoughts go out to Darwyn and Marsha and their families. I'm so thankful we got to experience as much of that talent and art as we did, and I got to be a little closer to it than most. 

    And please please please quit smoking if you still do.  

    Fuck the motherfucking ever loving shit out of cancer, you evil fucking bastard of a disease.  




    Last week, we went to Maine for my Grandma's 80th birthday. There was a big party, and all of these people from her life attended, and it was very special. After dealing with addiction of her own, she became a substance abuse counselor, and helped so many people over the decades. It's a wonderful case of taking the worst part of your life, and turning it around to help others for nearly 4 decades.

    When I was a kid, Grandma took me out on adventures, to go see Star Wars, go skiing, and camping, and riding bikes. She was also a hell of a surrogate father it turned out. When we went anywhere, *anywhere*, she would run into someone she knew, and they would always be thrilled to see her. She has this wonderful warm, open manner, and the best smile and laugh. Along with my mother, she is the most important person in my life who made me who I am. So it means the world to me when she can see me trying to do the same with my kids.

    If you can build a life where 80 years in, there's are that many people lining up to tell you how important you are to them, and how much you've made a difference in their lives, you're living a great life. And no, I didn't make it through the speech without breaking up. But I'm so glad I got to do it.



    Exactly one week ago, my wife Lindsay and I boarded a plane to Turks and Caicos Island (TCI) for four and one half days of vacation in honor of our 10th wedding anniversary in August. It's the first time we've been on a real vacation since 2007, which was obviously well before we had kids. The plan was to do nothing, which neither of us have done since long before there were grey hairs encroaching on my chin. And do nothing we did. If you can follow that.

    It was really beautiful on the beach, and I don't even like beaches. We mostly read books all day and hung out, and as has always happens, we get along beautifully, especially when we don't have to deal with any of the sticky issues of parenting and paying bills and all that other stuff that makes modern middle class American life an endless marathon of stuff to do and deal with. Her and I are completely different people who get along really well. We come from different places and interpret the world differently, and we're a normal couple who have been together since we were basically big kids. Overall, it was a perfect, if too short vacation, and it's rare when something happens in your life that is everything you expect and need and more. 

    Now we've been home for 2-3 days, and the kids are here and we're back at it, and both working, and it's real life again. I can't help but think the more European notion of making sure you have holidays and travel, as opposed to the American work-till-you-die ethic is probably a good idea. 

    It was a great trip though, and I'm still in love with my wife, and was happy to see our boys on the return, and hopefully we can maintain some of the perspective gained. Also, TCI might be the most expensive place on Earth. It was like everything was movie theater pricing. Get past that, and it's a good time. Also, helps to like seafood. Which I don't. Didn't matter though.

    And I'm supposed to be working right now. Also, we barely took any photos.



    Today is Henry's first birthday. 

    I was pretty against a second kid. It took years of negotiations to make me reluctantly OK with the idea. But now I'm going to say something so utterly trite and lame sounding that I am having a hard time with it. 
    He utterly completed our family. Henry made every single one of us happier, and closer together. He's that happy of a kid. He's almost a guaranteed smile every time. He's shown us that inside our much moodier Oliver is what might possibly be the world's greatest big brother, which we honestly didn't expect at all. 

    This isn't to say it's been easy. It's not. It seems the only time he's not happy is between 1 and 3 AM. Regularly. But then you see him when the sun comes up, and he's got another big smile for you.

    Henry is constantly moving and crawling, and will start walking soon enough, we're sure. He's the world's greatest reason to baby proof. When he sees an opening, he goes for it. He doesn't get frustrated. He points at things he likes. He's pointing all day at this point.

    Lindsay, Oliver, and I are lucky this wonderful tiny person came to live with us.




    My son Oliver turns 5 today. 

    I can tell you that 5 years ago today was not a great day. It was complicated and difficult, and we didn't know what was going on, and it was very mixed. The time the followed that was not always a party either. And people would tell us that we'd miss it, and we said, "never!" 

    But now, it's true, there are things I kind of miss about it. Except, with Oliver, he gets more interesting and fun every day. This is a kid who watches natural disaster documentaries over and over, but won't watch a movie with a scary character in it. This is a kid who wants nothing more in life but to give and get a laugh. He's unlike any other person I've ever met. It might give him some trouble in high school, but we know that makes for interesting adults, after they get through it. Oliver is not an easy kid (little bit my fault), but he's a great kid. He's a caring kid. He's a smart kid. He's my kid.

    Five years ago, I grew up. Lindsay and I learned (are learning) how to work together to give this kid what he needs (ever changing), when we're both coming from completely different places half the time. We totally changed our lives in every way, and for some reason, we decided to have another one. There were some long held, and intense discussions over that, but we decided to go again, and it really helped everything, oddly enough. Nothing is the same. Nothing will ever be the same, and this kid is at the center of it, and he has no idea.

    Being a parent is the hardest, most challenging thing I've ever done, but I love this kid like nothing else I've ever known, and I can't wait to see what he's going to be. 

    But not for a while. Please.