damn it.

It’s not often I am shocked or left with out words. 

I don’t know what I want to say, of what he’d want me to say.

I found out that Nick Post died yesterday.  If you knew Nick you are probably just as shocked as I am.  If you didn’t know Nick, it’s too late, you missed out.

I shoot my mouth off a lot.  The thing is, I don’t suffer fools well.  And when I see jackassery and no one else is pointing it out…I can’t seem to help myself.  I have to call out the jackass for the jackass he is.  The other thing is, I am in an industry full of grown up 4 years olds who are under the impression that they are saving lives by making comic books or  that they matter a hell of a lot more than they actually do.  I have zero patience for pompous self-serving types, and if you put me in close proximity to one for any period of time, there is going to be an incident.  Sometimes (often) that leaves you feeling like you are on an island by yourself.

From time to time over the course of a year a big barrel chested monster of a man named Nick would come up to me at my table with a ghoulish grin and say something like “hey, I heard you said such and such to so and so…that’s hysterical, good for you, he’s big blowhard anyway.  You’re dead on right about him too, I got a story for you later…you’re head will spin”. 

I remember when I lost out on the Eisner award to some book of reprints…Nick’s unsolicited thoughts on it were “that’s why these awards have become a waste of time instead of doing any good for the industry.  Some green Lantern Archival project got an award too, It’s a nice looking book…but who gives a sh*t?  Who honestly gives a Sh*t if that book ever got made?   Nobody, they are giving awards to books that don’t matter…to anyone!”

Nick wasn’t just a giant guardian angel of my ego, He was the co founder of one of the largest comic-cook conventions in the midwest and co-owner of one of the biggest comic book stores and exhibitor at several comic book conventions across the US including Comic-Con International.  I don’t know how he made time to do all the things he did, or how he managed to deal with so many people all the time and still seem to be enjoying life.  When Nick was around you felt like whatever bullsh*t was going on was now just there to be mocked instead of there to drive you nuts.  And it was only to be mocked in route to talking about something funny, or good that happened.

I’ve heard the notion that there are only a small percentage of us who are truly alive.   Full of life, seem to be experiencing things more acutely then everyone else, are more magnetic, more powerful through their sheer aura somehow…I’m sure there is a good quote out there for what I’m trying to say, but you know what I mean.

Nick was one of those people. 110% alive.  A flat out powerful personality, a soul that had a unique energy to it.  Nick was alive.  And it was good for all of us that he was.  He was just a real guy.  His word was good, he said what he meant, he didn’t give a damn who agreed or disagreed….i don’t mean he was some jerk off who posts a meme that says he doesn’t care what other people think, we all care what other people think in some way or another, I mean “He didn’t give a damn” as in it was not going to sway him or muzzle him.  He did what he though was right, he said what he thought was right, and he treated people with as much respect as they deserved and usually a little more.  He was a big ferocious personality that could have easily been a bully or blowhard, but he wasn’t because he had a good heart.

He co founded the MNCBA Comic-con.  It was one of the first cons I ever exhibited at…and the positive energy and respect and room that was made for me there was pivotal.  I don’t remember if I have told this story a hundred times or just meant to…I went to the MNCBA con when I was on about issue no 4 of Arsenic Lullaby , less than 8 months into a career that was just a seed of the 15 years of trials and tribulations since.  I had no idea what my place was in the industry, or if I had one, and up to that point it was me vs the rest of the industry.  Me and my ideas and my big mouth vs everyone who was there before me who didn’t want to hear about it, make any room, or see me last another issue.  Maybe it wasn’t like that, I was young and full of piss and vinegar,  perhaps butting heads more than I needed to.  Nick gave me a free table, set me up on a discussion panel where my big mouth could be put to entertaining use, and acted as though is was filling a role at the show  that needed to be filled.  I was I guess, there were vendors and artists and exhibitors of all ilk at the show…I filled the role of upstart, indy, maverick, feather ruffler…whatever the hell you want to call what I was at that time , a time before I had such a formidable resume.

  The point is, Nick found a place for me and treated me like I belonged there.  Put me to good use.  When you are an oddball like me…then and now…belonging somewhere makes a big difference, it gives you the footing you need.  The footing I got at that con made a world of difference.  Having someone believe in you makes a world of difference.  It wasn’t a condescending “believe in you” or a “keep reaching for the stars”…it was more of a – yeah, you’re going to be good at this, let’s get you started.

What I’m trying to convey  here is the kind of guy Nick was.  He was generous and genuine. And he made a big difference for me.  I’m sure he made a big difference for a lot of people…in every aspect of his life.

Nick was just genuine and good and a solid human being, and I have been all over the USA…there aren’t that many left.

…I’m failing here at accomplishing what I wanted, let me just say two things.

1-Thank you Nick.

2-If any of the qualities I described in Nick also reside in you, the put those front and forward.  There is one less of us now, the rest of us must pick up the slack…there are young loud mouths out there who need to know the whole world ain’t out to get them, and if you are worth a damn some of us will even help.

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