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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rest In Peace, Michael Turner (1971 – 2008)

Without a doubt, my favorite comic book artist of all time is Michael Turner. From when he first exploded onto the scene with Witchblade to his creator-owned property Fathom, starting his own company in Aspen Comics, and to providing covers for both DC and Marvel, I’ve diligently followed Michael’s career. In fact, the majority of my comic book collection mainly consisted of Michael Turner pieces, which I bought solely for the artwork. So when I visited Newsarama today, I was completely stunned by the news that Michael passed away. Since 2000, Michael has been fighting cancer, and while he’s had a number of setbacks, he always managed to bounce back and I was pretty sure he was going to conquer his disease. Alas, that wasn’t the case and all I can say is that my thoughts & prayers go out to Michael’s family and friends, and that I, along with countless others, will miss the artist’s presence…

Included below is a letter from Vince Hernandez to
Newsarama—read the original post HERE—a biography about Michael Turner and Aspen Comics, and a few of my favorite Michael Turner pieces of artwork:

Hello all,

Unfortunately it's with great sadness that I must inform everyone that
Michael Turner tragically passed away last night, June 27th at approximately 10:42 pm in Santa Monica, Ca. Turner had been dealing with recent health complications arisen in the past few weeks. More details concerning Turner's passing, and services, will be given shortly.

Anyone wishing to send their condolences to
Michael Turner's family is encouraged to send to:

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

Aspen also encourages anyone wishing to make a charitable donation to please send to
Michael Turner's requested charities: The American Cancer Society Or The Make-A-Wish Foundation

About Michael Turner and Aspen Comics:

In 1994,
Aspen MLT, Inc. founder Michael Turner moved from Tennessee to California to begin his comic book career. Working for Top Cow Productions, Michael started off doing background illustrations but soon helped to create and launch the comic book series Witchblade in October of 1995. Quickly growing to become one of the most successful comic book titles of the 90s, Michael served as an integral part of Witchblade's immense popularity, which has since been adapted into a TNT television series, an anime series, a manga comic book, and a forthcoming film adaptation. Shifting focus, Michael went on to debut his first creator owned series, Fathom, in the summer of 1998. An instant success, Fathom was a smash hit and earned the honor of becoming the number one selling comic book of the year. In the fall of 2002, Michael departed from Top Cow Productions to start his own publishing company, Aspen MLT, Inc.

Aspen MLT, Inc. continues to publish cutting edge comic book properties, spearheaded by successful new properties such as Soulfire, Shrugged, and Ekos in addition to Fathom. As well, Michael Turner and Aspen MLT, Inc. have provided covers for the comic industry's leading events, including Marvel Comic's top-selling series Civil War, DC Comic's best-selling series Justice League of America, and an Eisner Award-nominated cover run on DC Comic's Identity Crisis as well as collaborating with DC Comics on the popular Superman: Godfall mini-series. Other projects included covers to the Onslaught Reborn mini-series, and such titles as Wolverine Origins #1, The Incredible Hulk #100, Ultimate X-Men #75, Uncanny X-Men #500, Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America, World War Hulk, Ultimate Wolverine, etc. In 2006, Aspen joined forces with television giant NBC to create the online comic adaptations for the mega-hit television series Heroes.


LadyVampire2u said...

I was at the annual comic book convention near my home here this weekend and found out on Saturday while standing in line for a signing that Michael Turner passed away. It was so upsetting to me because I got to see Mr.Turner at the convention last year and he seemed fine. Laughed and talked with fans, signed their books, was smiling. I had heard he was sick but he looked like he was doing really well. I suppose he was trying to look his best in front of the fans as he was always putting his fans first like so many other artists. I can only say that I appreciated that and him. He was a great man with a great talent and I will miss him.

RobB said...

So damn young! I wasn't the biggest fan of his artwork, but his covers were very eye-catching drew in potential readers.

Robert said...

Lady Vampire, thanks for sharing. I never had the opportunity to meet Mr. Turner, but I'm sure if I had, it would have been inspirational...

Rob, yeah, it's hard to imagine. I mean he was only seven years older than me. As far as his artwork, it's definitely eye-catching. In fact, the first time I saw that Witchblade cover, I was hooked...


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