I broke into comics in 94 and was working at Extreme Studios when I first saw a Michael Turner book. I was blown away by his work on Ballistic from Top Cow. This was the excitement and drama and dark, shadowy realism that I wanted to create. And this guy down the street was already doing it and doing it better than anyone! He was a big inspiration for me. We were in the same class of Image artists. Of course, he was top of the class and he lead with a magnificent guiding light.
Years later I was fortunate to meet Mike at a con, and he was just a guy. A pal to everyone he met. A few years later, in 2000 I was just recovering from surgery for a tumor on my drawing hand, and was invited to come work out the kinks at Top Cow. This was right after Mike’s 1st operation. He was already recovering pretty well and was getting around on crutches. He told us in the bullpen about his operation, and the skiing accident that led to the discovery of his cancer, with all the mirth and dignity anyone could hope for in that situation. we all felt for Mike but he was not one to take that sympathy. It happened…shit happens…move on and keep moving. That was his attitude. It helped me through my recovery, it helped fortify me for my future.
Mike’s like that. He inspires. He blazes and we just watch in awe. A few years later I was able to do a creator owned comic called Killbox, about my fellow Marines. While I served in the Marines and met many heroic people, I have never met anyone like Mike. My dedication in Killbox #3 reads “Dedicated to Michael Turner, comic book artist, visionary, and the bravest man I’ve ever known.”
To paraphrase one of Mike’s favorite movies… “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long – and you have burned so very, very brightly, Mike”
And he could still kick your ass at foosball hopping on one leg leaning on the sticks.