Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dick Giordano: 1932 - 2010

Dear Friends & Colleagues,
It is my sorrowful duty to announce that legendary artist/editor/entrepreneur Dick Giordano passed away today.

Few could ever hope to match what he accomplished in his chosen profession, or to excel while maintaining great humor, compassion for his peers and an unwavering love for the art form.

His unique vision changed the comic industry forever and all of those who work in the business continue to share in the benefits of his sizable contributions.

I have been honored to call him a business partner, mentor and dear friend throughout the majority of my lifetime.

We will not see his like again.

Bob Layton
There’s been a lot written about Dick Giordano in the past few days and I feel there’s not a lot that I’d be able to add. I never met Dick, nor did I work with him, but I did correspond with him on several occasions, notably when I was writing the Andru & Esposito: Partners For Life book. Dick was kind enough to answer all of my questions and even pointed me towards a genuine scoop, that being the array of artists who worked on the first Superman/Amazing Spider-Man cross over. From there I interviewed Dick, via email, over a period of a few months and after that date the odd email would pass back and forth from time to time, mainly when I needed a quote for an article. When Dave Simons was ill and we began to raise funds, Dick instantly put Dave’s situation up before the HERO board, who promptly asked for a letter explaining the situation, which I duly wrote and emailed both on Dave’s behalf and at his request. HERO had assisted Dave previously and did so again, I suspect that further assistance was due to Dick’s involvement.

Despite all of this I never got to know Dick all that well, and I do regret that, certainly not as well as many others have. My contact with Dick was on a professional level, to a degree, but I was both touched and honoured when Dick asked me if he could use our recently completed interview as a feature for his soon to be launched site. I didn’t need to be asked twice about that one and I instantly gave my permission and made sure the interview was as good as I could make it, but deep down I knew that if it was any good, and it was, that was due to Dick’s openness and generosity, and not me.

It’s hard to visit a site, or be part of a mailing list devoted to comic books and pop culture this past week without seeing Dick’s name and a reference. Visit a fan site, or a news site such as Newsarama or ComicMix, or a professional’s site, such as Tony Isabella, John Lustig or Michael Netzer, or read a Facebook entry by Mark McKenna or Bryan Stroud and you’ll read reams of memories. Almost every email that I’ve received in the past few days has mentioned Dick. The testament to the man is in the sheer amount of lives he touched, both directly and indirectly. Whether it is a short meeting at a convention that resulted in a longer encounter, someone buying or commissioning art or working with Dick, or, in my case, just talking to him via email from half a world away, Dick was as good as they came. The sheer outpouring of grief is both genuine and amazing – I’ve not seen such a display, on-line, before. Even the late Will Eisner didn’t get as much, but such is the love that is there for Dick.

Dick was a class act. Alan Weiss told me how his art samples weren’t enough to get a foot through DC’s door back in the early ‘70s, yet Dick took the time to go over them and offer suggestions. Flash forward a few decades and Alan was working at DC, on the Blue, The Grey and The Bat, when Dick, about to retire from DC, called him into his office. “Come and have a look at these samples from this young artist,” said Dick, “and tell me what you think.” Alan entered the office to be faced with his own samples, long forgotten and long thought lost. Dick grinned and handed the samples back, impressing Alan no end. In telling me that one story there was a warmth in Alan’s voice, as he recalled one of the true legends in the comic book industry.

Someone said, about Dick, over the weekend that it’s always too soon when someone like Dick passes away. I can’t help but concur. Dick will be missed, and his passing has a left a void that will not be filled.

Vale Dick Giordano.


Michael Netzer said...

Big loss for everyone who knew Dick and for the comics medium. Your insight set the wheels of remembrance and appreciation into motion, Daniel. Many Dick have peace and his memory continue to inspire.

Tony Isabella said...

I wrote about Dick for today's column:


Tony Isabella

Jason Sacks said...

Damn it! I sent a card to Dick at your urging, with the hope that he would not only see my card, but have it play a small part in his recovery. Of course, real life isn't like comic books, and we are now bereft of this wonderful man. I posted a short obit to him here: http://www.comicsbulletin.com/soapbox/126981971123027.htm

Anonymous said...

Dick Giordano Was Swiped By Roy Lichtenstein.

David Barsalou

Daniel Best said...

Loads of people were swiped by Roy Lichtenstein. The man had no originality about him at all and made millions by stealing art from several sources.