alancoil_sm.jpgI was saddened to learn this morning that frequent Beat poster Lewis “Alan” Coil died of a heart attack on Friday. He was 55.

I never met Alan in real life, and certainly he had his disagreements with many people on the internet, but he was a constant presence here and at many other sites, and obviously passionate about comics and participating in the discussion. Alan was a ubiquitous internet presence in the tradition of the great letterhacks.

On Peter David’s site, Alan’s friend Paul Shiple wrote:

Thank you for all of your kind words and condolences. These are especially tough times for all that knew Lew on a personal basis. Unfortunately he didn’t have any family that wasn’t either dead or estranged. But fortunately, all of his friends came to become his family. He was a big hearted guy and would be there in an instant for anyone that was his friend. And he had A LOT of friends. He is sorely misses by many. Thanks again.

My condolences to his friends and family.

(PS, if anyone has a more appropriate and Alan Coil related graphic for this post, please send to me so I can replace the generic one.)
Thanks to Stephen Olle for providing a photo and writing:

Alan used to join us every Chicago Comicon/Wizard World at Gino’s East, the annual gathering of some fellow denizens of the Tony Isabella Message Board. He always said he wouldn’t be making it that year, but then sure as shootin’, he’d show up right on time.


  1. Ok that just hit me like a punch in the stomach.

    I had fun corresponding with him on the Newsarama board.

    My condolences.

  2. I think I only ever disagreed with him, but the disagreements were always extremely polite and civil. His passion for comics had the intensity of a thousand white hot suns. The comic community lost a person who loved it unconditionally. Poor Mr. Coil, you will be missed.

  3. I am incredibly sorry to hear that. I doesn’t ever matter if you agree or disagree with him on a post. The fact that Alan cared about comics enough to come hear and post, like the wrest of us, made him one of us, and he had (still has) my respect. I will raise a glass and say a prayer for him this evening, and another at comic con.

  4. Requiescat in pace, Alan. I only “knew” him through his posts here and elsewhere, and as others have said, I respected his opinions and passion for comics.

  5. I’m sorry to hear about that as well. Establishing one’s presence on the Internet via comments has its ups and downs. Alan had a distinctive voice.


  6. Thanks for posting this, Heidi.

    Alan was a very close friend of mine for almost 20 years, and seeing so many people that he genuinely respected taking a moment to mark his passing would mean more to him than you could ever know.

    Despite his gruff Internet persona, I assure you Alan was one of the most generous, caring and (perhaps not surprisingly) passionate people I’ve ever had the privilege of calling my friend.

    Wednesday just aren’t ever going to be the same without him ever again.

  7. Reading the comic book blogs is part of my morning ritual. Often I would see a headline and think, well, Alan Coil will no doubt have something to say on that and he rarely disappointed.

    RIP Alan.

  8. Like many above, I only “knew” of him via comments here at the Beat and other comics boards… it’s an odd feeling when Real Life intrudes with occasions as this to fill out what had just been a name, into a person.

    My sympathies to his family and friends.

  9. Sad news indeed. I didn’t know him and honestly, the way he carried himself, I actually thought he was a professional in the industry of some sort.

    Like Dirk said, this was very kind of Heidi to post this. 55 is quite young and I wish Alan’s family and friends my sympathies.

  10. Sorry to hear of Alan’s passing. I didn’t know him personally, our only real link was this forum and that we shared a particular spelling of our first names. He died too young. My sympathies to his friends and comrades in comics.

  11. This is sad news.

    Alan was a regular poster for many years at Comicon. I didn’t always agree with him, but he obviously put a lot of thought into his comments, and they were always worth reading.

    And 55 is way, way too young.

    R.I.P., Alan.

  12. Lew was friends with my deceased x husband Lynn. He married Susan when we knew him and Lynn was in their wedding. He was kind and sent his heart felt sympathy in an Email. We momentarily caught up with each other. I am sad to see him go. So strange to see all of this on the internet. I guess I was out of the loop. Best to everyone. I am sure he is in a better place. He was a good man.

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