Wow. I am stunned and heartbroken.

SF legend Samuel Delany has just written the following on Facebook:

Robert Morales was one of my closest friends–and had been since he was seventeen year old. He died at his home in Brooklyn this morning, leaving his father and mother. He was fifty-four. We spoke on the phone for many years, at least once a week and often more. I am shattered. His many friends will miss him deeply. He had agreed to be my literary executor, and the idea that he would pre-descease me never entered my head. For me and many others he was an indispensable friend. To say he will be deeply missed is an incredible understatement.

In comics Morales was best known as the author of TRUTH: RED WHITE AND BLACK, the Marvel miniseries, drawn by Kyle Baker, about black soldiers given the super serum as an experiment, an echo of the Tuskegee experiment. It was a controversial book, but Bob was a controversial guy. I know he had other comics projects in the works along the way, but I was never certain how far along they were.

I first met Bob when he hired me in the ’90s to write for Reflex, a pop culture music magazine of the day. Since then we were friends with Bob emailing or calling on a regular basis with this or that bit of stunning or shocking or hilarious news. Anyone who knows Bob knows he was abrasive and dark-humored…but also a good, good friend. I put out a desperate call on Twitter a few years ago for someone to help me move boxes, and Bob, a man in his middle years, was the only person who responded. It was a gruesomely hot day, but he helped me get everything from my office into my storage unit, and we sat down at a mid afternoon, sun dappled, dark paneled bar—I had a cold pear cider, Bob had a Diet Coke, I believe, as he didn’t drink. We rambled on about his favorite topics, a wide-ranging pop culture history of comics, music, the minority experience and trying to be better than the shills and greed who tried and mostly succeeded in running the world.

It’s no surprise that Bob’s best known work was called TRUTH, because for him the truth was a crusade and a cause, even if it was mostly expressed in those private, sun-dappled moments. I am devastated to know I will never hear Bob’s conspiratorial tones on the phone again and my heart goes out to his parents, who I know he cared about deeply.


  1. Fuck me. This is devastating. I’ve been friends with Bob for almost 20 years and in the past two weeks, Bob called me a couple of times, just as I was ready to leave on vacation, and I didn’t get a chance to call him back before I left. I figured I would catch up with him soon. FUCK, FUCK, FUCK.

  2. This is so sad. Do we know how he died or is that info public? I also wrote for Reflex (I did an interview with Eisner), and I can’t remember if I met Bob back in those days when I met Lou Stathis, another person who left this Earth too soon. Bob was a funny guy who I saw frequently for a time when I was at DC and I think he was pitching things. The term “conspiratorial tones ” is such a good description of Bob’s way of telling you something. He always seemed to have some incredible inside info from all different places. I liked him.

  3. This is such a crazy world. Bob and I had been close friends since we worked at Vibe magazine twenty years ago and spoke almost everyday. I loved him like a brother and he was always there for me when I needed him. The last time we saw each other was two weeks ago. We were supposed to watch Dogs in Space, which he had just bought from Kim’s Video. Instead, we spent hours watch various videos and talking through the night about a bunch of topics that included the Hellblazer comic, Barron Storey and Dave McKean, Jeff Jones’ work in National Lampoon and the Roots becoming the Tonight Show band.

    About ten years ago I told Bob I had loaned out a copy of my Halan Ellison book Partners in Wonder. Last year, he gave me a copy of the book that he got Ellison to sign for me. Right now, I’m thinking of how much of a wonder Bob was to me and for me. I will miss him so much.

  4. This is terrible news, and a complete shock. I’ve known Bob since the mid-90s and have been reading his editorials since the early 80s in Heavy Metal. I got to have dinner with him a couple of years ago, he was always a great conversationalist and loved a good debate. RIP Sad news.

  5. This is so sad to hear. Truth was brilliant…the kind of bold steps that we will most likely never see from Marvel again. Great writer. He will be missed.

  6. I’ve known Bob since 1980 and had been in touch with him not so long ago. We sat on my couch and proceeded to have a fascinating conversation during which 4 hours flew by like nothing. Even though I hadn’t hung out with Bob since my band stopped touring, he took time out to meet with me to advise on my new project, just out of sheer kindness. I still can’t get my head around it, this is unreal, he was way too young and talented.

  7. Bob’s parents lovingly raised two brilliant, amazing children who predeceased them. My deepest sympathies to the family.

  8. The Morales family would like to invite friends of Robert Morales to the Viewing:
    Ponce Funeral Home
    54 Tompkins Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY
    Sunday 4/21 (3-9p.m)

  9. My being a “Neophyte” Writer just starting out. Who’s interest’s are similar to this great man. Was only just turned on to Mr. Moralese’s work literally the other day. I’m deeply saddened that I only learn of him and his work four months after his passing. Indeed I think the world of Creativity has lost someone important. Due to his being a person who Forthrightly Worked in the “Mainstream Publishing” World. But, never allowed it to devour him whole as it has so many! Please Rest In Peace!

  10. I went to school with Bob for five years. I thought he was so cool. Many years later I connected with him through Classmates. He said something in a message that I will never forget. He said, ” Daisy, you and your sister were the only ones that never made fun of my thick eyeglasses, thank you.” That struck a cord in me. He was special indeed. RIP Robert and pazzazz to you..

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