This week I run down the #1’s and one-shots hitting comic book shops this week but something a bit more special is also available. Aspen Comics is celebrating the legacy of its late founder, one of the biggest fighters in comics or any other industry, Michael Turner.
MICHAEL TURNER LEGACY ISSUE
Words: Michael Turner and various others
Art: Michael Turner and various others
Published by: Aspen Comics
Instead of examining the merits and faults of this special issue, I wanted to tell a quick personal story then tell you why this book is important.
11 years ago, I knew little to nothing about how comics go from an idea to tangible periodical sitting on a shelf. I was simply a fan who thought every comic book was a glossy covered treasure. Like any fan, I wanted every comic I had signed by the people whose work I admired. The hardest signature to get was my Superman/Batman #26. As Michael Turner valiantly fought cancer during those days his appearances became fewer and fewer. You couldn’t fault the man as those who’ve battled or have family that have gone through the fight with cancer can attest, to say the least, it’s all consuming and puts a halt to your daily routine.
During one particular San Diego Comic Con, at the Aspen Comics booth, Turner did a very limited signing. The line for it seemed as though it could have taken Hall H on its own. I didn’t happen to find myself in it, yet selfishly tried to see if there was any way I could get my comic signed. It couldn’t have been easy for Turner, even sitting in what looked like the most comfortable leather executive chair the building had. As fan after fan got their comics signed by the superstar artist, I watched him wince, shift, and pause in that chair at various times throughout the hour. The man didn’t have to sign or even be at the show, he owed no one anything yet probably against his loved ones wishes soldiered to give his fans a memory. Maybe four or five people were left in the line and I knew the Aspen team was going to get him out of there quick. I couldn’t tell you why I stayed there watching the entire signing, but I did, and just as I was about to walk away from the booth Turner made eye contact with me and waved me over. He pointed at my Batman/Superman #26 and asked if I wanted him to sign it.
As I said thanks for even doing this, I also asked him why he did a signing when he didn’t have to as he was in obvious discomfort? To paraphrase, whether he was there or somewhere else in that moment the pain was going to be the same, so why not make people happy if he could? I always enjoyed Aspen’s Soulfire, Shrugged, and Fathom books but that moment made them my favorite publisher. After Turner passed, over the last few years meeting various people in the industry, I heard soo many stories from artists who sharpened their skill under his tutelage. Every single one had their own personal story about how Turner affected their lives for the better. It’s a testament to his legacy continuing in the industry to this day. A footprint few in comics or any industry get to leave behind that will be remembered for years to come.
The Michael Turner Legacy Issue is filled with anecdotes and art by far better people in the industry than this old fan story of mine, such as Peter Steigerwald, Siya Oum, Joe Benitez, Agnes Garbowska, Talent Caldwell, Tim Townsend, David Wohl. It’s a collection of the memories Michael Turner’s determination and story left to those who knew him best. The perfect way to honor that legacy is to continue the battle against cancer so that we don’t lose anyone else far too soon. The Michael Turner Legacy Issue continues that fight as the net profits from the book go to The American Cancer Society.
Go to your local shop pick up this book but most importantly ask for it if they don’t have it.
Here’s the rest of the #1’s for 6/27/18
BEDTIME GAMES #1 (DARK HORSE) (W) Nick Keller (A) Conor Nolan (CA) Kelly Fitzpatrick A sexy title for an unsexy story.
MODERN FANTASY #1 (DARK HORSE) (W) Rafer Roberts (A/CA) Kristen Gudsnuk Also a sexy title but with a fun story about escapism from the daily grind. Wait that sounded sexier than I intended.
BATMAN PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING HARLEY VS JOKER #1 (DC) (W) Tim Seeley (A) Sami Basri (CA) Rafael Albuquerque CHARLIES ANGELS #1 (Dynamite) (W) John Layman (A) Joe Eisma (CA) David Finch Joe Eisma's work on this book is stellar, the story could use a bit more campyness from the TV show but well worth a look.
VAMPIRELLA ROSES FOR DEAD #1 (Dynamite) (W) Kristina Deak-Linsner (A) Joseph Michael Linsner (CA) Billy Tucci Though I've never been a big Vampirella fan, this book keeps everything fun and simple to follow. It's a solid pick up for fans of the character.
MSH ADVENTURES WEBS ARROWS ANTS OH MY #1 (Marvel) (W) Jim McCann (A) Dario Brizuela (CA) Jacob Chabot Adorable but not it a way that gets on your nerves.
MULTIPLE MAN #1 (Marvel) (W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Andy MacDonald (CA) Marcos Martin
SENTRY #1 (Marvel) (W) Jeff Lemire (A) Aaron Kim Jacinto (CA) Bryan Hitch It's Jeff Lemire being Jeff Lemire in the best possible way. Read it!
FINAL STREET #1 (Devil's Due) (W) Scott Schmidt (A/CA) Brian Atkins A Double Dragon gender reversal that homages beat em up games of the NES era. Very cool!
JOHN CARPENTER TALES OF SCI FI STANDOFF #1 (Storm King Productions) (W) David Schow (A) Andres Esparza (CA) Tim Bradstreet A story about aliens taking over bodies in a prison sounds fun but the book rushes itself a bit too much to be enjoyed.
MIKE HAMMER #1 (Titan Comics) (W) Mickey Spillane, Max Allan Collins (A) Marcelo Salaza, Marcio Freire (CA) Robert McGinnis
SHADOW ROADS #1 (Oni Press) (W) Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt (A/CA) A.C. Zamudio, Carlos Zamudio The team behind The Sixth Gun picking up the pieces of The Sixth Gun. The fence is a bit high for new readers but fans of the previous series by Bunn and Hurtt will definitely dig this opening.