Dylan Williams, DIY RIP

Dylan was very gracious to me and supported me in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s when I was starting out. He wrote me long letters (and later, emails) even analyzing individual panels, which level of interest and attention amazed, inspired, and sustained me—tips and crits about hands and angles (all the while emphasizing that all this is just his subjective opinion), along with a lot of encouragement and kind words. I’m eternally grateful to you for those letters, Dylan. I wish I had said that in the last few weeks but I didn't realize how serious it was this time. Dylan reached out and was a friend to me when I was lonely and full of self-doubt, and over the years I think he did the same for a lot of young cartoonists. We argued a lot about comics and related things over many emails in the early ‘00s, ending in a bewildered but friendly stalemate, and then we just moved on to other things. I’m sorry I let our friendship fade with time and distance. What a terrible thing to be saying. I wish I had told him all these things I'm thinking about now. I wish I had somehow expressed my gratitude for his kindness and help to me when I was starting out in comics, and also my serious respect for the way he lived out his beliefs and gave of himself. He believed in punk and kung fu and comics. He laid aside his own work and built up Sparkplug and published great comics. Before the web he would self-publish thick zines named Eighty-Six (I have around 15) that he would send out for free, anonymously, filled with rare comics he thought people needed to see. He had great taste AND a big heart AND he worked hard to make shit happen. He helped out a lot of people and laughed and smiled easily. What a great way to have lived. There are many wonderful testimonies to his kindness and friendship around the Internet that you should read. I just got home from SPX tonight and I’ve only read a handful. There’s many more, the kind of reading that makes you want to repent your selfish ways. We were lucky to have known you, and we were lucky to get all that mail from you.

If you haven’t already please consider buying some Sparkplug books.