One of the strange side effects of being Mike’s brother, both now and (especially) before he died was that I always had to watch what I said online or around his colleagues at conventions for fear of having an adverse effect on his career. Or, now, on his memory. I don’t mean not blabbing about whatever top-secret project he was working on. That was the easy part.
Occasionally, someone would post something online badmouthing Mike’s work and the urge to flame the guy was nearly overwhelming. But I would always sit on my hands because I didn’t want someone thinking I was speaking for Mike. Even now, I’m very careful not to put words in Mike’s mouth now that he’s not around to say, “Hey, I never said that, dummy!” Worse was when Marvel or DC would do something that drove me crazy as a fan and I’d want to get online with everyone else and scream, “These idiots are ruining comics!” But, since Mike was working for them at the time, I kept my mouth (keyboard?) shut.
But the WORST was when Wizard started shunning Mike and Todd when they started doing TELLOS. Mike had always been very generous to the, um, magazine, drawing covers, giving them artwork for their contests and consenting to interviews and doing How-To articles. So when Mike needed a little quid pro quo, he was understandably surprised when he got nothing. I mean, who knows? A little love in the pages of WIZARD could have made all the difference in sales and kept the book going. Mike explained all of this to me very calmly, without anger. I, on the other had, was seething. I immediately stopped buying the magazine and threw out all my back issues. Even the ones with Mike in them. I’ve never bought another issue. And I’ve kept it all to myself to this day, not wanting to stick my nose into something that had nothing to do with me.
Which is why I love Scott Kurtz ten times more than I did yesterday. Which was already a lot. Scott was (and continues to be) one of Mike’s best, most devoted friends and he’s got the stones to post online everything I’ve ever wanted to say about WIZARD but was too chicken to. Check out his incredibly awesome letter to WIZARD here.
Scott, you are a prince among men. May Crom smile on your house and may all your ventures be fruitful, you glorious, loyal, talented, ballsy sonofabitch. I love you, man.