Friday, December 18, 2009

No More Grinch

I won’t bore you with the usual “Wah, I’m so busy” crap this time. I’ll just say that I’ve had a rockin’ new issue of RUE MORGUE sitting on my bedside table for three whole days and have yet to read so much as a paragraph. Draw your own conclusions.

And since I have been so (you-know-what) I haven’t been doing much drawing. I did recently finish the ‘HAPS page I was working on but not much else. But I haven’t posted in a while and since I’m a little saddened at the news of our local grocery chain (the over-priced but oh-so-worth-the-money Ukrops), I thought I’d post a quick and happy story.

Though I’m a bitter, Scroogie old man, one of the things that helps me get in the holiday spirit is our yearly tradition of picking out an “angel” from the Salvation Army Angel Tree they put up at the agency. Suzanne and I tend to go overboard but we can’t help it when we get an angel that’s a “good fit” for us. That was the case this year. My friend and studio-mate Patrick is one of those guys who’ll give you the shirt off his back if you need it and he’s the guy that organizes the tree every year. He’d just come in with the yearly allotment of “angels” a few weeks ago and I was watching him sort through them at his desk.

He laughed, “Wow. This one was made for you.”

I looked at it and it was for a young boy. Often, there are very specific (and sometimes, um, optimistic) gift suggestions. But in this case, all that was entered was “Anything with Spider-Man on it.”

“Gimme!” I shouted. Off to the races.

Suzanne got him several outfits with some really cool Spidey designs on them and some adorable Spider-Man shoes in his size. I hit the toy section and got him a couple of action figures including Spidey and the Tarantula villain (one of my favorites growing up) and a Spidey-on-a-bike thingie. We got him some other age-appropriate stuff and my Dad even got involved when he found out what we were doing, buying some puzzles and coloring books. But something was missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was driving me crazy. I wanted to get him a dvd with some cartoons but couldn’t be sure his family had a player.

Finally, Suzanne and I had one of those lightbulb moments at the same time. We ran to Nostalgia Plus and bought this:

It was the weirdest thing. It felt so right to be giving one of Mike’s books (not to mention the last work he completed) to a little boy that loves Spider-Man. Mike’s been with us in a big way this holiday season and I feel like, wherever he is, he’ll be watching that little boy on Christmas day, hoping he likes the book he drew for him.

So, Happy Holidays, folks. I can say it and actually mean it this time!


Warren said...

That brought a tear to my eye. Way to spread the love. :)

Merry Christmas, and may you and Suzanne find peace, joy, prosperity, and good times now and through the coming year. Yeah, that sounds like a standard Christmas card thingie, but I mean it. Shine on.

Brian said...

The true meaning of Christmas.

todd said...

yeah, man--that angel was meant for you!

and you guys are the angels that that kid was dreaming of!

wonderful story, matt--that makes my christmas right there!

todd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rich Faber said...

Beautiful, Matt. This year, I'll be giving family and friends things from Traci. Things she would have wanted them to have, and things they'd appreciate, for a variety of reasons... not the least of which is because it was something of hers. I think she'd really love that sentiment, and I'm sure Mike would feel the same way.

Hope you and Suze have a a very happy holiday season. We'll talk soon.


Gavin said...

Hey Matt. I just wanted to step in and let you know that there's someone out there still checking on Mike's blog and looking through his old posts and enjoying his work.

I know it's an odd time of year for a post like this but I guess I just couldn't help myself.

You're brother was a great man and has had a strong and lasting affect on lots of people. You should be proud.

Well. Merry Christmas.
And happy holidays.

Warren said...

Hey, Matt --


Jim McClain said...

Matt, after your brother died I bought every copy of Tellos Colossal I could find and gave them all to my comic book-loving friends for Christmas. It was the most fitting tribute I could think of. He was only a year older than I am and his death really touched me.

This year, my father died (on Father's Day, no less) and I found myself thinking of him whenever I did my Christmas shopping. Just as you said, I would find just the perfect gift for him and then I would leave it on the shelf. It was heartbreaking every time.

Matt Wieringo said...

Hi, Jim. Thanks for the story. And I'm very, very sorry to hear about your father. Having the loss occur on that particular day must be doubly hurtful.