Monday, September 10, 2012

Dylan Williams Lives Forever

We lost Dylan a year ago, still living with this void.
He was a mentor to many, including myself, though I'm sure he would give me shit for saying that to his face. I am so grateful for his friendship and encouragement, I can't measure them, and feel the echoes every day. We spent many hours comparing our home made paths through comics & art, showing each other the intersections and ignored detours, and laughing about the absurdity of this world we had chosen for ourselves. Dylan helped to solidify my views of my work and life to myself through his examples and arguments, I will always have inspiration from these conversations.
The Comics Journal asked me to draw his portrait a few days after his death, the first of many events since that would have me reaching for the phone to call & get Dylan's take on the situation, but stopping with a deep drop in my heart. I stayed up all night, looking at photos & drawing Dylan a hundred times, settling on this one, then methodically destroying the sketches until dawn. The drawing still feels right to me, and pulls me through my thoughts & emotions from that time.
This past year has put a weight onto his comics & writing that can be painful, but I am taking inspiration from the horror, and I am remembering Dylan as a man who tried hard to improve himself, his art & personal and professional life, with good humor and humility. The work we must do is always before us, and we can make the right choices, even if it is difficult. Thank you, Dylan.