By Beau Smith
In over 20 years of writing and marketing comic book, I’ve made a lot of friends. Some closer than others and some what you’d call business friends. Michael Turner was one of those friends that fell some where in between.
We didn’t hang out like college buddies, but we didn’t just wave and say “howdy” either. From day one when I first met a very young Michael Turner to the last time that I talked to him, Michael was always one thing, a nice guy. A real one. Nothing fake, nothing put on. I found out early on that Michael was also a very hard worker. During my time as VP of Image Comics, in the early days when it was my job to corral all the studios, I worked with Michael to promote Witchblade. Most of the time I would engage the studio and creative team to do special incentives for the retailers and other such stuff to get the upcoming book some notice. With Whitchblade I had the boys sign some ashcans, some comics and I used these to pass along to retailers and the media. I always tried to keep things within an easy to do time frame. Lord knows we had enough trouble trying to get our books out on time during those days.
One morning I answered the door here at the ranch to find my Fed-Ex guy with a lot more boxes than I was expecting. I checked and they were from the Top Cow Studio. I opened them up and found the 200 comics that they were asked to sign but there were still more boxes. I opened those up to find special art print outs, color sheets, posters, doodles and prelim stuff on Witchblade. All signed. There was a post it note. It was from Michael. It read:
“Beau, I appreciate you pushing the book. I hope these help.” Michael.
I was taken back. The kid hadn’t been in the business very long and here he was doing what some veterans don’t learn for many years.
I thanked Michael via the phone and then at the next convention we were at. He just smiled that movie star smile of his and said ” I was glad to do it and if you ever need more, just let me know.”
He was always there when I needed his help. He never complained and he always came through. A lot of people talk to me about being a “Real Man and a Tough Guy.” I’m here to tell you all that Michael Turner is the real definition of a Real Man and a Tough Guy. Through the good times and the worst, you never heard him complain and you never heard him “I can’t.”
Being a real man ain’t busting heads and drinking free beer. It’s being a friend and a nice guy. Michael was all that and much more.
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