The webcomics blog about webcomics

Endings And Goodbyes

It’s been more than two weeks now that we’ve been without Tom Spurgeon, and it feels almost unfair that the Earth continues to revolve just as it always has. True to form, The Spurge left directions that he would not have a funeral, but rather a memorial celebration, and in the best possible place for it:

In lieu of a funeral service, a public memorial for Tom Spurgeon will be held in Columbus, Ohio at The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum on Saturday, Dec 14th.

That message has been up at The Billy’s site for a week/ten days now, but yesterday further details were released:

Updated information on @comicsreporter December 14 memorial service at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum: …

The memorial will be from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, with refreshments to start, formal remarks for an hour, and an open forum for people to say what he meant to them; the Billy will be open its usual 1:00pm to 7:00pm Saturday hours. I decided over the weekend that I would go — the one time Tom and I spoke face to face he told me I had to come to Columbus, see the Library, dig into Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, and it seems the least I can do is accept the invitation.

For those that may be traveling to the Columbus area, Cartoon Books publisher and all-around wonderful human Vijaya Iyer offered some advice:

For out of towners coming to Tom Spurgeon’s @comicsreporter memorial service on December 14, I would like to recommend staying in the Short North just south of the OSU campus. The Joseph, Moxy and The Graduate are all good choices.

The Short North, I’ve discovered, is the Columbus arts and entertainment district, north of downtown and about two miles from TBICLM. Thankfully, OSU’s football season will end on December 7th, so it will be possible to obtain hotel rooms within 100 miles of campus.

If where you are in the world (geographically and economically) makes it possible for you to attend the service, I’d like to encourage you to do so. I suspect it’s going to be a lot sad, but interspersed with some real joy and laughter, because you basically can’t think of The Spurge without feeling his love for comics and just about everybody associated with them.

Speaking personally, I’ve found it a bit hard to get quite as enthused about webcomics for the past few weeks, and I think having a chance to say goodbye to Tom, to see the community that coalesced around him, will help ease that weight a bit. Maybe. Maybe not. Mourning is hard, especially in this age of deep connections — or what passes for them — with people that we may not actually know well.

Another ending that I’m contemplating today: Magnolia Porter announced what readers may have suspected, given how the story was going: Monster Pulse is ending sooner rather than later. It’ll be nine years, more or less, by the time it wraps up, pretty much all of Porter’s post-college life, and a time of tremendous growth for her comics career and skills.

I started following her on Bobwhite all those years ago, but Monster Pulse is what convinced me that she was the real deal — it was easy for me to follow a strip about finding yourself in college (a strip that, in many ways, anticipated Giant Days), but I had no experience of or love for the Pokemons or Digimons, and she pulled me in and made me want to follow her YA quasi-body horror story about personal monsters without a nostalgia hook. I’m sad to see it go, but glad she got to tell the story she wanted on her terms. Good job, Mags.

Spam of the day:

I came across your website and just wanted to reach out to see if you’re hiring?

Sure, we’re hiring. We pay nothing, we promise no exposure, and you have to best all existing contributors in a test of skill to prove your worthiness. The first test will, naturally, be conducted in French.

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