Tom Spurgeon, Founder of The Comics Reporter, Dead at 51

Tom Spurgeon

Tom Spurgeon, a heroic champion of comics, especially small press comics, has passed away. It saddens me greatly to find this out today. There is definitely a personal note to this. Tom was always a great supporter of independent comics and all of those folks within that orbit through his regular posting on his blog, The Comics Reporter. He was gracious enough to include me among this group and would mention my efforts here at Comics Grinder from time to time. I did get to meet Tom a couple of times in person and he was always the gentleman, generous with his time and always upbeat. The comics industry knows his name very well. He will be missed.

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4 responses to “Tom Spurgeon, Founder of The Comics Reporter, Dead at 51

  1. :/ so sorry to hear of this.

  2. selizabryangmailcom

    I’m very sorry about this news, Henry. It sounds like he affected those around him positively, including you, and of course it’s always very sad when the passing is premature.

    • Stacey, we’re of that same vintage, and range of interests, so it adds more layers of mourning. Tom was thoughtful and kind to me. That means everything. He listened carefully to me as I described this graphic novel I was putting together about a lesser known Twilight Zone screenwriter and he provided words of encouragement, insight and unreserved approval.

      Here’s the thing about Tom Spurgeon and what he accomplished at his blog, The Comics Reporter. His blog became a regular must-read within the comics industry since Tom was so well connected, knew so much, and had so much to say.

      If Tom liked what you were doing on your own comics blog, he would mention you and provide a link back to your blog. He did that for me many times and it always warmed my heart and I was always exceedingly grateful. It was akin to Johnny Carson, back in the day, giving the OK sign on The Tonight Show to a comedian rising in the ranks who had gained his approval after his or her set.

      The death of someone so special reverberates throughout. Tom won’t be forgotten. The funny thing is that I sense him right now. And I even feel like he’s going to link back to me still!

      Tom was a big part of developing The Comics Journal, today’s leading authority on comics, to what it has become. Tom loved offbeat comics and comics with a different voice. For example, as the editor of TCJ, he expanded coverage of European comics–something dear to my own heart. Over at The Comics Journal, a special post pays tribute to Tom and provides links to various members of the comics community who have expressed their condolences: http://www.tcj.com/wednesday-5/

      And I can add one more thing. Here’s a beautiful example of Tom’s grace. He provided a blurb for the back of my collection of comics from a few years ago, A Night at the Sorrento and Other Stories. He rose to the occasion and talked about the “highly idiosyncratic” nature of my comics and “the humane quality of these comics, an openness to experience that would be hard to replicate in another form.” Wow, what a gift. It is such an honor to have known Tom. He donated to past efforts of mine but this quote of his on the back of my book is priceless.

      Any death leaves us contemplating the loss. With Tom Spurgeon, we have much to honor and much to live up to.

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