Monday, September 29, 2008

Frank Turner, RIP



A good man passed away not to long ago. Very few people truly live a life according to a code. Frank's code was based on honor and integrity. He said what he meant and did what he said he would do. There was never a question about where you stood with him. His code was very similar to the ideals found in the comic books we have read since we were kids. It's a way of thinking and behaving that's very idealistic and pure.

He was a talented artist with a direct and instantly enjoyable style. It came naturally to him. When I first met Frank, I was still in high school. The very same day I met him - he began helping me along. I inked his comic book Wild Knights ( which he drew under the name Alex Leonine ). Later he worked for Marvel Comics. Soon after, he moved out to California and worked for Sony Animation. He grew tired of the office politics and returned to Birmingham, AL and took a break from drawing. But that didn't last long. His love for art quickly returned and before he passed away he was working on a 'yet to be released' comic book.

I don't know what else to say. There's so much. He was a big brother, a mentor and friend. He was as tough a man as I have ever met but deep down inside, a gentle, gentle soul.

I will miss him.

40 comments:

COMIKXGUY said...

that sukx man :(

Mr. Hawthorne said...

Sorry for your loss, man.

Mike

Anonymous said...

I'm Mitch Hyman and I am the editor for Scare Tactix Graphix. this was the comic and poster company Frank was doing his last work for. Frank was a good man and a great friend. his passion and ability were beyond the simple words I can place here. Frank was always there when I needed his art, advice or just a good ear to listen to as I went through the process of getting this company up and going. His last published work for me was on a story we did together. It was for a series entitled "Midnight at the Cathouse Theater that scare tactix produces. The story was called "Bangkok moon" and the work from Frank is superb.

I am right now dilligently trying to get access to his final story for us and although I have almost a dozen finished pencils from Frank on this story, I am trying to get the Finals. I can promise this...Our publisher is going to use the pages we have and have another artist whose style is close to Frank's to enable us to finish the book and get his last work out there. It will be deicated to him. It as he told me probably the best work he's done in years. Frank will be properly noted in the credits for the pages he did, so have no fear that he will not get his recognition! Frank was excited about getting his art career back and running. and as his friend and editor, I was equally excited about what was to come. He was struck down far too young in life and was approaching the epitome of his return to his life as working artist. I now have well known artists Tommy Castillo and former Hildebrandt apprentice, and fine arts instructor, Mark Romanoski doing a special tribute cover in Frank's honor. If you want to see Frank's last published book it's at our company website www.scaretactixgraphix.com

Again, I am heartbroken as are a lot of you.

But for me, Frank was the guy I could call at 2am and talk, joke and figure out about the day to day problems of the company, talk about life and the philosophy of humankind. Frank was all bout that too. He was adamant about always doing the right thing. He was exactly what he said and exactly about what he would do. Honor above all was Frank Turner.

Thanks for letting me post and believe me, Frank would be happy to know that he had people out there who respected and cared about him. Aplogies for some of the mis-pells in the previous post as i was having problems with the blog viewer and am still pretty broken up about Frank.

Eric Orchard said...

Thanks for sharing this. It's truly terrible to hear about this.

Urban Barbarian said...

Hi Mitch,
Thanks for the post. I was happy to check out his work on your site and happier still that his last works will be published.
Like you, I'm at a loss of what to say. Thanks again for the update.

Anonymous said...

I'm Bill Marimon and like Dan I've known Frank for years. Dan and Mitch gave as accurate a description of Frank than I could ever come up with but I will add that Frank was one of the most underated artist in the Comics industry and I am not ashamed to admit that I thought his work was head and shoulders above mine.
I'm going to miss Frank as a friend a confidant
and an all round great person to be around and chat with.
Good bye Frank, I hope that you knew that you had friends that cared for and loved you.

Anonymous said...

My name is Gregg Kendrick. Frank Turner was a dear friend for the last 30 years. I met him at Ramsay High School in Birmingham, AL in 1978. Being a comic book collector, I was instantly drawn to his work that was in the art class. Frank was an admirer of John Buscema and his early work reflected that. The first time I met him, he was drawing and I was suddenly perched over his shoulder. I was blown away by his work. Frank and I were instant friends. Him the artist and me the fan. He often drew in art class with me watching in awe of his talent.
Years later I helped script the first issue of his comic Probe. I'm not sure he needed any help. I'm sure he didn't actually. He knew I wanted to write comics and he let me be involved. That was who he was. A friend didn't that have a selfish bone in his body. He was doing his dream book, his creation, and he let me be a part of it. Later we would do 3 issues of a comic called Retrograde for Eternity. I always treasured the chance to do a comic with a friend who had such ability.
My friendship with Frank led me to meet a friend of his named Craig Brasfield. Craig was also an extremely talented artist and we became a trio of sorts. Our mutual love of comics and desire to work in the field helped us grow a bond that eventually became brotherhood. Frank and Craig weren't friends, they were family.
Frank was with me through the greatest and saddest moments of my life. A groomsman at my wedding. A shoulder to lean on when my dad had a heartattck. A support for my wife and I when we suffered a miscarriage. An advisor and loving Uncle when we adopted our baby girl. In the truest meaning of the word, he was my friend.
Tomorrow Craig and I will meet at Frank's apartment and we will see his family. We will smile at the joy Frank brought to our lives. We will cry at a loss we honestly haven't come close to understanding or accepting. We will hold a memorial service on Friday. We will honor the memory of a friend, father, brother and a kind, gentle man we were blessed to have in our lives.
Frank, I love you my friend. You will be missed more than I know how to say. I thank God he let me have you in my life for 30 years.

Anonymous said...

Mitch Hyman again. Can either Gregg or Craig please write me at bubbawolf@hotmail.com to see if we can all do something to get frank's last work published please. Bill Marimon and I want to do him this final honor. Thanks to you all.

Anonymous said...

I am Daphne Kendrick and I have had the honor or knowing Frank for 25 years. I am not gifted with words, but even if I were I do not believe I could begin to describe an accurate image of Frank. Did he live by his word? Yes. Could you count on him? Without a doubt, No matter the circumstance, the hour, or the inconvenience. Did he offer counsel to those he loved? More so than I as a psychiatric therapist could ever begin to offer. Was he a great friend? No one could ever doubt it, even if you wronged him, he would still be right there for you. Did he go through a time of disillusionment? Yes, but it only, in the end, made him the strongest man I ever knew. Never once in 25 years did he tell me he did not have time for me. Never once, did he act anything but the epitome of a gentleman. Never once, did he forget to ask about me, my family, or my other friends when I saw him. Empathetic, sympathetic, honest, honorabe, trustworthy, quirky, reliable these are the words I think of when I think of him.
My Frankie T (which was my name for him for the last 25 years) was someone I called and spoke to throughout the night on several occasions. He possessed a calm spirit that permeated every part of his life. He had some trying times in his life that I was honored to have him share with me, but no matter the circumstances he was not bitter but these events only strenghtened his character.
Many aspects of our background were similar and offered us a unique bond that we built upon through the years. A bond that will never be severed!
As I sit hear now, I ache for one of those, lift me off the ground, bear hugs with a "How are you Little Lady" and a kiss thrown in. I miss sharing Thanksgiving. I miss not having him see my darling Alexa grow up after he has held me while my heart broke during 10 years of trying to have a child. But I find comfort in knowing that I will see him again. And, comfort that the world is a more beautiful place because he lived. I find comfort in knowing how one person can touch so many.
Though I will never get the whole Monty Python thing, I will always love you, My Frankie T.

Daphne

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Gregg and Craig...We have the files needed to get Frank's last work out. Bill Marimon and myself (Mitch)are going do everything that needs to be done to make sure the pages he did come out looking their absolute best. I'll keep in contact with Greg and the others who have written to Bill and myself,to make sure they get copies of the book when it comes out. Again, Frank was a man beyond measure and became truly the man who loved as much as he was loved. As he always said to me, I re-iterate to all of you..."Take care and be good, now."

Frank you were best of all.

Urban Barbarian said...

It's so nice to see people come in and give insight into Frank's life. The man made a tremendous impact on so many lives and I consider myself blessed that I knew such a person.

Anonymous said...

Well, if there's been a sorrier week in this life, it's not coming to mind. After learning of my brother's sudden death (we had different parents, but were brothers in every IMPORTANT way), the next 3 days were spent in his home, dredging thru the remnants of his life, preparing for the arrival of his kids. Who among us could withstand such intimate scrutiny? Well, I learned some new things about the man definitely, but my respect & love for Frank Turner, flaws & all, has only grown.
I'm Craig Brasfield and it is one of my proudest accomplishments in life to have shared comic credits with Frank. I see our names together in a Marvel comic and I'm a giddy, idealistic 16-yr old again, ready to set the world on fire.
Frank's horrible passing needed some reaction, so I wrote something for his memorial service held earlier today. It's pretentious and sappy, 2 words never applicable to Mr. Turner, but if you look pass that, perhaps you'll get a glimpse of a great & loved man.

Frank, in loving memory --

In the tapestry of our lives, we’re surrounded by our loved ones. They give us their light & their warmth, and help us define who we are. A single loss leaves a hole, a vacuum that pain & grief rush in to fill. Frank Turner was a larger-than-life man, and, to those fortunate enough to know & love him, his passing creates a suitably sizable emptiness.

We would never be prepared for Frank to leave us, but this is inarguably way too soon. He had too much he still dreamed to do, too many ideas unexplored, too many lives still untouched, too much left for him to learn, & far, far too many stories to tell.

Disappointed in humanity’s faults & frailties, Frank looked beyond reality for worlds that made more sense, where good ultimately triumphed, where the strong protected the weak, where justice flourished, and where truth counted above all else. He felt a kinship with our fictional heroes, wanted to live in those imaginary worlds, and put pencil to paper with the goal of assisting their creation.

Contrary to popular belief, our Frank wasn’t really an artist. He was a storyteller and everything he drew had a story to it. You can see it there leaping off the paper. He had no interest in drawing bowls of fruit, painting mountains & babbling brooks, or trying to impress anyone with abstracts or ‘artistic statement.’ He had little interest in depicting anything from OUR world. Luckily, he had worlds of his own; lands that he controlled, entire universes created whole cloth from the energies of his imagination. That’s where Frank Turner truly lived. If you were lucky enough to see him creating, to see him dreaming, then you glimpsed the real Frank. In those make-believe lands, he was the poet Homer spinning his epic Odyssey & JM Barrie sailing on a pirate ship to Never-Land. He was Robert E Howard pitting his barbarian Conan against a monstrous serpent-demon & he was George Lucas capturing the essence of evil in Darth Vader. And most of all he was Gene Roddenberry exploring strange new worlds with Kirk and Spock.

The more you got to know Frank, if you were lucky enough for him to allow you to get that close, the more you grew to realize that he didn’t really BELONG on this earth. He saw wrongs go unpunished, lies & deceit encouraged, & his deepest values weren’t really that highly valued. These discrepancies troubled & confounded him & his faith in mankind frequently suffered. These injustices often affected him directly & those times saw his mood darken as he realized just how imperfect this mortal world is. Who can’t envy his ability to retreat back into that fertile imagination where the rules are fair, where everything makes sense, & where all great things are possible. That’s where Frank Turner truly lived. That’s where he lives now. And that’s where we can go visit him any time we want.

I miss ya, man, and having a big plate of brownies with a giant glass of milk just for you.

Anonymous said...

Before saying goodbye to this sad day, I wanted to add a few words to my husband Craig’s beautiful tribute to Frankie. I came along some 20 years ago, significant time but nothing compared to the years Craig, Gregg, and Daphne had with this gentle spirit. Frank was one of the most unique, caring souls I have ever encountered. His presence in a room could not go unnoticed -- a strong energy surrounded you, leaving you with a feeling of peace and contentment. I have so many memories I could share of comic book conventions, of holidays, and special occasions, but I have one I have chosen to share tonight. Back when Frank was working in LA at Sony Animation, I was working for the Arthritis Foundation in Atlanta as the lead for juvenile arthritis programs and services. We had a conference in California and Frank agreed to co-chair a workshop on animation with Craig for the kids. It can be hard to see children hurting, struggling to walk, and play. But I can still see Craig and Frank with the children crawling all over them, excited to see their art, and to see and touch REAL comic book artists. Their smiles lightened my heart and the parents of the children were so very thankful. I saw a quote in one of Frank’s journals written by a young girl with chronic disease and it read: Pain is inevitable, suffering with it is optional. Today, I feel pain at the loss of my beautiful friend Frank but choose not to suffer. I am at peace knowing my life was made richer through my experiences with Frank. He was indeed one of a kind. And although I am at peace (or pretending to be so), he promised me we would grow old together, so I am not happy with him right now. It is the first promise I’ve ever known him to break. Janet

Linton Joseph said...

Sorry to hear about your friend it's always hard to loose someone like that feels like piece of you just disappeared all the best and RIP Frank Turner

Urban Barbarian said...

Man, I loved that Retrograde book. I still have a page or two from Frank. I'll have to take another look at those.

Anonymous said...

Dan, thanks so much for giving this page to Frank. I've swiped your photo up top for my Facebook space if that's alright.
He always took a bit of pride in your success & your friendship (& all his art & non-art friends)were immeasurably important to him. Your work is amazing & I may be imagining it, but I see a touch of Turner around the edges there. Continued success!
Thanks, bud~
Craig

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dan, for providing a place where we can express our love and affection for Frank. I barely knew Frank, but I can say he has had the biggest impact on my life that any one person ever had. Frank is the reason I live in Los Angeles and not in Birmingham. I will forever be grateful for his help and friendship to my husband. Frank helped him get his first job in California. When my husband was in California and it was our Daughter's birthday, Frank flew across country with a big purple doodle bear to give to her from her dad. Frank was a magnificent man. There are a lot of people out here in California who are deeply missing him. For his Family, Friends, and Fans, we also share your loss as the shock-wave of his passing ripples through our lives and the animation world. We will forever think of Frank and be thankful for the way he touched our lives.

-Mary Tidwell

Urban Barbarian said...

It's very heart warming to know just how many lives Frank touched and with such impact. I really appreciate hearing the story and sentiments. To those who knew him he will never be forgotten.

deedeewilson said...

frank my suoerhero, my brother. I love you and miss you. I thank all of you for such inspirational words and glad to know he menat a lot to alot of people.

deedeewilson said...

Wow. I am so pleased to know that my brother was so loved and appreciated by so many people. I've had the pleasure of knowing frank longer than any of you guys because he is my brother. My personal superhero. i am deeply hurt that frank had to go so suddenly and unknowingly. My brother was ahero to me and I have always tried to keep up with him. Even though he was distant, he was still close in heart. I had a dream of Frank and i approached him at one of the previous nightclubs he used to work in, and he put his hand on my shoulder and told me he was never mad at me directly, but that he had chosen to live the way he did. I had just called the cab company monday night because it seemed so urgent that I talk to him, not knowing he was already gone. But I guess the dream was preparing me for the loss and telling me to be at peace and that he was at peace. It hurt me so bad as well as my mother when we got that call Wednesday night. But God's got him and I want to thank Craig and Gregg as well as their wives for everything. He was the reason I loved Spiderman, Hulk, and all the other superheros as well as Star Trek. The little things I will remember even more like when we were at Madear's and he would tell me to rinse the dishes in warm water, and squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom. I remember as a little girl seeing him on the Good Morning America show for his magazine Probe and watching the cartoon Project G.E.E.K.E.R.S. I love my brother and I went home and watched my wedding tape where he attende and we were walking along the grass together and mI cried and cried.I also cried at all the wonderful comments posted on the blog and Craig and Gregg please be sure to contact me anytime on any new publishings. Again thanks and the comic world lost one of the best and I lost one of the best heroes and an even greater brother. His sister,
DeeDEE

Urban Barbarian said...

Thank you DeeDee for the sentiments and insight. Your brother was very loved and admired.

Anonymous said...

frank wuz my older bro.,a pillar of stone n a world of straw structurez.he wuz da 1st among equalz & true 2 hiz own idealz & moralz.I am hiz baby brother KHOMIENI,an artist taught by him n my earliest yearz.i thank u all 4 ur luv & recognition of my bro's work & life.let us keep him n that immortal state thru hiz art & way of life dat wuz so similar 2 heroez of old...WE LOVE U & WILL MISS U DEARLY BRO......ETERNAL205

Urban Barbarian said...

He was a pillar of stone. Frank was a mighty man, indeed!

Marcelo Vignali said...

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

Artists that help other artists are a special gem, whose experiences and and teachings can't be replaced. We just learn to go on without them, like loosing a limb.

I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

Frank was always bigger than life to me. When I was a little girl, I would look up at him in awe! He was such a giant to a 7 year old! As I got older, I would run into him at various family functions with my sister Daphne and my brother-in-law Greg and I was still in awe....he was still a giant! He always gave me those big bear hugs when he saw me and that smile!!!! It absolutely melts your heart! When Frank hugged you, it felt like his beautiful, peaceful soul reached inside and hugged yours. THAT's how it felt! I had just mentioned to my fiance a few weeks before that he had to meet Frank...how big he was, how gentle, how kind. Little did I know he would be taken away and my fiance Tim would miss out on meeting one of the most talented, honest and caring men on the planet. A man whom so many treasure in their hearts and bless the day they called him friend.
I didn't get to see him as much as I used to when I was younger and I regret that so much. He was always my big sister's and Greg's friend, but as I see from all of the comments, it wasn't strange at all why I felt such a kinship and closeness to him. That's the effect he had, you see. To know Frank, just to KNOW him, was to call him FRIEND. There are so few people you can say that about. My sister and Greg, Craig and his wife (if they still remember me from waaaay back) are such people. It is no wonder that they all found each other. What a true blessing it is to have known Frank.
May God bless and keep his family and close friends.
Frank....I'll see you again, but I'll miss you until then.
Maggie

Anonymous said...

I knew Frank through my children. He was one of the finest young men I ever knew. The talent, the light and the beauty within Frank will be missed.

Carla Martin-Wood

Sean said...

I'm very saddened to learn about Frank's passing. I meet Frank through my vaunts as a comic book convention promoter and store owner during the early 90s. He was always very kind to me and I enjoyed his company. He and Craig and would stop by the store for a book signing whenever I asked and they never asked for anything from me.

A few years after I sold the store we caught up after he moved back to Birmingham. Then we lost touch.

Thanks for being a part of my life Frank, even for the brief moments. My life is brighter for having known you.

Jakk said...

I am Danny Morris, of Yellow Cab. I just came upon this while searching for works done by my good friend Frank Turner. He was a very good guy. I often spoke to him about art. I never truly got to see what he did, since we normally talked out on the company lot, but he got to see mine. He was a great help with technique. He gave me some great tips. I had to hear about his death by one of my managers. It has been a while since his death, but he is truly missed.

If anyone wants to chat about the "old glory days", I would love to chat. Justjakk@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Thought you might like to know that we dedicated the Nosferatu: Plague of Terror TPB to Frank.

Check it out here.

http://www.amazon.com/Nosferatu-Plague-Terror-Mark-Ellis/dp/1449531423/ref=dp_return_1?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books

Urban Barbarian said...

That's a great idea. I'm sure he appreciates the dedication.

I still think about Frank all the time...

thoth said...

To all who battle cried in memory of my brother. May the spirit of all creation enhance all the lives, affiliated with the sentiments expressed on this page.Thank you all for assiting me personally to continue to walk in the spirit of symbiotic-mutualism,as experienced with the "GREATEST BROTHER". Our family thanks you.I shall bow to the wonderful sentiments expressed in all the comments posted. Sincerely,
Michael Turner

Urban Barbarian said...

Thanks for posting Michael. I come back to this page often and still have his comic books displayed on my old comic book spinning rack in my office. So pretty much every day I'm reminded of him.

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about Frank again the other day. I remember when he escorted me down the aisle at a wedding during a dark and terrible time of my life. I remember how he made me feel stronger just having him to lean on. He was a marvelous person who brought light into every life he touched -- he still is. Carla Martin-Wood

Urban Barbarian said...

I'm glad he was there for you Carla! I think about him every day. Always makes me smile.

Misty Yager said...

It's really sad to here about Franks passing. I knew him years a go when he was a Brighton police officer. I was 14 then And he would sit and draw his first comics and show them to me. I called him Robo cop. He was such a wonderful man!!!

Anonymous said...

I knew Frank - I crashed at his apartment more often than I did not. I saw his last artwork up close and personal... although amazing and talented, most people fail to remember he had free art classes 3 times a week in his living room for underprivileged children or some who were "under parented." That, more than anything else, speaks volumes of how much Frank loved his work... so much that he wanted others to be able to be free through expression - like him! RIP Frank - You are truly missed.

Liana

Urban Barbarian said...

Thanks Liana for sharing that story about his free art lessons. I was just thinking about him yesterday.

Anonymous said...

my next to oldest brother... didnt have a chance to see this GREAT MAN since 1991.... God how i miss this guy. a TRUE gentle giant...
i could tell people of some great moments in life ill never forget, but most importantly,his love was unmeasurable..
I LOVE AND MISS YOU BIG BROTHER. MY HEART WILL ALWAYS BE PAINED BY THIS LOSS.

Oscar Solis said...

I know this is several years later, but I was saddened to hear about Frank's passing. I met Frank in 1997 when we were storyboarding a film. In those seven weeks I came to see that he was a kind and gracious person as well as extremely self confident. I wish I'd stayed in touch but I was new to the business and, well, sometimes on films you move on to the next project and lose touch. I didn't know yet about networking. I remember our agent wanted us to hand in samples to get on an upcoming film. I was taking a while to get mine in and Frank asked me what the hold up was. I said I was working on them. "We don't want to break up the team." he said which meant Frank, another storyboard artist, Ed Cook and myself. It was great to hear that.

Frank once told mentioned that all of life's lessons could be learned through watching the original Star Trek. I thought about it and decided he was right.

I didn't know him as long as everyone here did but I never forgot him and having read all the wonderful memories how could anyone.

Urban Barbarian said...

Thanks Oscar! Love hearing Frank stories. He was a principled man with a great heart. Still miss him and thank him for helping me out...!