Tuesday, February 16, 2010

R.I.P. Charlie Burgoon

R.I.P. Charlie Burgoon - passed away at approximately 4pm EST February 14th 2010.

Charlie was one of my good friends and a great cartoonist who was just like my other friends except he had shitty hand dealt to him from the start.

In no particular order or importance I'll list off some key points about Charlie Burgoon.

red hair
big sneakers
fan of Jimi Hendrix, Ben Harper, Dick Dale, White Stripes, Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Slint, Spit for Athena, Mudhoney, Guitar Wolf, Blanche, Iron & Wine, Nine Inch Nails, Tom Waits and so many other musicians. I'd be here all day.
not a fan of: electronic music

we went to see Guitar Wolf in Detroit and it rocked balls
collector of: comics, music, movies, tiki-art, concerts,
loved and related most to Frankenstein's monster
hated cops
hockey fan
detroit fan
dog lover
father died of dementia
smart as hell
loved to eat cheese burgers from old diners
enjoyed tripping on mushrooms
loved his family
thought people were idiots
drove fast
didn't want pity
knew you were staring
could pretty much do anything I could do
hated pain medication
loved comics by: Pete Bagge, Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns, Jack Kirby, Wally Wood, Bernie Wrightson, and many more
favorite fine artist was Vincent Van Gogh
really enjoyed Las Vegas
loved getting drunk
farted a bunch
never wanted to be an inspiration to others

he won a contest I held for illustrating the cover of the ANT. (Obviously his biggest achievement. No, but it's how we ended up meeting. The ANT was a digest sized comic that I self-published in the '90's. He was one of the 10 people who submitted cover art for the 6th issue and his fit the tone of the comic the best, so it won. I offered the winners a special copy of the issue they did the cover for (which was just the comic printed on red paper and signed), a t-shirt, a poster and $5! The 6th issue had a release party for it during the middle of the afternoon at the Ink and Paper Place, which was a local comic book, collectible, and periodical shop in Coldwater. It was run by Mike and Gloria Lott and they let me set up a table and have a release party there. That afternoon I met Charlie for the first time when he came to claim his prize. He and I knew of each other because we were the only two mini-comic creators in town. He was doing Odd at the time while I was doing the ANT. We instantly connected when he heard I was listening to Dick Dale and the Del-tones on a stereo I brought in with me. We talked about comics and music and movies for the rest of our friendship.)

Oh yeah he had a horrible skin disease (for 40 years he suffered from a rare skin disease called Epidermolysis bullosa. This disease is one of the more horrible things for a human to deal with. The skin is not bonded well to the rest of the body. This means any sort of friction or bumps or anything done to the skin can cause blisters or tears. There are levels of severity with this disease and Charlie had it as sever as anyone can. He wasn't disabled by it though. He did everything that you or I did. Drove, worked, lived on his own, paid bills, ate, drank, shit and fucked. He felt pain over his entire body from having sores and blisters being created and healing at the same time constantly. This did not make him a cripple or anymore disadvantaged as you or I. He never wanted people to use his life story as a means to motivate themselves. He didn't want to be the person you thought about and said, "what am I complaining about, that guy lives in constant pain and still does stuff". His will power was a mystery and that will always fascinate me.

Check out the Monsterhead Books Quasioctix and Reclusives that he and I did together as well as the blog for Monsterhead Books.

As soon as I get my hands on more of his work I'll be posting full comics and other art for all to enjoy. Artworks above and below are all created by Charlie Burgoon.
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