Man-Size (man_size) wrote,
Man-Size
man_size

The day Seth Kushner died

Hang Dai Studio mates, Seth Kushner and Christa Cassano are/were the two people I sent my comix art to every time I completed a page. I counted on them to weigh in on what I had done. In a way, when they were happy with what I did, I felt it was "published" months ahead from actual publication. I used to have this same arrangement with Josh Neufeld in the 1990's. Only, instead of email, we used a Fax machine.

Anyway, Seth and I (and a few others) were/are developing a Brooklyn Comix anthology that would incorporate four major characters into one book, including Seth & Shamus Beyale's The Brooklynite, and my very own, The Red Hook. For the pitch package, I decided to add a two-page addendum to my Red Hook portion of the project, expanding a four-page comic into six. I wrote the additional script and Seth approved it a month or so ago. The week before Seth passed away, I decided to draw those two extra pages. I finished the first one on Friday and emailed it to Seth. He loved it. Always encouraging. I finished the line art for the second page on Saturday and was lettering and coloring it on Sunday at Hang Dai Studios when I received the news, early afternoon, that Seth was no longer with us. Dealing with hard feelings, I was locked into finishing that damned page in honor of Seth, knowing he would never see it. Knowing he would never be able to comment and give me that much coveted high-five I must have relied on a thousand times. I sat and cried and worked on that page all day Sunday, glancing at Seth's empty blue desk just a feet from my art table while staring at that Lion-headed Superman painting that hung above his desk, representing Seth and his brave battle with Cancer. I finished that damned page and cried the roar of a thousand lions.

When I looked up and saw what I had finished, I was taken aback. I was the proverbial deer in headlights, working on that page all day with Seth in my heart, trying to cope with the loss of one of my best friends. And, hidden there, inside the comic was a profound message, a spiritual guide lending me a hand to help start a life where Seth is no longer in front of me but, instead, all around me. All around us. Forever.

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