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07/31/04: Two articles in the latest issue of Comics Buyer's Guide are about the passing of a couple of people that I had been a fan of many years ago, but haven't really thought about much lately. For some reason, I'm feeling a little guilty about that.

First I read that Kate Worley passed away June 6th. She was best known as the writer of Omaha, The Cat Dancer, an adults-only comic book that Stephanie and I were big fans of. I don't remember how she started reading it (possibly by reading Chris' copies) but I know it was early in our relationship. It was one of the first (and few) titles that Stephie really read and enjoyed, and I think we grew a lot closer because I was able to share my interest in comics with her.
The book came out fairly regularly for several years, but then the time between issues seemed to be growing, and it eventually stopped. There was a time when Reed Waller, Kate's then-husband and collaborator, had been diagnosed with cancer, which put the book on hiatus. In fact, we met them at a convention shortly after a couple benefit comics were put out, and he was recovered enough to travel and to resume working on the comic. They signed some comics and were very friendly to the fans waiting to see them.
We lost track of the book, and now I read that they had a rather acrimonious breakup years ago, and only recently started talking again. The article in last month's CBG said that they had started work on some new material to try to conclude the Omaha story when her cancer, that they thought was gone, had come back. It was a little shocking to read that she was resuming therapy, then putting her name in Google and seeing all the death notices. As I said, I hadn't thought about her, or Omaha for that matter, in years, and for some reason I feel bad about that.

Then, the next article says that Rex Miller passed away on May 21. My first contact with Rex Miller was through an ad in CBG, when he was dealing collectibles under the business name of "Rex Miller Supermantiques". I can't remember if I sent away for his catalog, or placed an order first, but I loved looking through his catalog. It was a thick newsprint magazine with page after page of photocopied pictures of all kinds of collectibles that I had never dreamed existed. Stuff from the early days of comics was mixed in with stuff from movie serials, B-movies, comic strips. You name it, he probably had it. He's the guy that I bought my first copy of the 1940 Shadow serial from. I paid an arm and a leg for a third- or fourth-generation VHS copy, but it was the only place to find it at the time, and I loved every minute of the three tapes it came on.
I bought several tapes from him in subsequent years, and the catalogs were always fun to read. I should scan some of them in and put them up here. One day, an article in CBG said that he had written a couple novels that were about to be published. I picked up the first one, Slob, and loved it! It was like a cross between a detective pulp and a slasher film. It was supposed to be the first of a half-dozen books featuring the detective in the story, but the bad guy got all the praise. He even starred in a short-lived comic series.
When I would order things from his catalog, I would call the number listed, and I think it was his home. Once, shortly after the first book came out, I mentioned to him that I read it, and he asked me how I liked it. It lead to a nice discussion about some of the plot points in the book, and why he did some things the way he did, and he really seemed interested in my opinion.
Over the years, I lost track of him, as I did with the Omaha comic. I had trouble finding the last couple books in the series, and he stopped advertising in CBG, so I assumed he was writing full time and gave up the collectible business.
A couple years ago, I was on the 'net and I thought I'd see if I could find any information about him. I found out that several people were looking for him, and one finally found him living in a nursing home in St. Louis after a debilitating stroke. I briefly thought that I would send him a card, thanking him for the entertainment his novels and catalogs had given me, but it seemed, from what I read, that he was in pretty bad shape and I didn't know if he would ever get the message, so I never sent it. Apparently, he had another stroke recently and passed away.

I don't know why this news is lingering with me. Is it because I was a fan and just drifted away? Is it that I could have sent a card or something, but didn't? Is it because two of the people who entertained me as a young adult left us around the same time? I dunno, but I think I'm going to send that letter that I've been meaning to write to Will Eisner while he's still around to receive it.

07/17/04: Tonight: Molly Hatchet at Brookfest. 'Nuff Said!

07/10/04: What's this crazy dog doing? To be honest, we haven't the faintest idea. Sometimes when Stephie and I are occupied late at night, we lose track of Kisu. When we go looking for her, we often find her on the floor, at the foot of the bed, with just her head under the bed. During the day, she lays on the bed. When we go to bed, she's usually under the bed. What the deal is here is anyone's guess!

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