I'd thought I'd never write those words. My Mentor and My Friend, Dick Giordano, passed away today. I feel like my father just died.I was Dick's assistant from 1989-1995. I learned so much from him, I can't even begin to tell you. He was always giving me constructive criticism about my work. He made it easy to always want to improve my work, and I guess a little bit to please him too. And he always took time to explain why things didn't work with the art and always told you how to improve it. If I got lazy with something and rushed thru it, he knew. He'd tell me about it,but not it a mean way. He'd say, "You weren't thinking here Tom. You took a shortcut and I know you can do better." He was right,there was no fooling him.He was always the consummate professional.His main talk to me was always about the way to approach each job. "Think it thru." he'd always say. He was always saying to think about what you were doing and not only would you be able to do more, you'd be able to do a better job.Taught me not only the ins and outs of inking comics, but being an artist in general. He told me that you're not just an inker, you're an artist. You bring as much talent to the job and the guy who penciled it.And even though you are inking a job, you are there to enhance but not overpower the other person's art.It was a fine line,but the better you were at the balance, the more work would come your way.And be professional about all of it.He always had answer for any of my questions.Sometimes it seemed he knew what I was gonna ask. He never ceased to amaze me.
As a friend, I couldn't have gotten any better. Made me feel welcome in his home, invited me to parties he had and even sent flowers when my Mom passed away. When I went to the same cons he did, he took time to introduce me to the legends of the comic industry. People like Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Neal Adams, Gil Kane (who we had breakfast with), Paul Levitz,George Perez, Marv Wolfman, Roy Thomas, and so on.That was at the cons. At his house, it was people like Josef Rubinstein, Terry Austin, Bob Wiacek, Bob Smith, Jerry Ordway,Klaus Jansen,and probably some I'm forgetting due to my memory, please don't be mad.
I'd also like to mention a special person in PAT BASTIENNE. She was always there and I feel, very under appreciated for her contributions. She was like Dick's right arm,that's how closely they worked together.She would always make me feel welcome, whether it was at the offices or at the house.She was always willing to listen too,and help me out with any advice she could give.She was always very gracious to me.
PAT, I'm very sorry for the loss of your very dear and very good friend.
So,tonite,I'm gonna have a Rob Roy on the Rocks,in memory of my friend Dick Giordano.
Salute Dick. Rest In Peace my friend.