Most people involved in the indie comics scene knows by now of the passing of Dylan Williams on Saturday. Like many people, I learned about it Saturday night at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD. It hit those of us who knew him really hard, even those like me who only had the good fortune of a handful of encounters. Dylan's death is devastating to those of us who knew him, even more painful for those who were close to him, and is felt by those who have read, enjoyed and been influenced by the comics he facilitated for the past two decades.
But Dylan lives in every resourceful zinester who wants to take publishing into their own hand.
Dylan lives in the disembodied laughter you hear coming from the din in the spaces -large or small- that for a weekend host an indie comics convention.
Dylan lives in the cartoonist who is better at promoting their friends' comics than their own.
Dylan lives in the pages of comics put out by publishers he'd humbly call his peers, who in turn would call him a role model.
Dylan lives in the electric pride felt in the applause at the Ignatz award when we celebrate one of our own for their outstanding work.
Dylan lives in the packages mailed out by distros who -if they were doing it for money- would have stopped a long while ago.
Dylan lives in every trade made between two self-publishers.
Dylan lives in the satisfying moment when you close the back cover of a comic book and think to yourself, "that was really good."
That is how I will remember Dylan, who I jump at the chance to call a friend, an inspiration and a role model. The pain of his passing will last a long time. The love he had for comics, its creators and its community will far out last that pain.
Dylan's family still needs help paying for medical bills and now, his funeral. Consider supporting Dylan by buying some fantastic comics. For more reflections on Dylan's life and passing, visit the Comics Reporter's Collective Memory page.
You are missed, Dylan.