Just a few days in the past, posts began appearing on social media reporting the dying of cartoonist Michael Dougan, a longtime presence on the Seattle scene who had moved to Japan in recent times. A much-loved contributor to anthologies corresponding to Weirdo and Actual Stuff, along with the solo books East Texas: Tales from Behind the Pine Curtain (Actual Comet Press, 1988) and I Cannot Inform You Something and Different Tales (Penguin, 1993), Dougan will probably be vastly missed. Under, Fantagraphics VP/Affiliate Writer Eric Reynolds presents his reminiscences of Michael Dougan.
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I used to be (and am) shocked to listen to of the passing of my good friend, the cartoonist Michael Dougan. He was an ideal man, and a superb author and cartoonist. I first met him within the early Nineteen Nineties – he was the primary skilled cartoonist I ever knew who rented his personal studio house outdoors of the place he lived (in a historic constructing on Seattle’s previous Ballard Ave., no much less)! He was additionally sensible, charming, humorous, and handsome – a real inkstud! (He was even acknowledged in Peter Bagge’s and Helena Harvilicz’s Nineteen Nineties fanzine, I Like Comics, as one among comics’ most eligible bachelors.) Michael was so well-rounded; he was at occasions a cartoonist, a newspaperman, a barista, a restauranteur, a television author, and an ideal conversationalist, to call a number of. His work shouldn’t be as well-remembered accurately, though his finest e book, I Cannot Inform You Something, was launched by Penguin in 1993 and nonetheless holds up as a number of the finest autobiographical work of its period. A part of Michael’s obscurity is as a result of in 2006 a fireplace destroyed his home in Seattle, taking all of his artwork and archives—and in some methods his comics profession—with it. He appeared to course of what was a cartoonist’s Worst Case Situation higher than most may have, nevertheless it additionally appeared to gasoline a need to maneuver ahead relatively than look backward. He spent a few years in LA writing for tv. At any time when I introduced up doing a set of his work, he was however in the end dismissed it as being an excessive amount of of an “epic endeavor” to seek out the time for. I remorse not pushing him more durable, however when he and his spouse Chizuko moved to Tōno, Japan, circa 2018, and opened a espresso roasting enterprise and café, we agreed to desk the dialog till he felt extra grounded over there. Sadly, the pandemic began, and we misplaced contact over the following three or 4 years. Just some weeks in the past, although, my household and I visited Japan for the primary time, and Michael had been on my thoughts as we prepped. I knew we would not be anyplace close to the place he lived, however I reached out to him on Fb in late November to let him know I used to be considering of him and wished we may meet up. He did not reply, and I simply figured he was busy and that I might hear again from him ultimately. However now I understand that we had all the time communicated through e-mail earlier than this, and I am kicking myself for utilizing Fb regardless of neither of us being too lively on it, as a result of I feel it disadvantaged me of listening to from him one final time.
In 2003, I used to be proud to have been immortalized by Michael, together with Gary Groth and Jim Blanchard, on this autobiographic strip for the Seattle Weekly (later republished in Fantagraphics’ personal Comics As Artwork: We Instructed You So). I am the longhair within the strip. Yeah, I do know, totally different occasions, however what an ideal reminiscence. R.I.P., Michael.