Williams became a force within the small press community through his creation of Sparkplug in 2002. A cartoonist himself (best known for his comic book series Reporter), Williams helped many cartoonists who might otherwise have trouble getting published, including folks like Chris Wright, Dave Kiersh, Edie Fake and Jason Shiga. Sparkplug and Williams very quickly became known as one of the more prominent indie comics publishers. As fellow Robot 6er Sean Collins noted, “he had an eye for really sharp writing that you don’t see in other artcomics publishers.”
I never had the opportunity to get to know Williams well, but he always struck me in our brief meetings and conversations as a warm, genial person who cared fiercely about the medium and the cartoonists he championed.
As Tom Spurgeon notes, there may well be outstanding medical bills and other costs Williams’ estate might have to face, so let me encourage everyone to please take a moment to purchase something from the Sparkplug store (I made a few recommendations here the other week). Similarly, a benefit auction enacted to help Williams with his medical costs is still ongoing and will be continued over the coming months.
Everyone at Robot 6 would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Williams’ family members and friends. This is a deeply felt loss and he will be missed for many, many years to come.