If you have a nagging comic book question that you’d like to know the answer (or at least AN answer) to, just ask me, and I’ll see if I can’t answer it (and if I can’t, then hopefully I can find an expert on the subject who CAN). Sounds cool, right? Remember my e-mail contact info here. This fourth question concerns an older employee of Marvel Comics.
A reader wrote in to ask about John Verpoorten, and how exactly he died so young.
In case you do not know who John Verpoorten is, he was an inker for Marvel in the late 60s who ended up becoming the production manager of Marvel from 1970 until 1977, when he died at the young age of 37.
Verpoorten was a rather large man, which certainly helped contribute to his death, but it seems that perhaps his job played a part.
Paul Gulacy was interviewed by Jon B. Cooke in Comic Book Artist #7, and here is what Gulacy had to say about Verpoorten:
Oh, he was a wonderful man. It was really tragic what happened to him. I believe he had a heart attack while he was at his drawing table at home. He had a perforated ulcer is what happened there, and he bled to death internally. He was a huge guy. He was very compliant and helpful, courteous, always polite. He had a sense of humor, and was prompt; John had all the qualities of a guy you wanted to work for, all within an atmosphere of chaos. He had a very high-stress position, you know, and at the end, it took its toll on him. He and John Romita made me feel most comfortable when I first started out.
Bright has been working on his own Christian comic strip, Level Path, for quite awhile now, but he still does occasional mainstream comic book work. He just did some work for IDW on their Transformers line.
That’s it for this week!
Please feel feel free to send in any more questions you have wanted an answer to!
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