Guest Contributor Caleb Goellner contributed to this story.
It's a somber place at the Aspen booth at WizardWorld Chicago. Having lost their friend Michael Turner, artists have decided to draw Turner's characters for fans in his honor. While doing this, they're also collecting money for Turner's charities.
David Finch, artist on upcoming "Ultimate Ultimatum"
"I've known Mike since the beginning of his career... I remember him walking in the door on day one... he started two months after me and he blew all of us away. He changed Top Cow forever, and he changed all of our careers. On a personal level, he was a great guy who was friendly with everyone. He was always supportive of all of us. He's been fighting cancer for 8 years... he was always strong and he never complained. ...He always had time for everyone, he never walked away from a signing. (This convention hasn't been ruined for me) because we were all together when we found out. That made it easier. We knew he was deteriorating (takes a moment to choke back tears)... it was easier finding out last night with everyone, then having to find out by a phone call."
Ale Garza, current "Fathom" artist
"The industry has lost an icon. So few artists have come into the industry and accomplished and done what Mike did. Especially in the short amount of time that he was here with us. I just think it's a huge loss...It's amazing to think of all that he was going through that he still managed to (put his effort into comics). It's just mind baffling. I'm kind of speechless...As far as Fathom goes and Aspen as a whole, all I can say is that I'm going to do my best to stay true to his vision and keep his characters alive and keep him alive in all of us...He'll always be there in comics and he'll never be forgotten."
Francis Manapaul, "Witchblade" artist
"What can you say about Mike? He was a really great guy and having been at Top Cow for a long time back in the day, he was kind of like a big brother to a lot of us here that were coming into the industry...He was just a really good guy. I have so many memories of just hanging out at conventions, all of the trips we've gone on - like when we were in Australia and New Zealand, and even little things like just hanging out and playing poker in his room. I think it's just a great loss...The industry is definitely losing a really influential guy...there wasn't really a dry eye at the bar last night, and that just speaks a lot about Mike and how many people that care about him. He fought a really strong battle for eight years. He fought valiantly and it's just a great loss.
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