I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
For those unfamiliar with comics, or Michael Turner, he was a superstar: his art was slick, amazing, and he had legions of fans. He was also diagnosed with cancer, although I didn't realize that Michael's father also had cancer. (His father passed away. I didn't realize that while they both had cancer, they were living together, and talking about their experiences. Michael himself died of cancer in 2008.) This is important because this story, the one that brought Michael back to drawing, is about father and sons - and was written, from what I understand, after his father died. Michael is a co-writer on this story, although he's just written some of the stories completely, as well.
Some artists try to write and, well, fail. I had some issues at the beginning, including what felt like a bit of stilted dialogue. More than that, the fact that one scene was told over again three times to give three different points of views quickly annoyed me. I get what he was doing, but repeating the dialogue three times, and then doing it again and again throughout the issues, was a bit much. Luckily for me, that was dropped, and to Turner's credit, the world he creates is rich, full of political turmoil, coups, and familial bonds - or bonds of honor - that test the limits of what people will do for those they love. One story arc was pure fun, just skewering the Moby Dick type obsession.
Turner has writing chops. He has ideas, and I feel like the issues at the beginning were just a learning curve. And quite frankly, even with the faults - both in the writing, and the few and far between panels that were slightly off - this fully engaged me. It's thoughtful, as well as fun, and that's a lot more than some pencilers end up doing with their creations.
Turner was taken from us too young. If you want reading material and to support the Prevent Cancer Foundation, by the way, the Michael Turner comixology bundle is still going on and part of the proceeds go Prevent Cancer. One of the things I love so much about Humble Bundle is that they allow the people they team up with to choose the charities. (And yes, you can add on your own if you want. I tend to go with whatever the creators choose, but then again, I've yet to see a charity that I don't find a noble cause, and thus have even stopped checking and just throwing them my money. Each time, I go back to sheepishly check out what I'm supporting and do a little fist pump that it's a good cause.) Of course, Aspen Comics is Turner's baby: Aspen Matthews is the name of the main character in Fathom, and the comic company was named after her. (And Aspen's website has coloring books of Turner's art! Wants! Waaaants!) Aspen comics was founded by Turner. When he died, they put out a tribute to him with artwork and stories by people who knew him from the industry. They also would, of course, choose a charity like Prevent Cancer to honor their founder.
I've been having trouble being fully engaged in reading, because tired all the time and depressed. This is not only breaking that, but it's cheering me up in the process. It's bittersweet because there will be no more work from Turner, but being engaged in this is making me feel better. From everything I've read so far, Turner was not only grateful for his fans, but compassionate. He sounds amazing, and I think he'd not only be happy to have someone reading more of his work, but he'd be humbled that it was helping them through a tough time.
We need more artists like Turner, not just on a talent level, but with that level of kindness.