The last conversation I had with Martin was on Saturday afternoon (having not seen him much in the last couple of years) and from what he said I felt that he was spurred on to battle and suffer for the time he did because of his infinite gratitude for the support of so many people and his own vast enthusiasm and patience for others.
A few weeks before that he schooled me for a few hours about the history and culture of Japanese comics (to name but one of the many subjects he was an expert on) and rarely have I enjoyed a lesson so much (in spite of the circumstances). Thanks for the memories Martin.
― blueski, Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:55 (3 years ago) Permalink
Haven't posted here for many years, but hearing the news of Martin's passing, I wanted to leave a few words. I only met Martin a few times at London FAPs, but had some great (and intense!) conversations with him. I was 'new in town' at the time and the ILX posse made me feel instantly welcome, particularly Martin. He was such a refreshingly open and honest person to chat with, no matter what the subject matter - good or bad. Martin you were a good man and you will be missed by so many. Rest In Peace.
― Rob Bolton, Thursday, 28 July 2011 15:02 (3 years ago) Permalink
I think Martin would have been moved and astonished by all the affection he's inspired. I never found a way of telling him -- or anyway persuading him -- what a great writer he was, but I think he did get a sense of how very loved he was, over the last few days, with visitors to his bedside, and heartfelt best wishes pouring from colleagues old and new. Which I'm very glad about. Those who were close and saw him in recent weeks had sensed there was no good way out of this for a few months, perhaps, but even so we were taken by surprise at the sheer speed of these last few days, and how suddenly and vastly bereft we feel. Sleep well, Martin.
― mark s, Thursday, 28 July 2011 15:06 (3 years ago) Permalink
Such a huge part of ILX, and such a shock to hear about this. I don't know what to say except RIP. I always liked how genuine his enthusiasm was, how much he loved what he loved.
― Bill, Thursday, 28 July 2011 18:01 (3 years ago) Permalink
...And he also found new things to love all the time: a new writer/song/film.
I suspect those last few months are what I'll often think back to: that he summoned the strength to seemingly keep such a cool head to express and describe in detail the hard times he was going through, and then to keep on logging the books he was reading. I hated the title of that series, I didn't want to admit that I wouldn't see or read him ever again but was always looking forward to the next instalment.
― xyzzzz__, Thursday, 28 July 2011 18:36 (3 years ago) Permalink
Tom E. RT'd a link to one of Martin's finest efforts, a roundtable discussion from 1988 that ran in FA on Watchmen, with both Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons as participants.
― Ned Raggett, Thursday, 28 July 2011 19:16 (3 years ago) Permalink
I must only have spoken to Martin a couple of times privately but reading and talking with him here and elsewhere was such a massive influence/inspiration for me.
I came to ilx at about 19 as a p. clueless teenager and it was Martin's writing that got me into comics, when i just started getting into philosophy Martin's discussions/defences of postmodernism really blew me away. Even my screen name / internet monikers which i used to change on a weekly basis are down to him. I remember i posted it as an aim screename on here and he thought it was funny/good and i figured if Martin likes it i'd stick with it.
Later i often thought of emailing him telling him what a huge influence he'd been in developing my thoughts and interests but figured it might be a bit creepy and never got round to it, I wish i had now.
― toastmodernist, Thursday, 28 July 2011 19:27 (3 years ago) Permalink
lots of ppl have been sharing pics of martin today, this is a gd one taken by our friend Nigel Kitching in the mid-80s
― Ward Fowler, Thursday, 28 July 2011 20:24 (3 years ago) Permalink
I didn't know about this
with all my heart, RIP
― Summer Slam! (Ste), Thursday, 28 July 2011 21:00 (3 years ago) Permalink
Having been reading ILX for, what, 8 or 9 years, Martin was one of the first names I got used to seeing. Over the years, with usernames getting more and more obscure, my ability to actually keep up with who is who sometimes has fallen totally apart as I look and interact with ILX less and less. But Martin, along with a core other few, was one name that always stuck out for me, his comments always engaging, his thoughts and opinions always compelling, his personality reassuring. ILX became less interesting when he wasn't here as often, and now this. This is sad news, RIP Martin.
― akm, Thursday, 28 July 2011 21:07 (3 years ago) Permalink
Man, what a great photo. Young Martin! I'm sad I never had the chance to know him then.
― Ned Raggett, Thursday, 28 July 2011 21:08 (3 years ago) Permalink
(I didn't mean to say the same thing as the poster right above me! but strange that we should all think the same thing. Martin's personality withstood the shifting ILX sands)
― akm, Thursday, 28 July 2011 21:12 (3 years ago) Permalink
akm: yes; and now I also realize that to me, a certain part of that (which goes together with his candidness) is that he always used his real name, unless I remember wrongly?
(Obviously no dig intended at those who don't, such as, uh, myself. Still, hi Ned!)
― anatol_merklich, Thursday, 28 July 2011 21:15 (3 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett, Thursday, 28 July 2011 21:17 (3 years ago) Permalink
Hey! Anthony! :-)
― Nathalie (stevienixed), Thursday, 28 July 2011 21:38 (3 years ago) Permalink
Nice comics oriented write-up by Tom Spurgeon (with a link to here):
Martin Skidmore, 1959-2011
― EZ Snappin, Friday, 29 July 2011 14:16 (3 years ago) Permalink
I haven't posted here for 4yrs myself. My old login seemingly expired so had to make a new one. I wanted to express appreciation for all of these postings. Of the places I've looked at last couple days (obv I thought of here), ILX has easily inspired the biggest stream of reaction and affection, which I think says something.
Martin urged me here, probably late 2002. I'm shy & nervous so prolly didn't fit in. I'm also prone to depression (which Martin understood), and have a very BIG, defensive mouth which many interpret as me being a complete bitch. Anyhow, he thought here would bring me out of my shell. It didn't. It intimidated me, really (I will even dither about posting this, in fact). But the point is, he was being an incredibly nice guy, as ever. I guess it got too much for him too, when his depression was worse. It's nothing personal (on my part, either) -- innocuous things can get magnified unpleasantly.
We had a chance to get together last August when I was down in London, but Martin's depression thwarted him on the day. At the time it was just one missed chance... now, it upsets me much more as there were no other chances to meet up. I just found I still have his txt on my old fone: "I am afraid there is no way I will make it. Sorry, and have fun." :-(
Funny memory: Martin was the guy who, when faced with the 'post pics of yourself in underwear' thread, took it to the next level. Like wow. Balls of steel! And, as I remember it, he had NOTHING to be ashamed of down there. :b
One enduring trait to remember -- Martin was astonishingly non-judgemental. Me, I always manage to say the wrong things. Yet, he was the person least likely to judge someone for that. That's class. Pure. Unadulterated. Class.
Sorry for rambling. I mean well!
― Bette_Noir, Friday, 29 July 2011 15:07 (3 years ago) Permalink
Not a ramble at all -- read your blog tribute earlier today and loved it.
― Ned Raggett, Friday, 29 July 2011 15:25 (3 years ago) Permalink
Great to see that Ditko cover again on The Comics Reporter obit - I conducted the Jim Shooter interview that's mentioned on the cover, and Martin and I also jointly interviewed Pat Mills for that issue. Both Martin and Pat were never at a loss for words, so it was one of the easiest interviews I've ever done.
― Ward Fowler, Friday, 29 July 2011 15:44 (3 years ago) Permalink
Thanks, Ned. That made me nervous too. I mean, I knew Martin quite well for a decade (w/losing touch a while a couple times) and I was fearful of self-indulgence. Lots of people around knew him three decades, which is forever to me. They're lucky, IMO. So I wanted to put across some of Martin's great points without making myself look important or something. I prolly failed. I'm more upset than I even thought I'd be.
That issue of FA is the only one I still have today, sadly. I've sold lots of things over the years during various lean spells. I wish I could lie about it but I kept it for the Ditko cover. I imagine I'll grab some of them again if I see them anywhere.
― Bette_Noir, Friday, 29 July 2011 16:01 (3 years ago) Permalink
Been looking at some of his old posts, refraining from linking any here because, you know, where to start where to end, but I think this one might be appropriate: Some days, you know how good you are at your job...
― Scharlach Sometimes (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 30 July 2011 01:26 (3 years ago) Permalink
man all of the comics-related tributes have made me both happy and sad. happy to see martin's impact on the artform i treasure above all others and sad to realize that for a guy who shared the same virtual space with me for so many years i never had any idea til now (!) how much martin had a hand in the world of brit comics. i mean i always knew him as a deeply steeped and incredibly wise fan but its so weird (and wonderful) to me that he had a hand in (say) "st. swithins day," which i always remember as a g. morrison work i was immensely pleased to track down back when i was a middle schooler and the guy's work meant the world to me.
― king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Saturday, 30 July 2011 01:47 (3 years ago) Permalink
I was impressed when I realized that Martin had edited and published one of my favourite comic books, a work of which I have been very fond for over two decades now. We talked about this quite a few times.
― the pinefox, Saturday, 30 July 2011 10:04 (3 years ago) Permalink
wow, i love that book; had no idea martin was involved with it
― generous doler out of lollies (forksclovetofu), Saturday, 30 July 2011 15:05 (3 years ago) Permalink
Martin was the editor, but not the publisher. The only other staff listed on the first issue is a G0rdon Nei1 as production manager and promotions officer, replaced by issue 4 with Nig3l Mackay as marketing manager.
― naked hdsl (sic), Saturday, 30 July 2011 16:01 (3 years ago) Permalink
Rest in Peace, Martin
― Crazed Mister Handy (kingfish), Saturday, 30 July 2011 17:03 (3 years ago) Permalink
I made a spotify playlist of Martin's party tape(s) as posted here my party tape
just need to find a spare 8 hours to play my way through it
― a million anons (onimo), Saturday, 30 July 2011 18:11 (3 years ago) Permalink
onimo, that's wonderful, i'm gonna share the link with some of martin's non-ilx pals, they'll love it.
a chap called mark 0liv3r, who was in the british amateur press association w martin back in the day, got in touch w/ this:
"When I heard the news about Martin yesterday I went up in the loft and found the mixtape he sent me back in my early B-APA days (I'm guessing 1988). I've converted it to MP3 and uploaded it here:
It's a really eclectic mix, and a great listen. Feel free to share the link with anyone who might be interested. It's compressed with 7zip."
I should add that the sound quality is p ropey - martin s used to tape LOTS of stuff from the radio, mainly from peel and andy kershaw. Anyway, here's the tracklisting:
Boogie Woogie Like A Knife In The Back
Side 1: God Is Not A Stormtrooper
Clarence "Frogman" Henry - Ain't Got No HomeBhundu Boys - Ndoita SeiKilldozer - Hamburger MartyrVictor Lundberg - Open Letter To My Teenage SonJames Carr - Pouring Water On A Drowning ManRonnie Dawson - Action PackedTom Waits - Yesterday Is HereSalif Keita - SouarebaWynona Carr - 'Till The Well Runs DryEugene Chadbourne - Bo Diddley Is A CommunistBo Diddley - Cops And RobbersGeorge Jones - Good Year For The RosesThe Only Ones - Another Girl, Another PlanetMahlathini & The Mahotella Queens - ThokazileBilly Ward & His Dominoes - The Bells (Clyde McPhatter on 'vocals')
Side 2: At The First Moment Turn Away From Unclean Thoughts - AT THE FIRST MOMENT
Stanley Winston - No More Ghettos In AmericaFrankie Ford - Sea CruiseJohn Lee Hooker - TB SheetsEddie Fontaine - Nothin' Shakin' (But the Leaves On The Trees)David Rudder - MadnessAmayenge - Minise MiniseCurtis Mayfield - Move On UpScreamin' Jay Hawkins - I Hear VoicesMerle Haggard - Today i started Loving You AgainThe Four Brothers - UchandifungaLL Cool J - The Do WopBob Rogers - The Teen CommandmentsEsquerita - Esquerita & The Voola (World's greatest pianist)Dan Pickett - 99 1/2 Won't Do
The Stanley Winston song that opens side two of the tape was def. one of martin's especial favourites, along w. James Carr's version of Dark end of the Street and a zillion others.
― Ward Fowler, Saturday, 30 July 2011 20:52 (3 years ago) Permalink
Hope to listen to the onimo playlist after the optimo playlist posted on another thread.
Is Dan Pickett different from Wilson Pickett?
― Scharlach Sometimes (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 30 July 2011 21:23 (3 years ago) Permalink
re: dan pickett - yep
― Ward Fowler, Saturday, 30 July 2011 21:36 (3 years ago) Permalink
this is dreadfully sad
i remember his posts from back in the day and he seemed like a fine person and estimable polymath
condolences to all who knew him
― MY WEEDS STRONG BLUD.mp3 (nakhchivan), Saturday, 30 July 2011 21:42 (3 years ago) Permalink
At The First Moment Turn Away From Unclean Thoughts - AT THE FIRST MOMENT
― anatol_merklich, Saturday, 30 July 2011 21:53 (3 years ago) Permalink
martin s interviewing dave sim at a uk comic convention, late 1980s (photo via frank pl0wright)
― Ward Fowler, Saturday, 30 July 2011 22:00 (3 years ago) Permalink
Great, great photo.
― 50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 30 July 2011 22:06 (3 years ago) Permalink
had sim gone bonkers yet? martin's expression suggests this was happening THEN AND THERE
― mark s, Saturday, 30 July 2011 22:34 (3 years ago) Permalink
late 80s would have been the time of Church And State and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, so yah - Sim was just beginning to fray around the edges.
― Stockhausen's Ekranoplan Quartet (Elvis Telecom), Saturday, 30 July 2011 22:40 (3 years ago) Permalink
Depends how you rationalise Sim's bonkers-ness. I reckon this is pretty early into Jaka's Story, which in my exegesis is consistent with the later Jaka i.e. already into bonkers territory.
― 50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Saturday, 30 July 2011 22:44 (3 years ago) Permalink
Even though I knew he was unwell, this was still a terrible blow. I loved reading him on here and at various places around the web, but also remember fondly the time I was in London and attended a FAP he was at. Would have been 7 or 8 years ago now. He chatted warmly with me about this and that as if he had known me for years, even though we'd just met and hadn't even really had any direct interactions on ILX. My heart goes out to his friends and family, online and off. Great guy, too soon, undeserved pain. RIP Martin.
― the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Saturday, 30 July 2011 22:45 (3 years ago) Permalink
I only knew him from his music posts here. RIP
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 30 July 2011 22:50 (3 years ago) Permalink
late 80s would have been the time of ... the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, so yah - Sim was just beginning to fray around the edges.
considering Martin's taste and life, to say that it's "bonkers" to be opposed to the jailing of one adult for selling other adults books that include scenes of lovemaking between adult characters in relationships is rather o_0
― naked hdsl (sic), Sunday, 31 July 2011 07:20 (3 years ago) Permalink
nice to have mark s back, so sad that these are the circumstances that occasioned it. i don't know if he was like this in real life but here on ILX martin always seemed very self-assured, like he didn't have anything whatsoever to prove. which was appreciated.
― by another name (amateurist), Sunday, 31 July 2011 10:22 (3 years ago) Permalink
Came across another tribute that I don't think has been linked here yet:http://tonykeen.blogspot.com/2011/07/martin-skidmore.html
― Scharlach Sometimes (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 1 August 2011 18:54 (3 years ago) Permalink
― Scharlach Sometimes (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 1 August 2011 19:00 (3 years ago) Permalink
As noted <a href="a memorial page for martin skidmore;>here</a> we're planning a memorial page to Martin (probably using Freaky Trigger's server space, though not FT-branded): this would include some pictures of him, a short account of his achievements, a full set of links to the many very moving obits that have now gone up and to some of his best-loved pieces -- and also some kind of section encouraging people to swap stories about him, fond, funny, fascinating, gathered from comments threads, message boards, and elsewhere.
There are several posts on this thread that we'd like to use: I'll email people individually, but if you haven't heard and want to contribute something, please feel free to email me.
― mark s, Monday, 1 August 2011 20:33 (3 years ago) Permalink
oh ffs: well it works anyway, even if it is inelegantly coded (i will not be designing the page in question, APPARENTLY)
― mark s, Monday, 1 August 2011 20:34 (3 years ago) Permalink
a memorial page for martin skidmore
― ≝ (Pleasant Plains), Monday, 1 August 2011 20:34 (3 years ago) Permalink
May you rest in happiness and peace, Martin.
― Vendo Caramelos A Veces Sin Dinero (Capitaine Jay Vee), Monday, 1 August 2011 20:44 (3 years ago) Permalink
I've been on ILX about 8 years and only attended 1 or 2 meetups, but I certainly remember Martin and his instant amiability. Seemed like a lovely guy and I'll miss his odd comics posts on ILC. RIP.
― Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 1 August 2011 21:39 (3 years ago) Permalink
Keep trying to think of a way to express in real life why I would feel sad about this but it's kind of difficult and ends up coming out like Dorothy trying to describe her trip to Oz:
"You see there was this internet message board called ILX and there was this fellow named Martin, and whenever he posted something everybody would pay attention. He loved comics and cricket, M. John Harrison and Joyce Carol Oates, soul music and Japanese art- oh, all sorts of things. And then he and Mark S and Tom E would - oh, it was really quite extraordinary."
"What's that you say, a computer, eh? Maybe you need to take a rest from staring at that screen and go outside and get some fresh air."
― Scharlach Sometimes (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 2 August 2011 00:08 (3 years ago) Permalink
But there is something that pretty much expresses exactly how I feel and it was something Gear wrote on Liz D's memorial thread, which I haven't looked since it was first posted but have certainly thought about more than once, and which I will cut and paste here, I hope he doesn't mind and nobody else minds.
the way this has troubled me over the past few days, perhaps irrationally, has given me pause, in that it makes me feel particularly vulnerable and powerless. emotionally speaking, that is. i've had more contact with some people on ilx than others on here, liz being somewhere in the middle i suppose, and it's made me realize how much it would affect me if anyone else were to be in a similar situation as she is. i've searched through the archives a number of times in recent days for other reasons and inevitably i've come across several liz postings and it kills me. because there's something alive and immediate about any post on here, even one from four years ago.and some might think, 'gear, you're overreacting', but that doesn't take into account that everyone here has a very distinct personality. to see a post from roxy or jon or teeny or liz or amateurist or alex nyc or spencer or allyzay or blount and to think, 'oh of course they'd say that' is to realize you've come to know people on here and you have a certain affection for them and if any one of them were to be snatched away, it would hurt.i told my father about this and he related a story about how when he and my mother were working at first national bank of chicago in the early '70s, there was a security guard downstairs in the lobby who they always saw standing in one corner. he was there the first two years they were. they never spoke to him, he was always just at his station in the corner, reading the paper, drinking his coffee. one morning he wasn't there, the same morning there was a particularly terrible train accident in chicago. they discovered the next day that this man had been killed in the accident. my father says everyone he knew at the bank, most of whom had never spoken to this very quiet, private fellow, were affected for a long time. he told me that he has never forgotten this man and to this day, whenever business takes him back to first national, he'll look to his corner and remember him fondly.right now i don't want to not ever meet liz. if i don't have the opportunity to do so, i still think i'll always remember her.― Gear! (Ill Cajun Gunsmith) (Gear!), Wednesday, July 13, 2005 11:20 AM (6 years ago)
i told my father about this and he related a story about how when he and my mother were working at first national bank of chicago in the early '70s, there was a security guard downstairs in the lobby who they always saw standing in one corner. he was there the first two years they were. they never spoke to him, he was always just at his station in the corner, reading the paper, drinking his coffee. one morning he wasn't there, the same morning there was a particularly terrible train accident in chicago. they discovered the next day that this man had been killed in the accident. my father says everyone he knew at the bank, most of whom had never spoken to this very quiet, private fellow, were affected for a long time. he told me that he has never forgotten this man and to this day, whenever business takes him back to first national, he'll look to his corner and remember him fondly.
right now i don't want to not ever meet liz. if i don't have the opportunity to do so, i still think i'll always remember her.
― Gear! (Ill Cajun Gunsmith) (Gear!), Wednesday, July 13, 2005 11:20 AM (6 years ago)
― Scharlach Sometimes (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 2 August 2011 00:23 (3 years ago) Permalink