Ach, this happened a lot sooner than I expected :( Martin kept on posting to his Liejournal most days, after his diagnosis he went on a spree of reading all the books he'd always meant to get round to, which I thought was a sweet way of spending one's valuable last times. His descriptions of treatment were hard to read and heartbreaking, and it is more so now as he'd seemed to rally a little recently. Rest easy Martin, you were a gracious, kind and big-hearted guy.
― Rameses Street (Trayce), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:49 (seven years ago) Permalink
Livejournal. ack what a typo :(
― Rameses Street (Trayce), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:50 (seven years ago) Permalink
i'm deeply sorry i never got to meet martin. he was a decent and reassuring presence on ile and ilc for years. he was a wonderfully smart and informed guy, seemed to have read and seen everything, and wrote very well about it. i spent a whole afternoon a few weeks ago reading his reviews at the comics site he edited. i meant to drop him a line to tell him how terrific i thought it was -- too late now. :(
― (The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:51 (seven years ago) Permalink
reading all the books he'd always meant to get round to
I should tear up at "books before I diary" but it's so Martin and so indicative of what strongo so rightly identifies as grace.
― publier les (suggest) bans de (Michael White), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:54 (seven years ago) Permalink
so often I come across really excellent insightful posts on bumped threads and look to see who it is and yes, it's Martin. Always enjoy his Singles Jukebox contributions too. I'd have liked to have known him better, and my thoughts are with everyone who did. RIP.
― Sir Chips Keswick (Merdeyeux), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:54 (seven years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:54 (seven years ago) Permalink
Martin was the kind of contributor every community wants – quick to say something welcoming or smart, slow to anger, possessed of a working bullshit detector but enough of a gent to use it wisely. ILX would never have been any good without him and others like him in its early stages.
― Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:55 (seven years ago) Permalink
: ( terrible
― nh (cozen), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:56 (seven years ago) Permalink
Very sad, I knew him only from reading him here and on Singles Jukebox, but always appreciated his humor and insight and he seemed like a kind person.
― Mark, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:57 (seven years ago) Permalink
― moonship journey to baja, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:59 (seven years ago) Permalink
i keep coming back to ilx because of what i saw in my early lurking days, though martin had very different interests than me and we rarely interacted he is part of what made this place special and we are diminished
― moonship journey to baja, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 22:01 (seven years ago) Permalink
wanted to send him some kind of simple words of well wishing or compassion recently but didn't, worried it would feel contrived given how little i've interacted directly with him over the years and years i've occupied the same virtual vicinity. but he was a good man, RIP.
― some dude, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 22:08 (seven years ago) Permalink
Waking up to this is really sad. I admired Martin enormously as some kind of ultimate cultural polymath, he seemed to know something about everything, but he wrote in a such a human, accessible way so it wasn't intimidating how smart he was. I admired Martin because in his fifties he was probably living more than many do in their twenties. One couldn't help but find him frank, funny and engaging, and I know he's living a big hole in the world even bigger than the one on the Internet as a result. RIP Martin.
― unskinny blap (edwardo), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 22:21 (seven years ago) Permalink
I believe his presence on ilx was mostly before my time - either that or we didn't bump elbows that much. still, I certainly recognize his name.
RIP man. fuck cancer!
― notes on camping (Pillbox), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 22:46 (seven years ago) Permalink
RIP martin :-(
― Weasel Diesel, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 22:49 (seven years ago) Permalink
He was a kind man, good company, and a shrewd critical thinker, and I will miss him.
― those facts at that point were still in the future (c sharp major), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 22:52 (seven years ago) Permalink
nearly ten years ago now, martin asked a group of his friends if we knew of any online communities that might interest him. i pointed him in the direction of ILX, and the rest is history.
i was friends with martin for more than twenty-five years, and am in no fit state to write anything very coherent just right now. but i can honestly say that i don't ever expect to meet anyone like martin skidmore ever again, and that today, a UNIQUE, one of a kind person has left us, left the world. He was a decent man and I will miss him very very much. In consolation, he was in a great deal of pain and misery at the end, and the hospital that he was in ensured that his passing was as peaceful as possible. He died with a large group of loving friends close by his side.
― Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 23:00 (seven years ago) Permalink
In one of his last emails Martin spoke of how wonderful his friends were to him. Helping him with everything and being there from him , he was never alone. I'd like to thank his friends for being there for him I know he appreciated you all so very very much.
Wish I had met him, he was a really nice guy and I wish I had emailed him more rather than a handful of times a year. I don't drink so I'll listen to a funk album that isn't guitar focused! in his honour.
― Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 23:02 (seven years ago) Permalink
Aw nutz.Martin was about the only ILX member to talk to me on the board other than Teeny. He was smart, kind and I wish I had known him IRL. *wiggy cries*
― Wiggywoo, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 23:10 (seven years ago) Permalink
oh, and Ned Raggett too. Can't forget him!
― Wiggywoo, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 23:13 (seven years ago) Permalink
Didn't interact with him very often on ILM, but I always liked his approach. Most of my interaction, if you can call it that, was from reading his Singles Jukebox blurbs and various comments he'd toss up on blogs. His insight and joy will certainly be missed.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 23:13 (seven years ago) Permalink
didn't know him personally but read his contributions here and on TSJ - always one of my favorite reviews. heard the news while on a bus that was delayed on the side of the road, felt totally gutted and helpless - had no idea. RIP.
― flop's son (dayo), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 23:14 (seven years ago) Permalink
just sucks when ilxors die
― flopson, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 23:19 (seven years ago) Permalink
oh, and Ned Raggett too. Can't forget him!
― Wiggywoo, Wednesday, July 27, 2011 7:13 PM (13 minutes ago) Bookmark
would it spoil the mood of this thread if i began addressing Ned as "Raggyroo"?
― some dude, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 23:37 (seven years ago) Permalink
hugely sad news. Only met him once or twice, wish it had been more.
― stet, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 23:41 (seven years ago) Permalink
Christ. I never met him, but I wrote for him. The boosts of confidence he gave me when I'd send him something meant a lot to me.
― My Boyfriend Could Be A Spanish Man (R Baez), Wednesday, 27 July 2011 23:59 (seven years ago) Permalink
Like many here I didn't interact with him (at all, I think), but was always glad to read his inputs on many topics, and I noticed his absence when he vacated the premises. RIP.
― nickn, Thursday, 28 July 2011 00:03 (seven years ago) Permalink
He offered me a place to stay whenever I was traveling around London. Never had the opportunity to take advantage of his hospitality, but it was always a huge relief to know that there would be some place I could go should everything else fall through. I wish I had gotten to know him better. RIP Martin.
― Melissa W, Thursday, 28 July 2011 00:20 (seven years ago) Permalink
I hate to hear this. :( Fuck cancer!
That article upthread about soul music is so great.
― bullbs (The Reverend), Thursday, 28 July 2011 00:39 (seven years ago) Permalink
I seem to remember Martin and I talking over some of the general points that would surface in the article during my visit -- the article wasn't written then, of course, but the ideas were obviously very close to his heart, and not just limited to questions of music.
It occurred to me on the way home that I'd brought him a small gift of thanks when I visited in 2003, some Cholula hot sauce, in that I had no idea if it was common stuff in the UK. Turns out he wasn't one for spice in his food, if I remember rightly! But he graciously thanked me, and I wonder what happened to the bottle -- hopefully someone put it to good use.
Momus has posted a tribute. Turns out a recent song of his was inspired by Martin:
― Ned Raggett, Thursday, 28 July 2011 00:44 (seven years ago) Permalink
Rest in peace.
― Gatsby was a success, in the end, wasn't he? (D-40), Thursday, 28 July 2011 01:04 (seven years ago) Permalink
I am sorry to read this, I feel bad that I didn't catch this thread earlier. I only read some of his posts here, but he seemed like a really good guy. RIP.
― Keep Reading! (Mount Cleaners), Thursday, 28 July 2011 01:04 (seven years ago) Permalink
I've kind of moved past shock and into anger as I've been reading back through his livejournal entries. Anger at anyone/anything (whatever higher power you want to believe in) that could take someone away so quickly. I hadn't realized just how recent the diagnosis was. FUCK OFF cancer.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Thursday, 28 July 2011 01:13 (seven years ago) Permalink
A giant among ilxors. I have a pile of books I read because he recommended them here and another pile that I'm still intending to read for the same reason. He was missed on the recent speculative fiction poll. And yes, that freakytrigger soul music article was terrific. RIP, Martin.
― Scharlach Sometimes (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 28 July 2011 01:22 (seven years ago) Permalink
i never really interacted with him here but back in my lurker days i'm sure i bought at least one book based on something he wrote here that made me really want to read it. so, for that alone, RIP
― rameau: first blood (donna rouge), Thursday, 28 July 2011 03:52 (seven years ago) Permalink
The speed of it was a dreadful thing - I went round to his with some friends to see WWE's Money in the Bank last Monday, and he was in good form. All relative of course, he was in some pain and astonishingly skinny, but it was a normal social interaction, him greeting us at the door and showing us out afterwards. He was also very happy that, thanks to a stent recently fitted, he'd been able, while out seeing friends the day before, eat a cheeseburger. And of course, he was endlessly knowledgeable about the wrestling, and generous with his knowledge.
― Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 28 July 2011 06:51 (seven years ago) Permalink
ILX would never have been any good without him and others like him in its early stages.
I wasn't around that early but when old threads etc pop up this seems completely and demonstrably true
― nude defending a headcase (DJ Mencap), Thursday, 28 July 2011 07:27 (seven years ago) Permalink
RIP Martin. I remember him fondly from the days when he used to post here regularly. I'm sorry I never got to meet him in person.
And of course, he was endlessly knowledgeable about the wrestling, and generous with his knowledge.
Haha I'd forgotten that he was a fan! Great story.
― NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 28 July 2011 08:11 (seven years ago) Permalink
Having known of and read Martin as an editor and writer on comics for almost twenty years, it was fascinating to get to know so much more of him when I found my way to ILX. It's been a delight to read his ever-open, always inquisitive perspectives on the Jukebox since he left ILX. And I was very happy, and am even more so now, to have recognised him leaving the 10th birthday FAP as I was arriving, and to have gotten to chat with him for a few minutes before he headed off (and tell him how he was missed on ILC, much though he demurred!).
It's really, really great to know that he must have had a strong idea how valued he was by friends and peers, and that there were so many with him right at the end. Goodbye, Mr Skidmore.
― naked hdsl (sic), Thursday, 28 July 2011 08:13 (seven years ago) Permalink
― Jedmond, Thursday, 28 July 2011 08:32 (seven years ago) Permalink
So sorry to hear this. RIP Martin.
― Penelope iv, Thursday, 28 July 2011 08:34 (seven years ago) Permalink
Just a couple of memories, out of many, that I recall – neither of them deep, as such, but both oddly reassuring:
Martin, Mark S, Suzy and myself wandering around Brick Lane one Sunday morning back in 2003 – it was the time Anthony Easton came over – just hanging out, looking in boutiques and knick-knack stalls or through racks of overpriced used vinyl, feeling good about the world.
2005, Liz’s funeral: the Grand Old Men of ILx UK (Mark, Tom, Martin and myself) standing at the back of the crowd; Suzy later joking about double vision (since Martin and I did not look dissimilar, ditto Tom and Mark). Despite the sadness of the occasion that was a good day.
I can’t say I was a bosom buddy. I’d see him intermittently at an FAP or at Club Popular and he was always welcoming and ready for a chat. He was a regular, reliable, warm presence. He recognised my problems with random/casual chatter and was always understanding and accommodating. I was looking forward to seeing him at Mark’s FAP a couple of months back – it had been a long time - but sadly he was too unwell to attend. I should have gone out and seen him, I should have made the effort, but then my mother was taken seriously ill, I had to go up to Scotland, and apart from that there were (still are) numerous affairs to sort out apropos my book (publication, publicity); not life or death but very time/energy-consuming. So time and circumstance conspired against me saying goodbye to him properly. Stupidly I thought he was always going to be there.
The Facebook/LJ stuff: what can I say, immense bravery – and I know from personal experience (at one remove) how painful, infuriating and soul-destroying the fight against cancer can be, the everyday nuisances, the sudden alarm calls, the random shocks, the tedious despair. I hope I never end up in that situation but would like to think that if I did I’d summon up as much courage – and, even more courageously, that ineffable good nature of his – as Martin did.
Unlike me he never succumbed to freak-outs, prima donna hysterics or grandstanding, and when I did he was always there with a wise and quieting word. Even in my worst moments on ILx there were always a few people who could tell me to shut up or stop it and I’d listen. Martin had that air of friendly authority about him. He never shut you out.
Martin wasn’t perfect; who is? He had his demons the same as everyone else but he was better at controlling them than most. I’d always thought of him as the kind of person “we” should all strive to be; designer of his own world and perfectly (or at least relatively) happy within it. Hopefully he’ll still be happy in the world to which he is now heading. He knew most things about everything and used his wisdom as a guiding light rather than a bullying truncheon. Give Skidmore some, over and out.
― Here he is with the classic "Poème Électronique." Good track (Marcello Carlin), Thursday, 28 July 2011 08:38 (seven years ago) Permalink
That's lovely, Marcello.
― 50,000 raspberries with the face of Peter Ndlovu (aldo), Thursday, 28 July 2011 08:43 (seven years ago) Permalink
― Gary Numan, or Gary Fletcher (ken c), Thursday, 28 July 2011 08:54 (seven years ago) Permalink
RIP. I only met him once, but liked him; and his name on a post here, at Freaky Trigger and The Singles Jukebox would make me pay attention. My condolences to all those who knew him properly; I'm sorry for your loss.
― you don't exist in the database (woof), Thursday, 28 July 2011 09:08 (seven years ago) Permalink
RIP Martin :(
― I for one am (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 28 July 2011 09:29 (seven years ago) Permalink
Marcello's post chimes with what I was thinking last night - Martin was always open and frank about his problems with depression (in general, he was probably the most open and frank person I have ever met) and I can't remember a single incident of him taking it out on anyone else.
― Matt DC, Thursday, 28 July 2011 09:31 (seven years ago) Permalink
RIP. I only knew his writing so it's nice to read personal tributes like Marcello's and get a fuller picture of the man.
― Strictly vote-splitting (DL), Thursday, 28 July 2011 09:32 (seven years ago) Permalink
That show unexpectedly turned out to be one of the most inspirationally brilliant of recent years, I'm glad he was able to catch it as it seemed like the kind of thing a longtime fan would have been waiting years to see
― MPx4A, Thursday, 28 July 2011 10:16 (seven years ago) Permalink
OK so I was just looking at Martin's funk thread, which I love, when I noticed someone saying RIP Martin... and this... so sad. I can't say that I really knew Martin that well but, whenever I met him, he was always very friendly to me and always made an effort to talk to me and I appreciated that a lot and it's a shame that we sort of drifted in different directions but... well I don't know what to say... see you next time around, big man
― R. Stornoway (Tom D.), Thursday, 28 July 2011 10:38 (seven years ago) Permalink