Martin Skidmore [RIP 2011]

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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

RIP, awful.

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

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.

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

Where is Martin Skidmore and Beatles band?

― Samuel KB Amphong (Dada), Tuesday, 24 October 2006 12:15 (4 years ago) Bookmark

R. Stornoway (Tom D.), Thursday, 28 July 2011 10:39 (seven years ago) Permalink

RIP, Martin. Thanks for interesting, honest and memorable posts here and elsewhere over many years (and for Nana, as if said upthread). :(

anatol_merklich, Thursday, 28 July 2011 10:39 (seven years ago) Permalink

Where is Martin Skidmore and Beatles band?

― Samuel KB Amphong (Dada), Tuesday, 24 October 2006 12:15 (4 years ago) Bookmark

― R. Stornoway (Tom D.), Thursday, July 28, 2011 6:39 AM (20 minutes ago)

So was that other Dada you in an early, Frogman Henry-style posting phase, or another person altogether with a similar login name?

Scharlach Sometimes (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 28 July 2011 11:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

You mean the tit who used to image bomb threads? No, that was I before I got here!

R. Stornoway (Tom D.), Thursday, 28 July 2011 11:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

found ilxor via freaky trigger and always loved his contributions there

i have a folder called martin's party mix will be listening to this tonight

my party tape


Crackle Box, Thursday, 28 July 2011 11:14 (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.

Yeah, one of the others there was Carsmile Meg, who Martin had converted to WWE by showing her matches of the inked-up indie boy :) It was great and amazing to see a show where CM Punk just won and that's it. Like in comic books, actual endings rarely happen.

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 28 July 2011 11:45 (seven years ago) Permalink

His openness and warmth were such an encouraging example on this board, and in the other online haunts where I'd see him from time to time. The world is poorer without him in it. Giving thanks today for your life in this world, Martin Skidmore.

pathos of the unwarranted encore (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

Oh no! I remember it being mentioned he was sick. But I thought he was better. I had him on my twitter list and followed his tweets of course. I fondly remember meeting him (and, of course, Marcello) years ago. Ten years? Seems more. Seems less. I will treasure the memory even more.

RIP, Martin. And a big hug to all his friends.

Nathalie (stevienixed), Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

RIP, a true gentleman, emphasis on the gentle.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

Apart from his intelligence, I'll probably never forget Martin's lugubrious West Country voice; it was like something out of a Nick Park film and thus always amusing to reconcile with his many frank posts about sex and relationships. So I've built a little Aardman version of Martin in my head, and these imagined, reanimated monologues taken from old and fondly remembered posts are cheering me up right now.

murdoch most foul (suzy), Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

Ha, yes, I can instantly recall his voice in my head

R. Stornoway (Tom D.), Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

Some other tributes, courtesy links at FT, with a focus on his role in comics:

MJ Hibbett

Down the Tubes

Tom Murphy

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

RIP Martin, always enjoyed his posts and we had some fun email exchanges talking abt comics & arguiing abt bendis. You will be missed.

H in Addis, Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:45 (seven years ago) Permalink

So sad. I knew from LJ that his time was short and was staggered that he continued to blog his enthusiams online throughout these difficult times (and the periods of depression before that). A guy who always wanted to learn more (cf. the funk thread linked above) but was always ready to share what he knew. And yes, a welcoming soul IRL to boot.

RIP, Martin

Jeff W, Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:52 (seven years ago) Permalink

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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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.

RIP, Martin.

toastmodernist, Thursday, 28 July 2011 19:27 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

I didn't know about this

with all my heart, RIP

Summer Slam! (Ste), Thursday, 28 July 2011 21:00 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

Hi there!

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 28 July 2011 21:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

Hey! Anthony! :-)

Nathalie (stevienixed), Thursday, 28 July 2011 21:38 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) Permalink

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