Dwayne McDuffie died today.
If you don’t know Mr. Mcduffie click here.
He was a prolific comic book, animation writer, as well as being an outspoken advocate for artists rights in the increasingly artist unfriendly waters of the entertainment biz (more on that in a moment).
I had met him once. My first trip to the Animation Writers Guild Hamburger Hamlet meet up in Hollywood. I was taking an extension course at UCLA on writing for animation at the time and our instructor thought it would be a good idea to come to a meeting, make contacts, eat hamburgers and basically geek out with the rest of the animation writers.
I went, not expecting anything really. I thought I’d just sit quietly at the table, maybe crack a few jokes to those classmates around me.
What I didn’t expect is that Dwayne Mcduffie would sit down across the table from me.
I’ve enjoyed Dwayne’s work on JLU the series IMMENSELY. I’ve dug his work in the Justice League comic that was going on at the time, and actually later, as I combed through his credits I had a huge amount of gratitude for what he’s accomplished in comics and television.
We struck up a conversation and argued for A LONG time about international copyright law and the rights of artists in relation to Corporations. It was obviously a PASSIONATE subject for Mr. Mcduffie. So much so that I thought that I might have just pissed him off to a degree that he’d pull rank as a successful writer/producer and brush me under the rug, ignore me with some snooty superiority that people in Hollywood sometimes get accused of.
That wasn’t the case.
After our lengthy discussion on Copyright law, we turned our attention to our love of Dr. Who, Concert DVD’s and a host of other interesting conversations.
It’s in moments like those that you realize the fabric of a man. Someone that holds beliefs, passionately so, but not enough to dehumanize you for not feeling the same.
I had always hoped that I’d get the chance to work for him. To be able to recount our argument with a laugh.
Sadly that isn’t going to be the case and I find myself instead asking God to grant some peace to a family and a legion of friends that are so hurt at the moment.
Rest In Peace Mr. McDuffie, you will be missed.