Unfortunately it's with great sadness that I must inform everyone that Michael Turner tragically passed away last night, June 27th at approximately 10:42 pm in Santa Monica, Ca. Turner had been dealing with recent health complications arisen in the past few weeks. More details concerning Turner's passing, and services, will be given shortly.
Anyone wishing to send their condolences to Michael Turner's family is encouraged to send to:
Aspen MLT, Inc.
C/O Michael Turner
5855 Green Valley Circle, Suite 111
Culver City, CA, 90230
Aspen also encourages anyone wishing to make a charitable donation to please send to Michael Turner's requested charities:
The American Cancer Society
The Make-A-Wish Foundation
Turner was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma (a bone-based cancer that attacks the cartilage) in March of 2000, which ultimately cost him his right hip, a portion of his pelvis and several pounds of bone. Turner was very open about his cancer, making convention appearances throughout the entire time, and never giving in to the illness.
Mike got his major break in comics at Top Cow, where he made his name as the artist on Witchblade with a look that was reminiscent of studio founder Marc Silvestri, but was all his own. His work was highly in demand throughout his career, and he was a frequent cover artist for a diverse number of series over the years. Turner’s style influenced many artists in the new millennium, probably more than Turner himself ever realized.
Turner’s creator-owned Fathom debuted in 1998, and in 2002, he left Top Cow to found his own Aspen MLT, Inc. where he saw Fathom resurface, along with other projects such as Soulfire and Ekos. Turner had done a significant portion of work at DC early in the decade, providing covers for Identity Crisis and Flash, as well as for the “Godfall” arc in the Superman titles (which he co-wrote), and the interior art for “Supergirl from Krypton” in Superman/Batman, where he and writer Jeph Loeb re-introduced Supergirl into the modern DC Universe. More recently, he had been providing variant covers for Marvel titles, such as next month’s Uncanny X-Men #500. At his most recent convention appearances, both Turner, and later Aspen representatives spoke of how the artist was eager to complete his obligations to other companies, so he could finally get back to work on his own projects at Aspen.
Despite his illness, Turner was one of the most upbeat people at conventions and in the industry. He always radiated a sense of humility and gratitude to his fans, and always had time for a quick chat or a smile. In an industry that can and has beat the happiness out of many creators, Mike was resistant to it, and was ever happy to work and talk to his fans, and even talk to the press. From the first moment you met him, you were his friend, and he treated you like he'd known you all his life.
Since his initial diagnosis in 2000, Turner had several ups and downs, but, surely thanks in part to his positive attitude, he was seen as the guy who was going to beat it, and be drawing for years to come - he just had to kick this thing first. Mike was 37.