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Film, Comic Books
Wednesday brought the sad news that Ray Bradbury passed away peacefully at age 91. The author of Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Something Wicked This Way Comes and (my favorite) The Halloween Tree, Bradbury introduced us to the Butterfly Effect, has his own asteroid and lent his name to a starship class on Star Trek.
“For many Americans, the news of Ray Bradbury’s death immediately brought to mind images from his work, imprinted in our minds, often from a young age,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. “His gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world. But Ray also understood that our imaginations could be used as a tool for better understanding, a vehicle for change, and an expression of our most cherished values. There is no doubt that Ray will continue to inspire many more generations with his writing, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
At The Beat, Torsten Adair recounts many of the honors Bradbury received over his lifetime. He influenced pop culture in all its forms, including comics and their creators.
“Some authors I read and loved as a boy disappointed me as I aged,” Neil Gaiman wrote in a piece for the Guardian. “Bradbury never did. His horror stories remained as chilling, his dark fantasies as darkly fantastic, his science fiction (he never cared about the science, only about the people, which was why the stories worked so well) as much of an exploration of the sense of wonder, as they had when I was a child.”
You can read more from Gaiman on Bradbury here, and a collection of thoughts from J.M. DeMatteis here. Many comic folks have taken to Twitter to remember the author, and I’ve rounded up some of their tweets below:
Joe Hill: “Poet-king Ray Bradbury, who wrote not with ink but dandelion wine, is off adventuring again. We’ll miss you. Shoot a dinosaur for us, Ray.”
Dave Gibbons: “RIP Ray Bradbury. I got to adapt a short story of his to comics once (Come Into My Cellar): couldn’t cut a word. Every one mattered.”
Evan Dorkin: “R.I.P. Ray Bradbury. What can you say? A giant whose shadow lingers over every medium. Let’s remember him as long as we possibly can.”
Tom Morello: “RIP Ray Bradbury, native of Waukegan, Illinois. His brilliant Sci-Fi especially Fahrenheit 451 is mandatory reading.”
Len Wein: “… in that Great Library in the Sky. RIP, Ray Bradbury. The world is emptier without you.”
Dan Slott: “Sorry to hear of Ray Bradbury’s passing. Loved FAHRENHEIT 451 & SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. My favorite tho will always be the story, THE PARROT WHO MET PAPA. Thank you, sir, for those and all the many, many others!”
James Sime: “Ray Bradbury – even the titles of his stories fired my lifelong imagination. “A Miracle of Rare Device,” “The Machineries of Joy.” RIP”
Jane Espenson: “Oh dear. Ray Bradbury is gone. Do yourself a favor and buy one of his books for yourself and one for a kid you know.”
Gail Simone: “Ray Bradbury was one of the best ambassadors for the human imagination ever. Honor him by doing something creative today.”
Jonathan Ross: “The GREAT Ray Bradbury has left the planet. When I was younger I read no one else. Was lucky enough to shake his hand. R is for RIP.”
Chris Ryall: “I’m saddened at his passing and elated that I got to know both the man and his work. R.I.P., Ray Bradbury.”
Ron Marz: “Trending right now in the U.S., Ray Bradbury and the titles of FOUR of his books. As it should be.”
Steve Niles: “RIP Ray Bradbury. You left a lasting impression on the entire planet and beyond. You will be missed.”
Larry Marder: “Ray Bradbury’s work connected with my burgeoning imagination when I was a teen. Thanks for the illumination. RIP”
–Kagan McLeod provides an illustration of Bradbury for the National Posts’s obituary of the author.
–The Christian Science Monitor counts down Bradbury’s 10 best books.
–Ty Templeton shares a bunch of EC Comics covers that featured Bradbury adaptations.
–Francesco Francavilla honors the author with an illustration based on “The Scythe.”