R.I.P. Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)

Bit bummed out to learn Ray Bradbury passed away last night at the age of 91.

He’s one of the first “celebrities” I met at San Diego Comic-Con who was a household name to everyone. I mean, I would mention meeting George Pérez, Jim Shooter, Walt Simonson, Mike Zeck… even Jack Kirby and Stan Lee… and most (non-comics) folks would just nod and go “m-hmm. Cool.” But everyone knew of Ray Bradbury.

He was a grandfatherly figure who radiated an aura of marvel and charisma. What I remember most about Ray was his glasses, his voice and shaking his hand was like shaking a catcher’s mitt made out of fresh bread (instead of leather).

His sci-fi legacy in print and film is substantial. “Fahrenheit 451.” “The Martian Chronicles.” “A Sound of Thunder.” “The Twilight Zone.” “The Illustrated Man.” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Speaking of icebergs, did you know he’s kind of responsible for Godzilla? True. He wrote a short story in 1951 called “The Fog Horn” which was made into a movie in 1953, “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.” That movie — starring a surly dinosaur freed from an iceberg and groundbreaking special effects by stop-motion master Ray Harryhausen — impressed and inspired a couple of Toho movie producers. And the following year Japan released “Gojira.”

Click it to larger-than-lifesize it!

Here’s a pic of his autograph from 1986 (in the lower-right part). It’s on a comics backing board. Comics folks will recognize several (if not all) the other autographs by comics luminaries and legends. Sadly, Ray joins no fewer than four others on the board who have since passed away.

EDIT: Here are the autographs, L to R, reading down:
Steve Englehart
Don Arr Christensen
Julius Schwartz
John T. Totleben
Tom Orzechowski
Dave Sim
Phil Yeh
Tom Luth
Matt Wagner
Kevin Eastman
Rick Geary
Dave Stevens
Sergio Aragonés
Brett Breeding
Ron Frenz
Ray Bradbury
L. Lois Buhalis
Stan Lee

  1. BWiggins 64039 says:

    RIP Ray Bradbury, great author of many of my favorite books: Something Wicked This Way Comes, Dandelion Wine and The Martian Chronicles.

  2. kunuyruiks says:

    I didn’t know about the Godzilla connection! That’s awesome.


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