Spurgeon edited The Comics Journal from 1994-1999, wrote the daily comic strip Wildwood with Dan Wright for three years, co-wrote the biography Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book, and co-authored Comics As Art: We Told You So, a 700-page history of Fantagraphics (see "Fantagraphics Celebrates Its 40 Year Anniversary in a Uniquely Fantagraphics-ish Way").
In recent years, Spurgeon’s inestimable wit was best displayed on Twitter, where his 18,000+ followers, which undoubtedly included most of the key people in the comics business and art form, were treated to funny, smart, pithy, and sometimes biting observations on comics and life on a regular basis. We last saw him at San Diego Comic-Con this year, where we chatted about a string of hilarious tweets he’d been sending out in the run-up to the show. He said he’d been running on little sleep, which he’d found had a tendency to make his tweets funnier.
The one we liked the best of those pre-San Diego tweets, which like many of his comments, captured the zeitgeist of the comics business in a single laugh-producing sentence: "7 percent of me thinks San Diego Con ends this year with the all-ages people ganging up and going red wedding on the remaining alt-, art- and superhero comics crowds."
While the pinned tweet from his Twitter account showed his devotion to comics and the sardonic flare with which he commented on it: "I will save this comics industry to the ground."
Too soon to lose him, way too soon.
Portrait by Michael Netzer for his Portraits of the Creators Sketchbook, from Wikimedia Commons.