Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tim Corrigan (1950-2015)

Tim Corrigan has died and words fail us. He was a cartoonist, sign-painter, writer, editor, teacher, songwriter, and musician. More importantly he was a husband, a father, and a friend.

Born on December 2, 1950, Tim began drawing comics as a child as so many of us did and still do. "As a little kid I didn't have the drawing skills to handle human characters with all those complicated arms and legs," Tim remembered, "so one of my first efforts was a super-powered worm--Elasticworm!" Will Eisner said that a cartoonist is a problem-solver. Tim Corrigan demonstrated that an early age with his limbless cartoon hero.

Tim began collecting comics in earnest when he was a teenager. Soon he discovered fandom and began contributing to comic book fanzines. In the early 1970s he became involved in independent comics, a community in which he eventually became a leader. That community grew more interconnected in the 1980s with Tim's publication of a magazine called Small Press Comics Explosion or SPCE. "The purpose of SPCE," Tim wrote, "was to provide a central point where people making and marketing their own comics could get together, meet each other, and buy, sell or trade their publications." In time, SPCE had five hundred subscribers, no small feat for a small press title. (The term small press was his invention.) Tim also published comics under his own New Voice Media imprint. His titles included Tim Corrigan's Superhero Comics, Kiwanni, Final Man, Mightyguy, and Tim Corrigan's Comics & Stories. For his efforts, Tim Corrigan received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo--S.P.A.C.E.--in 2006.

In 2008, Tim started a new chapter in his career by writing and inking a Sunday comic strip called Allegheny Man. Larry Blake, penciler on the strip during its four-year run, explained: "It was supposed to be impossible to self-syndicate a comic strip, to do an adventure strip, and on top of that a superhero strip, but we broke all the rules!"

Tim retired from comics in 2012 and took up music as a family affair. The Corrigans--Tim with his wife Carol--made records and videos. You can see some of their performances and hear some of their songs on YouTube. The Corrigans' sons--Nate and Matt--are artists and musicians as well.

Tim Corrigan died on August 22, 2015. He was sixty-four years old. In 2008 he wrote, "[I]t seems I have had a wonderful life." We're glad of that and glad that we knew him. We wish he could have stayed longer.

Copyright 2015 Five Star Comics