Thursday, November 1, 2012

In Memory of Bill White

My friend Bill passed away last Saturday. 

He was much loved and touched many with his wit and artistic genius.

We talked weekly (often daily) about what we were working on, pop culture, how our dogs were doing and whether it was pronounced “Toeth” or Tawth” (we never figured out how to pronounce Alex Toth’s name).

He had an encyclopedic knowledge of cartooning, theater and pop culture, would draw whatever he wanted with ease, wrote on a professional level and performed regularly in local community theater productions  - he had professional-level chops in that department as well. 

Whatever he touched he did – extremely - well.  One of “those” guys.

He was also funny.  Jaw-hurts-from-laughing funny.  Three people made me cry and nearly lose my breath from laughing – Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Bill (good company).

I’ll never forget when he mentioned meeting Sharon (again) – he knew of her from the neighborhood when they were kids.  She was the light of his life, lending a skip to his step that was noticeable in many ways including the new projects he was producing. 

My wife and I were blessed to attend their wedding - which was, as expected, very sweet and packed with hilarity.

I had the good fortune to travel with them to New York Comic Con last year – Bill kept us both in stitches the entire trip.  A loveable goof who could point out the funny in anything.

He was a magician with a pen.  I remember him scribbling out a “Thank You” image (his dog Rocco, I believe) for the hotel maid that blew my mind.  No pencil necessary.  He had a “direct line from his head to his hand”.  A cartoonist super power that was the envy of those of us in the field who actually have to "work" at it.   

He was a fantastic artist and had worked on many titles for Harvey Comics among others.  A good handful of his work and wit can be viewed on his blog:

Here are a couple of pieces I’m blessed to have in the collection

We often discussed Darwyn Cooke’s work.  Bill raved about the animated  “Justice League:  The New Frontier” and often quoted Batman’s line to a then disguised Martian Manhunter:

“I have a $70,000 sliver of radioactive meteor to stop the one from Metropolis.  With you . . . all I need is a penny for a book of matches.”

It was a line Bill wished HE wrote – high praise.

He was a great friend and encouraging teacher who always kept on me to produce more.  This blog is a result of our chats and forever dedicated to his memory.  He will be dearly missed and always remembered.  My heart goes out to Sharon and family -


  1. Beautiful sketch you did in his honor, John.
    Great to read your tribute.
    And yes, that line from the cartoon floors me as well.

  2. I love this John. Thank you so much for your wonderful words and your truly wonderful friendship to him over the years. You were an inspiration to him as well. Much love to you and Nancy, and thank you for being part of the services. I think I'll try to go to bed now....

  3. That was a moving tribute, John- I feel like I know Bill just a bit more now. He'll be missed.