Just back from Baltimore and the best Bouchercon in recent memory (thanks to the heroic efforts of Ruth Jordan, Judy Bobalik, and crew). I’d intended to post a recap, wherein I’d have recounted at least a few of the laughs laughed, good meals eaten, and good times had with many of the terrific folks I’ve met over the past several years, as well as a few new friendly faces.
But I returned home to a sad piece of news that takes me back a little farther, back to an even older group of terrific folks and friends–a group that’s a little bit smaller now than it was when I set out for Baltimore, and left with an exceptional vacancy.
If you happened to have an interest in the horror and/or fantasy genres during the 1990s–particularly in the specialty presses which thrived during that time–you’ve probably seen the wonderful artwork of H.E. Fassl. I have two of Harry’s pieces on my own office wall, and every time I look at them, they bring fond memories of times gone by.
Chief among those memories are my memories of Harry himself. In retrospect, our paths overlapped only for a relatively short walk, but he let me tag along for a bit while I was finding my own way, and his footprints remain. I think of him ambling along, smoking and grumbling, always a curmudgeon of the very best kind: the kind who needs a spiny shell to carry around such a big sweet incorrigible heart.
Meanwhile, his brain was a crooked, sprawling junkshop of wonderments; for years his cameras gave us lingering glimpses into its nooks and crannies. Each of Harry’s works was a bizarre, disturbing, and yet somehow comforting reminder that the world is boundless as long as the imagination runs wild.
Rest easy, sir.