Happy 50th birthday, Mr. McDuffie.
You left us way too soon. We know you had many stories left to tell, many worlds to create or reimagine. And while you’re gone, your real peers will pick up where you left off.
(I say real peers, not those that gave you an ounce of respect only because, as one man wisely suggested, you’re no longer a threat)
Your fans, the ones whose lives you have touched over the years and still inspire to this day, are doing their damnedest to keep your legacy alive, sir. Yeah, the industry isn’t a better place in your absence, but fans and creators alike are still fighting the good fight.
Even when they tell us we don’t exist, when they tell us we don’t matter, when they tell is to just shut the hell up, we’re here. We’re still around. We’re still making our voices heard. We’re shouting to the top of our lungs.
In you, we lost our loudest voice, our brightest mind, our most vivid creator of worlds, and that loss is still hard to deal with even a year after your passing. In you, we creators have someone to inspire us to be griots for the 21st century, continuing the legacy you’re now delicately tied to.
We miss you, Maestro, and we thank you.