Friday, January 13, 2023

My Friend Jim

Jim Shelley, the founder and primary writer of this blog, died last Sunday, January 8th. He was a little over a month shy of his 59th birthday. 

He had been battling colon cancer for 8 years. It was enough time for him to publish two Northstars graphic novels he co-wrote with his daughter, to teach that daughter how to drive, and see her get her license. Time enough to play in D&D campaign and assist his wife in publishing a D&D adventure. Time enough to co-host 15 episodes of a Bronze Age comics podcast. Time enough to watch most of the episodes in the 4 seasons of Wild Wild West and blog about it.

Time enough for those things and more. More time than Jim expected to have, really.

But not nearly enough time. Not for his friends and family.

Anyone who has been a follower of this blog knows that Jim was a creative person. What's perhaps less apparent is that Jim had a real fondness for fostering creativity in others. On Facebook, comics writer Chad Bowers noted that he probably wouldn't have had a comics career if Jim hadn't pushed him to take a story to publishers. I know I wouldn't have been blogging for 13 years or have authored 5 rpg books without Jim's encouragement and help. Jim was a creator, sure, but he also just liked to see things get created. 

There were other projects he and I started together that we never got to finish. In the end, there wasn't enough time.

Jim hadn't been blogging much for a while. Some of that was him losing interest in the original concept of the blog, and the rest was his illness. A few weeks before his death, we talked about this blog. I told him I would write a post after he was gone, which he whole-heartedly approved of. I also told him I would try to keep it alive in some way, at least to the extent it had been in recent years. He was happy with that, too.

Back in 2008, Jim wrote a memorial to his older sister Carter who had recently passed. I'm going to echo his closing in that post here: These past few days, I have had a lot of time to think about what having Jim as a friend meant to me and to see others say what he meant to them. A short post can't really express it. But I thought I'd let you know what a great person Jim was.

Thank you.


bombasticus said...

A wild mutant talent already missed. What would he want for the Flashback Universe? I guess "we" shall not cease from the exploration but how does that work?

Kid said...

Condolences. The party called life doesn't seem so much fun when our favourite partygoers leave before it's finished.

Kid said...

Condolences. The party called life doesn't seem so much fun when our favourite partygoers leave before it's finished.

'gina said...

Hi, everyone, this is Gina, Jim's wife. What a wonderful post. Thank you for writing this. It's comforting to know the ripples Jim left in this life are still out there, still resonating.

A friend with an interest in making sure this work stays here has contacted me. I am going to extend the maintenance of this work to him so he can help keep it going. I've been very busy planning the service this week, but I promise you the comic-related stuff is my goal for next week.

I'm putting stuff on my facebook to keep people abreast of plans (Regina Ferrara)

Also, here's the link to the obit.

Max said...

So sorry to hear of this. FBU was one of the first "comic book blogs" that I ever followed. I really hope that he found as much happiness as he could while he was here, because his work on this site was a big part of the "fun version of the internet" for me.

Sean Kleefeld said...

Oh, damn! I just happened across some old stuff Jim had written and wanted to check in to see how he was going, so this was a gut punch to come across. I never met Jim in person but we used to talk online, and he was always encouraged by and encouraging about every creative endeavor people would take. We fell out of touch the past 5-10 years, but I'm really saddened to see that he's no longer with us. My condolences to his family and everyone who knew him.

Trey said...

Thanks Sean. I know he was very fond of your blog.


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