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Submitted on
February 11


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Sometimes the Fates just hammer you mercilessly. Seems like I'm in one of those phases. Two weeks ago I lost my Dad. He was 93 and died of natural causes. It seems like lots of my time since has been remembering him to family and friends, and sharing the gifts, lessons, and perspectives that he gave me. He was gentle man who always tried to teach me by example, not by lecturing or commanding. While life's demands steered his career on a mundane course by necessity, his passions remained aeronautical design (perfecting the art of hand launch gliders to ascend into the clouds), scale model building (both from kit and more often from scratch), and sailing. There's no way I can understand the scope of his influence on me… but each day I live explores that echo more deeply.

My father's decline was slow and long. We could see it coming, but it's still impactful. I finally got the point where I wasn't thinking of his death every three minutes when I got the news that my friend and art colleague Bryan Gibson (Sabakakrazny ) died this week. GIVE ME A F**KING BREAK, FATES!!!!!! Bryan was part of an informal brotherhood of artists - all of us working for GDW/DGP and Traveller back in the latter half of the eighties. We spoke on the phone often, back then. Sometimes too often ("Er… Bryan, I've got a deadline here…"). And we'd meet up once or twice a year at the major gaming conventions.

Spacewalk by Sabakakrazny Scooter Racer by Sabakakrazny air Raft - circa 1986! by Sabakakrazny

Bryan was a big guy - he looked like a cross between a crazed Cossack and a pirate. In a still image he might look intimidating, but if life he was exuberant and irrepressible. To talk with Bryan about a mutual interest was like sticking your finger in a super-charger. His energy was infectious and would leave you not only inspired, but totally ready to roll. And MAN, THAT GUY COULD DRAW! The first time I sat next him as he doodled I was astounded by how fast he was and how his line and figures just flowed. I don't have half his skill with pen, pencil, and animate forms.

Droyne Sport by Sabakakrazny Chirper Curiosity by Sabakakrazny Faster, Faster, FASTER WOULD BE BETTER!! by Sabakakrazny

For some Traveller aliens, like the Droyne and Vargr, he was the definitive artist. He breathed amazing life into all his characters, making his non-humans as engagingly emotive as his human characters. I think I heard Marc Miller say, more than once, that Bryan was his favorite Traveller character artist. Bryan brought that universe to life and Traveller art clearly remained a passion to his end.

Crash landing by Sabakakrazny  Gibson's Virushi by Rob-CaswellOrbital Repairs by Sabakakrazny

Bryan was my age - in the first half of his 50's - but had been struggling with Parkinson's for a number of years. It's possible that it was a complicating factor, but it seems like it was viral pneumonia that finally took him down. Damn it. Just damn it. Talented, big-hearted guys like Bryan check out too early while mean, black-hearted bastards like Dick Cheney still walk the earth. TANJ! Bryan is survived by family, friends, and his wonderful creation, Sushi.

Sushi Power Skates color by Sabakakrazny

I am hoping to organize an online memorial chat for Bryan in the coming week. If you'd like to be made aware of detail, drop me a note. It'd be great to share stories and recollections of the man. I'd always considered him a Force of Nature, but clearly Nature decided to assert her superiority. The margarine ads were true....

Bye Dad. Bye Bryan. I wish you both glorious adventures in the undiscovered country.
  • Mood: Relief
  • Listening to: Bagel Radio
  • Reading: Relativity Space
  • Watching: Arrow
  • Drinking: To lost friends and family
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Peebo-Thuhlu Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014

:heart: goes out to you and all related.

Another piece of my growing up fading away...But never forgotten.

Very much cheers to you and yours.
dana-redde Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So terribly sorry for your losses. Pouring one out for both of them.

It's funny, I had the same reaction when my friend passed away suddenly--she's gone, but Dick Cheney's alive? There's no way to make sense of it.
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks, buddy :)
brilliantbent Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
My sympathies go to you
Chrisofedf Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Professional Filmographer
I'm really sorry for your losses, I Checked out Brains page, amazing work!
SurfXombie Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
I knew Bryan through Wildstar and though I played traveller I never joined the dots. I found him a kindred spirit of imagination, and he could draw and gave shape to my imagination (see the Nebbs pics). Some people pass away and I am sad, but strangely with Bryan i feel the loss more, i think he touched people on other levels.. like your imagination.
CR99nut Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
My deepest condolences.

About a year ago, we lost my father-in-law (which was expected and in some ways merciful) and a month after his funeral, my niece (which was unexpected and shocking--especially given that the last time we saw her was at the father-in-law's funeral).

No loss is easy, and I hope that the positive memories/influences of your dad and friend carry you through this troubling time.
archangel72367 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Student Digital Artist
As you probably already know, my mother passed last September, at 65.  I have never dealt with a loss so sympathies my friend.  Like your father, it was just a matter of time, but it still hurts when it happens.  There are really no words that can convey the feelings, and then the double whammy.  I am truly sorry.
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Professional General Artist
Strangely I find it hurts more later... weeks later. But I guess we all process our grief in our own way.
archangel72367 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Student Digital Artist
That is the shock wearing off, and the cold clammy hands of reality stirring up your insides.  And yes we do, part of what makes us individuals.
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