I heard the news that Bo Lumpkin had passed away from a feature that Bearman had recently posted. Needless to say, I was totally shocked upon hearing the news, and had to take a moment to stand up, remove myself from my computer set-up, go outdoors, and try to fully wrap my brain around the significance of this news.
No, I’ve never shaken Bo‘s hand, nor have I ever met him face-to-face or spoken with him on the phone. I call Bo Lumpkin my friend, however, because we shared several passions: A passion for cartooning, a passion for storytelling, and a passion (and gusto) for life.
Bo Lumpkin was one of the very first “unknown supporters” (technically meaning: someone I did not already know personally or sought after with some sort of agenda) who visited my ADDANAC CITY website.
I’m always somewhat wary when I see a new name comment on my site. I’ve been in the game long enough to realize that spammers and haters can come along to tear you down and they use the guise of “new reader” to do so in many instances.
But Bo was anything but a spammy hater. He was someone who owed me nothing and had no vendetta or anything to gain by coming by my webcomic. He left a comment to give me a pat on the back, letting me know that he liked what I was doing and that I should keep up the good work.
He made my day.
I soon learned that he was creating his own comic strip series although he confessed that he didn’t know much about drawing or maintaining a website.
He just wanted to give it a shot, and wasn’t ashamed nor scared to fall flat on his face trying. All of us webcomickers were more than glad to grant Bo whatever tips and advice we could.
Bo was kind, polite, respectful, and inquisitive. He was an example of an ideal friend. He gave me a thumbs-up when it was warranted, and he would set me straight on certain things when I would get out-of-hand.
Bo allowed me to be myself, in all my various vulgarities. Sometimes I knew a certain AC comic may be a bit “provocative”, so to speak. Bo allowed me to get that out of my system without judging me.
I truly appreciate that. I know my comic may not be for everyone, but Bo didn’t go running for the hills when he encountered one on occasion that may not have been his cup of tea. He came back the next day to see what I was offering. Bo allowed each of us to be different.
Bo inspired myself and many others I believe.
I know I learned a lot from him. He taught me how to spin a good yarn, how it’s okay to erase to make room for something better, and how to take a much-needed break in order to fully appreciate the people you know and the world that surrounds you.
Most of you reading these words probably have your own stories of Bo Lumpkin to tell. Even if you barely knew the man, he may have had an influence on you. You’ve may have only heard of him through someone else. If you didn’t have the chance to know him, you’ve missed out on elder statesman of the highest order.
Bo, you will be missed. Thank you for being my friend, man.
A few weeks ago, Bo was on my mind a lot, and I decided to create a Guest Comic for him. I had notcied that he’d been out-of-touch recently web-wise, but I wanted to make sure he received my comic. I corresponded back and forth with Bearman on how best to contact Bo, and finally I got access to a viable email for him.
I sent Bo the strip, but I never heard whether he had received it or even liked it. I intended on trying to re-contact him this past weekend, but got “too busy” and let the chance pass me by.
Then I heard the news….
So, I’m not sure if Bo has ever even seen the comic below, but I’m posting it here, in honor of my friend. His legacy will live on….