September 17, 2022

Brian Franczak, R.I.P.

I wanted to belatedly note the passing of Brian Franczak back in August, 2020. I'm not sure if I heard about it at the time (it was a hectic time, as I'm sure everyone recalls).  You might not recognize the name, but he was very important in the history of this site.  A big Ditko fan active in on-line forums, he put up the Ditko Fever site that I've referenced here many times.  It's no longer up, unfortunately, but a partial capture of it is available via the old wayback machine :

That site helped me find or verify many an obscure Ditko item. 

I also had several on-line exchanges with Brian, often about a previously unknown Ditko story that he had found, or questioning the veracity of a credit or a reprint.  One I remember was that I was about to throw away a box of papers I thought were junk once, and on a whim took a quick look through it and found that for some reason a bunch of my back-issues of DITKOMANIA were in the middle of the pile.  I decided that since they were almost thrown out anyway, maybe they should go to a better home, and asked Brian if he needed any of them.  He did, but insisted he buy them rather than take them, since I could get quite a bit for them in an auction.  So I quoted a price I thought was fair, maybe a bit high, expecting him to counter-offer a bit less, and instead he countered with a much higher offer, and suggested I just auction them starting at that price and he would bid. I just sold him the ones he needed at that price (which turned out to be about right, maybe just a bit on the high side, when I sold the other issues he didn't need). Always kind of appreciate it when someone refuses to take advantage of you no matter how much you're asking for it.

Anyway, he also helped me get quite a few other things, and was very encouraging on this site in the early days. He seemed to kind of drift away from on-line fandom over the last few years, apparently with some medical problems. Made a few efforts to reach out, with no luck, kind of wish I'd tried harder.

I didn't realize until now that he was also a dinosaur artist of some renown, working on several books and even some trading cards for Jurassic Park. You can read more about that aspect of his life here and here.

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