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Wow, this is bullshit.  Back when I was more active, and prone to late night oversharing on the mental health threads, he was incredibly kind to me (as were many others) and he always seemed to know more about literally everything than anyone. His SF and horror recs, his horrifying stories of the Seattle punk scene of his youth, just talking weird comics. I didn't know him as well as a lot of people, but what a legend

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What a wonderful guy. Totally honest, lived a long and crazy life. You could be totally open to him and feel no sense of judgment whatsoever -- I had more than one serious conversation about alcoholism with him. And he was a fine writer, who I'm lucky to own a book of. 

His favorite band was the Cramps and this could very well have been his favorite album (by somebody not named John Prine), so here it is chopped up by the song.

Rest in Peace John. We loved ya bud. 

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I don't think he coined the phrase "Lurk and learn," but I feel like he's the first person I ever saw use it. He might have even used it on me in the days of yore on this very board! That had been my aesthetic anyway (pretty much continues to be, I guess), even before seeing it stated so plainly. Unlike a lot of folks who used it just to shut people down, it felt like he was more interested in engaging in an actual conversation. Not to say that he couldn't be, uh...abrasive at times, but the world needs curmudgeons, too. 

Horror lit certainly lost an encyclopedia's worth of lore and knowledge.

RIP

 

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One of his sci-fi friends posted some pictures of him on twitter that folks might want to see.  There are also plenty of people memorializing him in the replies.

 

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Looks like his last post was in the thread about April 1st being No Strike Day.

I was wondering why he hadn't shown up in the Complete Territory Episodes thread. Seemed like that would have been right up his alley.

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Aw, man I just remembered how much he loved Naito and thought of Dunne as a modern day Johnny Valentine of sorts.  Been pretty bummed about this today but should find time to watch them in his honor. 

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2 hours ago, Zimbra said:

One of his sci-fi friends posted some pictures of him on twitter that folks might want to see.  There are also plenty of people memorializing him in the replies.

I had checked that out this morning actually, and it struck me how even though we saw him now and again, he just obviously had a rich and full existence with his profession and hobbies where he touched a lot of other lives, either by producing the collections that he did or through direct interaction and mentoring. I kind of thought of him as one of the Cheers regulars here who I'd known here for decades, but as good as it is for us to see each other's comments, it was nice to see people completely unconnected to us talk about him too.

Edited by Matt D
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I will never forgive that old bastard for goading me into reading BleakWarrior.  I will have to go out and get myself a bottle of top shelf Scotch and pour one out in his honor this weekend.

12 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

His favorite band was the Cramps.

He was also fond of Frank Frazetta.  His favorite piece was of Kane the Death Dealer.

Image+(24).jpg

 

Edited by J.T.
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12 hours ago, Matt D said:

I had checked that out this morning actually, and it struck me how even though we saw him now and again, he just obviously had a rich and full existence with his profession and hobbies where he touched a lot of other lives, either by producing the collections that he did or through direct interaction and mentoring. 

His first publishing venture - Axolotl Press - was pretty influential.  In the 1980's, self-publishing wasn't really a thing and small press publishers were few and far between.  Sci-fi and fantasy authors were pretty much limited to selling novels to major publishers and getting anything shorter published in magazines like Locus.  It was sort of a big deal when John and a few other people started buying short stories & novellas and releasing them in very nice, high-end editions with small print runs.

I probably stumbled onto John because he worked with Tim Powers and James Blaylock, two of my favorite fantasy writers.  Blaylock's book, Land of Dreams. won the World Fantasy Award in the late 80's, so he was probably my gateway.  I started college in college in the late 80's and it was a trip getting catalogs in the mail from John or Mark Ziesing (in those days, John was a booksellers as well as publisher) and reading ads for book and author's I'd never heard of.  Remember, late 80's aka the days before you could scroll through Amazon listings or google and buy pretty much any book in existence.  Getting a catalog in the mail from Axolotl or Ziesing was pretty much an "Alice though the Looking Glass" experience for me.  It exposed me to a lot of weird books and new authors who caught my attention solely because they seemed weird and obscure in the catalog.  In the 80's, at least, he small press scene was a lot more interesting than what was on the shelves in my local chain bookstore.

I really wish I had known who John was irl.  I haven't read much sci-fi or fantasy in 20 years or so, but, if John had said to me "Hey, I know James Blaylock and Tim Powers", I still would have wanted to talk to him for hours. 

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He was always the nicest dude, even when I first started posting on wrestling forums and didn't know a wristlock from a wristwatch, he'd always politely and respectfully set me straight. When I started posting here regularly again a couple of years ago, he PM'd me when he saw I'd moved from NY to NM, and we chatted a bit about how much different it really is out here. Rest easy, John.

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A few years ago, I started a shelf porn thread. John, of course, showed us all a beautiful example of his shelves and shelves of books. When I and a few others expressed concern about the picture showing him smoking after he had quit, first he reassured us it was an older photo. Then, he sent me a pm, asked for my address, and sent me a handful of relatively rare first editions to add to my shelves, including one with his autograph.

He was cranky, stodgy, and grumpy, but he was also warm hearted, hilarious, and brought knowledge that few if any other people on Earth have. Certainly nobody else who is coming here.

Fuck

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Man, this one hurts.  OSJ and I talked baseball a lot on here in posts and PMs.  We had similar views on a lot of guys and he loved to goad me into responding to stuff.  Always a good, supportive guy even with his "cranky" personality.  Like someone earlier said, I thought he was still around, too, but he obviously wasn't.  RIP OSJ, you will definitely be missed!

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OSJ was the fucking best. Back years ago we had a long chat about Vancleave MS,a tiny rural town near the coast. "Yea been told that in that area the only books people have are The Bible and the phonebook. And the phonebook is not around much anymore." Told him I knew of one home down there that had a pile of books and within seconds he knew who that person was. 

He always reminded me of my favorite uncle. The on that was taking me to see every horror and sci fi film that  hit theaters from when I was 5 until I shipped off for Army BCT. 

 

RIP OSJ you were one of a fucking kind sir.

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The more I think about this, the sadder I get. In the moment, when you saw most of his jokes, they were just groan inducing, almost like dad jokes. 

He was also the only person on the board who had that kind of a sense of humor and he never got pissed when the joke would go over like a fart in church. And now that person is gone.

It's the same thing with the baseball thread. There was a certain amusement to him starting a thread about some hall of fame thing and Rippa or Dolfan shutting it down within a day. I'm sure we was just looking for the discourse and Rippa or whoever were trying to keep conversations contained to their appropriate threads, but I'd like to think part of that was OSJ being self-aware enough to know Rippa would shut it down.

When I was younger (I'm 40 now), there was a period where OSJ tried to talk to those of us in our early 20s or whatever like he was the town elder. Then as I got older, that stuff didn't bother me so much and he was just a dude trying to impart his knowledge or experiences on us.

And again, now that person is gone and there's no one here quite like that. That sucks.

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1 hour ago, bobholly138 said:

OSJ was the fucking best. Back years ago we had a long chat about Vancleave MS,a tiny rural town near the coast. "Yea been told that in that area the only books people have are The Bible and the phonebook. And the phonebook is not around much anymore." Told him I knew of one home down there that had a pile of books and within seconds he knew who that person was. 

He always reminded me of my favorite uncle. The on that was taking me to see every horror and sci fi film that  hit theaters from when I was 5 until I shipped off for Army BCT. 

 

RIP OSJ you were one of a fucking kind sir.

I lived in Gautier (right next to Vancleave) when we were stationed in Mississippi about 10-12 years ago, and I can confirm that.

I didn't have as many interactions with OSJ as many of you that have already posted here have, but he was always decent and respectful to me when our posts would cross. He seemed like a genuinely decent human being and now I'm sad that I didn't have more opportunities to interact with him here on the boards.

Rest In Peace, John.

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This sucks. I am not sure I interacted with him at all, outside of maybe a couple posts in the mma forum. I don't have anything to add that hasn't been said but will reiterate, he had a strong personality that might have rubbed some people the wrong way at times but was also an amazing human who I always felt genuinely cared about the other members as more than characters on a message board. The number of people here sharing stories on how OSJ brought a personal touch to an online board is enough to make me teary-eyed.  The guy is a legend and will be sorely missed.

RIP OSJ. 

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