Comic book convention promoter Rick Olney has passed away. He was 58.
To say Olney was somewhat controversial in the world of comic book fandom is perhaps an understatement. He had run-ins with a good many comic book professionals over money, none more public than with comic book writer Gail Simone. It was the basis of a gigantic message board thread over at Comic Book Resources. At last count, the thread had over 53,000 posts.
Personally, I took an interest in stories about Olney because I used to live near his area of operations, Herkimer County in upstate New York. I was stationed at Griffiss Air Force Base located in nearby Rome, New York back in the early 1990’s. It’s where I was reintroduced to the medium of comic books. I read comics as a kid and then somewhat got into it again while in Air Force tech school. Secret Wars has been released and the issues were going around the dorms.
There was a comic book shop in one of the malls and I happened to see a poster of Spawn #1 in the window. I couldn’t believe how great the artwork was. I went into that mall comic book shop and bought a couple comics. The following week, I went back and bought more. The week after that, I went back and repeated the process.
Olney is survived by a wife and five children.