A few days ago the Atomic Junk Shop site announced that one of their writers, Greg Hatcher, has passed. Many comic fans started reading Greg’s words on the Comics Should Be Good blog and continued over to Atomic. In the age old debate over whether the artist or the writer sells the comic, we all followed a writer to another site.
I never met Greg and I don’t think we ever communicated online (maybe I told him I enjoyed an article and he said thank you). However, he made me want to be a better writer and a better comics fan. Not only did Greg show off his encyclopedic knowledge of comics, pulps, classic TV, and more he also showed his world. I loved when he would show off his to read stack next to the bed. The bowing bookshelves. The stacks behind stacks. Some may have seen a mess but I saw treasure. My missions to thrift stores, used book shops, and the like were altered because I wanted to find the vintage titles that I only knew of thanks to Greg’s posts. Many of us only bought an old Three Investigators book because of Greg’s love for the series.
His memory brought a time and a city I never experienced to life. Book and record and head shops long gone but alive through his words. Trash and pulp and pop culture that no one respected were put on pedestals through years of Friday posts.
Greg also never hesitated to share his life. His wife, his students, his struggles. He wasn’t just a writer he became someone we all knew. Someone we rose and fell with.
Now I don’t have any history with anyone from CSBG or Atomic Junk Shop, but I know that Atomic mentioned they will be posting some of Greg’s old CSBG columns. I wonder if it’s possible to do something more. As Greg showed us his shelves, let’s put him on ours. Open question to anyone on that site: would it be possible to put those columns into a book with all of the money going to Julie? I think there are many long time readers who would love to always have Greg’s words nearby.