Linda Gold, beloved wife of Mike Gold and mother of Adriane Nash, died the morning of May 29 of a heart attack while she slept. I cried when I got that sad email from Mike. That day and several other times since, I found myself misting up. I have lost too many friends this year, Alan Coil and Dick Giordano among them, and it sucks more than I can express.
Linda was a swell lady, smart, kind, funny, and just a ray of light in a too dark world. My heart goes out to Mike, Adriane, and all the friends who loved her. There were a lot of us.
Even before the Internet, comicdom friendship was a different kind of friendship. It was often long-distance, it didn't usually involve a lot of face-to-face time, and it was no less friendship for either of those traits.
You never keep count of these things, but I don't think I was in the same room as Linda even a dozen times since I first met on one of her and Mike's passing-through-town trips to Chicago. When I first met her, I immediately knew three things about her:
1. I liked her.
2. She made my friend Mike happy.
3. She was good people.
I have not always been the best judge of "good people." When I first started working in comics, I was hopelessly clueless when it came to who were the good people and bad people in the field. I made mistakes I regret to this day and I paid a heavy price for many of them.
By the time I met Linda, I'd gotten the knack of the good/bad thing. She was the real deal.
Mike has said that Linda didn't make friends lightly and that she treasured those friendships. Once you became her friend, that was something else you knew with certainty. Even when it came to Facebook, Linda was always there with a kind word. I don't think I know anyone who got more joy out of her Facebook relationships, and that's pretty amazing given the nature and vastness of such an online community.
There are people you mourn and there are people you never ever stop missing. Between that sentence and this one, I started typing the names of the people who, though no longer in this world, remain with me. That quickly got to be more than I could take.
I miss Linda. I'm going to miss her the next time I see Mike or Adriane, and I'm going to miss her every time I post some stupid thing on Facebook and don't get a response from her.
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.
ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.
TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?
THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.
FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?
FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.
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