By now, quite a lot of you have heard of the passing of Wade "Darkwolfie" Dooley. He was a friend I shall miss quite a lot- his infectious smile and sense of humor were grand. He could always be counted on for good conversation and excellent art- excellent art delivered on time, no less. For years he was one of my go-to people for Con badges for co-workers, or for artwork for me.. from "Here, draw to this and that perfect specification" to "Oh, you know what I like."
Probably the best story I can tell about him involves Draw Or Die at Furfright. For those of you unfamiliar with this, it's a collaborative comic strip production, drawn one panel at a time, with swapping of paper between panels and theme words. Panel one: "Owl", panel two "Pants", panel three "Godzilla" panel four: "Fun", for example. And everything in a time-limit. Incredible pressure to be fast *and* funny.
Dalia, who ran draw or Die up until this year (And co-ran it this year, at that), would usually bring her iPod and a small stereo, and play Halloween-themed music.. "Monster Mash", "Thriller" and the like. And in '07, that list happened to include Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London". quite fitting for a furry con.
Darwkwolfie happened to be sitting next to me that year, and naturally knew and loved the song- as did i. So we started singing alone while drawing. Especially the howls. "Ahhh-woooooo, Werewolves of London! Ahh-wooo!" We started soft, to the giggles of the room.. then got louder, each time getting it *exactly* on key. And the room kept laughing, and there were numerous "I can't concentrate, stop it!".
We didn't stop it. Not until the song was over. Knowing we were in the zone of gleefully annoying.
Decidedly my favorite memory of a wonderful guy. I'll miss him greatly, but I'm at least comforted by the fact that.. you know, when people pass away, and there's often the feeling of "I never told them they meant a lot to me, they never knew how I felt about them, and now it's too late?"
That's not the case here. Darkwolfie and I weren't close friends, we'd only hang out at cons. But as I knew.. and as Tashabear told me today.. he knew I appreciated his talents and his friendship both highly, and that he felt the same friendship for me.. It was one of those good and natural friendships, that way, that week a year we were around each other.
Rest in peace, my friend.