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Sometimes the Fates just hammer you mercilessly. Seems like I'm in one of those phases. Two weeks ago I lost my Dad. He was 93 and died of natural causes. It seems like lots of my time since has been remembering him to family and friends, and sharing the gifts, lessons, and perspectives that he gave me. He was gentle man who always tried to teach me by example, not by lecturing or commanding. While life's demands steered his career on a mundane course by necessity, his passions remained aeronautical design (perfecting the art of hand launch gliders to ascend into the clouds), scale model building (both from kit and more often from scratch), and sailing. There's no way I can understand the scope of his influence on me… but each day I live explores that echo more deeply.

My father's decline was slow and long. We could see it coming, but it's still impactful. I finally got the point where I wasn't thinking of his death every three minutes when I got the news that my friend and art colleague Bryan Gibson (Sabakakrazny sabakakrazny.deviantart.com/ ) died this week. GIVE ME A F**KING BREAK, FATES!!!!!! Bryan was part of an informal brotherhood of artists - all of us working for GDW/DGP and Traveller back in the latter half of the eighties. We spoke on the phone often, back then. Sometimes too often ("Er… Bryan, I've got a deadline here…"). And we'd meet up once or twice a year at the major gaming conventions.

Spacewalk by Sabakakrazny Scooter Racer by Sabakakrazny air Raft - circa 1986! by Sabakakrazny

Bryan was a big guy - he looked like a cross between a crazed Cossack and a pirate. In a still image he might look intimidating, but if life he was exuberant and irrepressible. To talk with Bryan about a mutual interest was like sticking your finger in a super-charger. His energy was infectious and would leave you not only inspired, but totally ready to roll. And MAN, THAT GUY COULD DRAW! The first time I sat next him as he doodled I was astounded by how fast he was and how his line and figures just flowed. I don't have half his skill with pen, pencil, and animate forms.

Droyne Sport by Sabakakrazny Chirper Curiosity by Sabakakrazny Faster, Faster, FASTER WOULD BE BETTER!! by Sabakakrazny

For some Traveller aliens, like the Droyne and Vargr, he was the definitive artist. He breathed amazing life into all his characters, making his non-humans as engagingly emotive as his human characters. I think I heard Marc Miller say, more than once, that Bryan was his favorite Traveller character artist. Bryan brought that universe to life and Traveller art clearly remained a passion to his end.

Crash landing by Sabakakrazny  Gibson's Virushi by RobCaswellOrbital Repairs by Sabakakrazny

Bryan was my age - in the first half of his 50's - but had been struggling with Parkinson's for a number of years. It's possible that it was a complicating factor, but it seems like it was viral pneumonia that finally took him down. Damn it. Just damn it. Talented, big-hearted guys like Bryan check out too early while mean, black-hearted bastards like Dick Cheney still walk the earth. TANJ! Bryan is survived by family, friends, and his wonderful creation, Sushi.

Sushi Power Skates color by Sabakakrazny

I am hoping to organize an online memorial chat for Bryan in the coming week. If you'd like to be made aware of detail, drop me a note. It'd be great to share stories and recollections of the man. I'd always considered him a Force of Nature, but clearly Nature decided to assert her superiority. The margarine ads were true....

Bye Dad. Bye Bryan. I wish you both glorious adventures in the undiscovered country.
  • Mood: Relief
  • Listening to: Bagel Radio
  • Reading: Relativity Space
  • Watching: Arrow
  • Drinking: To lost friends and family
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:iconpeebo-thuhlu:
Peebo-Thuhlu Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014
:hug:

:heart: goes out to you and all related.

Another piece of my growing up fading away...But never forgotten.

Very much cheers to you and yours.
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:icondana-redde:
dana-redde Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So terribly sorry for your losses. Pouring one out for both of them.

It's funny, I had the same reaction when my friend passed away suddenly--she's gone, but Dick Cheney's alive? There's no way to make sense of it.
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks, buddy :)
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:iconbrilliantbent:
brilliantbent Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
My sympathies go to you
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:iconchrisofedf:
Chrisofedf Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Professional Filmographer
I'm really sorry for your losses, I Checked out Brains page, amazing work!
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:iconsurfxombie:
SurfXombie Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
I knew Bryan through Wildstar and though I played traveller I never joined the dots. I found him a kindred spirit of imagination, and he could draw and gave shape to my imagination (see the Nebbs pics). Some people pass away and I am sad, but strangely with Bryan i feel the loss more, i think he touched people on other levels.. like your imagination.
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:iconcr99nut:
CR99nut Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
My deepest condolences.

About a year ago, we lost my father-in-law (which was expected and in some ways merciful) and a month after his funeral, my niece (which was unexpected and shocking--especially given that the last time we saw her was at the father-in-law's funeral).

No loss is easy, and I hope that the positive memories/influences of your dad and friend carry you through this troubling time.
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:iconarchangel72367:
archangel72367 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Student Digital Artist
As you probably already know, my mother passed last September, at 65.  I have never dealt with a loss so profound...my sympathies my friend.  Like your father, it was just a matter of time, but it still hurts when it happens.  There are really no words that can convey the feelings, and then the double whammy.  I am truly sorry.
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Professional General Artist
Strangely I find it hurts more later... weeks later. But I guess we all process our grief in our own way.
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:iconarchangel72367:
archangel72367 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Student Digital Artist
That is the shock wearing off, and the cold clammy hands of reality stirring up your insides.  And yes we do, part of what makes us individuals.
Reply
:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm so sorry to hear this.

My own dad is getting pretty far up there in years, and I'm trying my hardest to make the best of it. It's hard when he doesn't have the energy he used to, which makes me saddened and angry at myself for not appreciating him more when he had more vitality. He was able to knock a guy out in a single hit too, though he tried not to make a habit out of that.

I also have a friend like Bryan. He's a big guy, Italian by ancestry, and so much fun to be around. I hope to know him for a long time, because guys like that are a rare find indeed.

I hate that life has thrown so much crap your way lately. Hopefully things will look up from here.
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks, bud. Y'know... sometimes snow storms aren't enough and nature decides to throw a shit storm at us, as well :/  So I'm a trough now, but a peak will come again in time. Meanwhile I hope you make the best of your Dad's remaining years. It's hard to see them as so much less than they were in the prime of life, but they're still family.... and the soul we care so much about is relatively unchanged within. Good luck!
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:iconmaster-ninjabear:
master-ninjabear Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
you have my sympathies.
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:iconregulf-red:
Regulf-Red Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
My deepest condolences! 

When I read about your father, I understand you very good. I can tell the same about my father. He was a surgeon and died of overfatigue two years ago at age 55. And every day I understand how deep is his influence on me.

My deepest condolences once again :(
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
Wow, dead at 55. Ouch. Too soon. I'm sorry to hear that.
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:iconvlabush:
vlabush Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
My condolences and hugs of solidarity and sympathy
Reply
:iconvlabush:
vlabush Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
...and cheer up! When the going gets though, the though get going...
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:iconmetalsnail:
MetalSnail Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm sorry for both of your loses.
Reply
:iconarenafighter:
arenafighter Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Never Easy to Lose someone, i just lost an Uncle Recently, and Very Suddenly. i understand and send Prayers to You my Friend.
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
In many ways it's those sudden and unexpected losses that are the hardest.
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:iconarenafighter:
arenafighter Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
i know.stay cool.
Reply
:iconegoak:
Egoak Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sorry to hear about your loss! It's never nice to loose love ones. But remember they'll always live on in your heart and memories. My deepest condolences
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks :)
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:iconegoak:
Egoak Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're very welcome
Reply
:icontazz2060:
tazz2060 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
Please accept my condolences. As I lost my own father just last month during open heart surgery, I feel your pain.

As for Mr. Gibson, he will be missed. As a long time Traveler player, I was familiar with his work. He was one of my favorite artists and I was very excited that he had a page here on Deviantart.

His drawings of technology, like vehicles and ships, were always my favorites. I especially liked his redesign of the scout/courier for T20. Functional but cool. Realistic yet classic.

A very sad day indeed.
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
Yeah, it was great having Bryan on DA... and I'm thankful that it enabled he and I to get back in touch after many years apart. And I'm with ya on his T20 Scout design. Nifty stuff! It's also worth noting that he OWNED Traveller Battledress design. Totally. No one could draw that stuff like him.
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:iconechoarty:
echoarty Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My condolences for your losses :(
Reply
:iconcapntylor:
CapnTylor Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
First of all, condolences on the loss of your father.
Regarding Bryan Gibson:  I knew Bryan.  I had met him at several conventions and I participated in some online RPGs with him back in the early-mid 2000s.  He and I oftentimes did not get along very well, but over the years I kept up with his art.  He was very talented and as many have said, his visualizations of things have become the default way the TRAVELLER universe is pictured.  Although we didn't get along, I am saddened by his passing.  He will be missed.
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
Heh - Bryan certainly didn't hold much in. Maybe he's an acquired taste ;)
 In the end I'm glad you can appreciate what he brought to the table. Thanks for sharing that.
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:icontommerch:
tommerch Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
My most heartfelt condolences for the loss of your friend and your father.

Thos. Merchant
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:iconmaphisto86:
Maphisto86 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
Oh man this is tragic. I am sorry to hear about your father and . . . geez I am a big fan of Bryan Gibson's work as well. Holy crap this is sudden, I never knew he was ill.
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
I think his pneumonia progressed pretty quickly, so most of us are still pretty shocked.
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:iconmaphisto86:
Maphisto86 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
It is still surreal . . . he was just on here a little over a day ago. I wish the best for you, the rest of his friends and of course his family.
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:iconmaliszew:
maliszew Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
I'm sorry to hear about both your father and Bryan.
Reply
:iconemperorkalan:
Emperorkalan Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
My condolences to you about your father, and to Bryan's family.
Reply
:iconfredblhd:
fredblhd Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
well said. Unusual.
Reply
:iconriftroamer:
riftroamer Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My condolences too, Rob. It seems the year is not in for a good start. I lost my mother nine months ago and my wife's dad passed away last Tuesday.
I loved Bryan's Art. You people did an amazing job for Traveller.
I'm sorry for making a cut here... Can't find words that would do Bryan justice with the grief I go through at this time...
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
Yeah, it is hard to find the right collection of words to sum up a life... or a decades long influence.
Sorry to hear that you've been in the Fate's crosshairs as well....
Reply
:iconlatinvimes:
LatinVimes Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My condolences for the loss of your dad and friend. As for Mr. Gibson, his art was a big part of my formative years ...

Gosh, I'm tearing up....
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
I'm sure Bryan would be touched by your words. Thanks, man :)
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:icontexanhombre:
TexaNHombre Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
Crap. He was one of my favorite artists. My sympathies to his family and fellow fans.
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:iconcadwaladr:
cadwaladr Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
Crap. I read this title and wondered why does that name ring a bell. Im terrible at remembering names so why does that sound familiar. Then I looked and recognized most of the images. Odd how memory works. somewhere in my subconscious I obviously logged the signature in oh so many Traveler books. Most likely the Vargr book.
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
Yeah, Bryan's images were ALL OVER Traveller - and always to good effect.
Reply
:iconnyrathwiz:
NyrathWiz Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Artist Juan Ochoa did a tribute to Bryan Gibson: a Droyne honor guard
plus.google.com/+JuanOchoa/pos…
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Professional General Artist
Perfect!!
Reply
:iconnyrathwiz:
NyrathWiz Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
When I told Juan Ochoa about Bryan he said "His art informed a lot of my science fiction work. So sad."
Reply
:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
Sad.... but uplifting at the same time. It lends proven purpose to Bryan's brief time here.
Reply
:iconnyrathwiz:
NyrathWiz Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Juan Ochoa colorized his tribute:
plus.google.com/photos/+JuanOc…
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
Nice. Sure is a great tribute. I've made it my DA webcam image, for the time being.
Gotta do my own tribute when my "art gland" recovers. Too much sadness and stress of late. It kinda mutes my creativity...
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:iconnyrathwiz:
NyrathWiz Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
And you will make your own tribute, in the fullness of time.
But now is the time to rest and grieve.

Juan Ochoa is pushing further, hoping to make something good out of the ashes of tragedy.
plus.google.com/+JuanOchoa/pos…
Reply
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