At 1:15 AM this morning, my grandfather, Patrick Mangan, passed away. I wanted to say a few words about him. I know a stupid art blog is not the most glorious venue for commemorating someone, but my grandfather lived a modest and normal life. There won't be newspaper articles, mass public memorials, TV specials about him or anything like that. So this is the best way I know how. I don't know exactly how many people come here daily, or at all for that matter, but I wanted to share these few words. I don't have a doodle or a sketch or a painting to offer for a situation like this. Just my words. And I hope you can find the time to read them.
My grandfather did not fight in a war or build a skyscraper or save someone from a burning building. But that doesn't mean he was not a hero. He came to America and worked like many respectable Irishmen who wanted a better life. He fell in love and had children but then had to live through the loss of his wife. That alone would have me cowering in a corner, ready to give up. But he didn't. He raised a son and two daughters, one of which is my mother, the most wonderful person on Earth. To me, a hero can be nothing more than an honest and decent man.
For the past nine years, he lived with an aortic aneurysm that should have killed him within a couple years. Nine years. I lay around like a baby when I have a cold. When his aneurysm finally did burst yesterday evening, he was put through a surgical procedure with a 50% mortality rate. He survived it. And he still lived in the ICU for a couple more hours after that. He fought all he could but he couldn't do it any longer. And no one can fault him for that. He survived more, physically and spiritually, than most people ever will. That's a hero.
I'll end this with taking solace in what my best friend, Dave Scheidt told me yesterday to comfort me. "We should all aspire to be as bad ass as our grandfathers."
If you read through all of this, whether you've ever met my grandfather or not, or even me for that matter, thank you.
P.S. I will be have to cancel my appearances this weekend for Free Comic Book Day. I am sorry if you were looking forward to meeting me and having me sign or draw for you. But right now, my family is more important. I hope that you understand that.