Tuesday, October 14, 2008
R.I.P. Harry Fassl
I just found out that a good old friend has passed away — Harry Fassl, who provided countless photo-illustrations for Deathrealm as well as many book covers, including the cover art for my anthology, Song of Cthulhu. I don't have many details yet, but he evidently came down with flu-like symptoms that devastated his health, and he passed away on Sunday, October 12.
Harry and I hadn't had that much contact in recent years, but all through the 90s, we got together every time Peg and I went to Chicago, usually a couple of times a year. One unpleasantly memorable trip in the early 90s, he came to our rescue when Peg's car broke down on Lakeshore Drive — in the midst of the July 4th fireworks display. We had had dinner together and intended to spend that evening with him and his S.O. Diana at their place, but we ended up stranded in the parking lot of Soldier Field.
Harry put a lot of his heart into the oftentimes unsettling images of his art, though like so many people I know whose works can be most disturbing, his heart always seemed very big and very warm — despite the fact that sometimes wore the face of a crusty old curmudgeon (which makes him something of a role model).
It's a shame to me that my contact with Harry (like too many people I came to know well during Deathrealm's heyday) gradually became more and more infrequent over the years. Now it's too late. But we had some great times, appreciated each other's work no end, and among all the people I've known in my life, he occupies a distinct place of honor. I'd like to have been able to tell him that, but based on the way we used to talk, I'm quite sure he knew it.