So Errol had been coming to the shop for years, popping in about once a month to pick up his holds, and calling me the next day with his Previews order. He had a health condition that slowly robbed him of his motor skills…early on he could still walk into the shop with the use of a cane, but in later years he was mostly wheelchair-bound: he was able to stand for brief periods of time, but certainly not walk.
However, he was always cheerful and friendly, and we’d chat for quite a while during his visits, and he wasn’t shy about what he thought was good or bad about the directions the industry was heading. He loved Golden Age comics and Marvel’s Masterworks reprint volumes, and DC’s Archives and classic newspaper strip collections. He didn’t care for DC’s New 52 reboots at first, but was slowly trying out some of them as the collections began to be released.
He would pull out his typed list of books he’d preordered, and we’d go through it together and figure out which items were delayed, and which items were so delayed maybe we should just give up on them. We’d just kind of shake our heads at the scheduling issues, with a “so whaddaya gonna do?” bemused resignation.
He remembered me once mentioning that my mother was a big Betty Boop fan, and during one of his visits to our shop, he brought me a Betty Boop Monopoly game to give to her.
He would also regularly call me between visits, just to get shipping updates and to make special item requests outside of his usual Previews orders. He’d usually end the call with “I’ll see you next week, God willing” or something similar.
A couple of weeks back I noticed that I hadn’t heard from Errol. Previews orders were due and he almost never missed turning one in. I called and left a message, suspecting that maybe he was back in the hospital again. I let him know that I hoped everything was okay, and that if he needed to turn in his order a bit late, that shouldn’t be a problem.
I called him again last week and left another message, simply to check up on him.
Earlier this week, suspecting the worst, I did a little Google searching, and found out Errol passed away about a month ago.
The Roy Thomas Presents the Phantom Lady hardcover came out this week. Errol was really looking forward to that. Mickey Spillane: From the Files of Mike Hammer is coming out next week…he’d been really waiting for that.
I suspect there will be several new releases in the foreseeable future that I’ll wish Errol could have been around to read and enjoy.
So long, Errol.