Friday, 13 May 2016

GIL PAGE - R.I.P.


L to R - DAVE HUNT, BARRIE TOMLINSON, and GIL PAGE.
(From EAGLE Annual 1983)

Saddened to learn (via STEVE HOLLAND's blog)
that former managing editor of IPC's Youth Group GIL
PAGE passed away a few days ago, aged 79.  Back when IPC
were in the process of selling their comics and mags (except for
SHOOT!) to the infamous ROBERT MAXWELL, I visited Gil
in his KING'S REACH TOWER office one day to arrange a
renewal of my ID card, so that I had continued access to
my 26th floor desk on my weekly trips to London.

You see, I usually arrived in the city around 6 a.m. and
the Youth Group's new offices (IRWIN HOUSE, just along
the road) didn't open until 8 or 8.30 a.m.  I'd have had to wan-
der the streets for a couple of hours if Gil hadn't arranged for me
to be able to use the Tower as a drop-in point until Irwin House
opened for 'business'.  Gil was extremely affable and there was no
haughty attitude that many people in exalted positions can often
display towards the 'little people'.  He even asked me whether
I'd like a tea or coffee and actually made me feel as if
I were important.  A genuinely nice man.

A good few years ago, I asked him if he'd write a
reminiscence of his time in comics, which was intended for
publication in the U.K. comics fanzine The ILLUSTRATED
COMIC JOURNAL.  When that esteemed organ disappeared,
I was left feeling guilty that, after him taking the time and trouble
on my behalf, Gil's article would never be seen.  Thank goodness
for CRIKEY!'s arrival on the scene, because I gave Gil's piece
to them, and it appeared in, I think, their fifth issue.  Gil even
supplied me with a photo of himself (at my request) to ac-
company the article.  I believe he was quietly proud
to see the fruits of his labour finally in print.

(One drawback was that Crikey! failed to turn off its
spellchecker option when retyping the article, and several
names were 'corrected' to something resembling their 'true'
state, but not quite.  (GEOFF CHAMPION for example,
instead of CAMPION.)  Gil wasn't as bothered by this
as I was 'though, and just laughed it off.)

Gil was a man who did a lot for British comics, al-
though most readers probably never heard of him.  It's a
shame he's gone, and 'though I didn't know him well nor could
be regarded as one of his friends, he had that enviable quality
of making you feel as if you were, even on a brief and passing
acquaintance.  Criv-ites may be interested to learn that Gil
was editor of the revamped SMASH! (to name but one),
which recently concluded its cover gallery feature
on this humble blog of mine.

Condolences to Gil's family and friends, and I'll
always recall that sunny day in London when Gil made a
Scottish stranger feel welcome and more important than
 he had a right to.  Thanks, Gil - and rest in peace.

2 comments:

AirPiratePress said...

I missed this post back in May and have only just seen it now. Back in 1987, when I was being considered as an interim Assistant Editor for 2000AD, I was interviewed by Gil. He came across as a genuinely nice fella, and subsequently always had a few moments for a chat whenever I saw him in the offices. Later, he was always trying to get work for Massimo Belardinelli and I wrote Moonrunners (with some help from Steve Parkhouse) specifically for Massimo. What a shame he never wrote a book about his years at Fleetway. I'm sorry he's gone.

Kid said...

Yeah, he was a real nice guy. He may never have written a book, but his article which appeared in 'Crikey!' is well-worth a read if you haven't already seen it, Al.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...