Today's Marvel Comics titles all carry a tribute to Mike Hobson, the former publisher of Marvel Comics, who died in November. Each contains a eulogy penned by former EIC of Marvel, Tom DeFalco.
Tom DeFalco writes;
Many are the unsung heroes of the comic book industry. These people are the hidden giants who work behind the scenes — without credit, fanfare or fame — but are essential to the creation of your comics. They are people like Mike Hobson.
As a supervisor at Marvel, Mike was the greatest. He encouraged initiative, listened with an open mind and always supported his people. He rarely raised his voice and had a near-magical way of defusing tense situations. (Mixing creative people with those from marketing, sales or accounting is usually a recipe for disaster.)
Mike defined the word "gentleman." He was refined and soft-spoken, had an infectious laugh and was an intriguing conversationalist, well-versed in a variety of subjects. He knew the best restaurants, the tastiest dishes, the most flavorsome wines and the finest hotels. An invitation to dine with Mike was always a treasured event. He was the adult we all wanted to be when we grew up.
Whenever I think of Mike, two occasions spring to mind. One is the very first time Marvel sent me on a business trip by myself. Mike asked to see me before I left. I went to his office with pen and pad, expecting some last-minute business instructions. Instead, he told me to make sure I made lunch and dinner reservations and gave me a list of restaurants.
I also recall sitting in my office one afternoon when a furious Mike burst in.
"Do you know what those two idiots are doing'?" He asked.
"Which two idiots?" I responded.
Mike glared at me for a moment and then suddenly exploded in unrestrained laughter. He actually fell into my couch, and it took him several minutes to regain control. It seems two of my editors had stuck a fishing pole out our seventh-floor window with an old Milky Way for bait and were trolling for passersby. While Mike could appreciate the humor in the situation, he felt our editors needed to adhere to a higher standard of professionalism. That was Mike.
Mike Hobson was my boss and my friend. He will be missed.