Via John Stangeland at Atlas Comics in Chicago: Rich Vitone, an early and frequent contributor to the Jack Kirby Collector, passed away at age 56.
Despite numerous phone conversations with Rich, and many articles for the Kirby Collector, I only got to meet Rich in person once. It was after a Chicago Comic-Con in the 1990s; we drove over to his comic store and my wife Pam and I spent a delightful afternoon chatting with him. I remember asking, “Rich, why don’t you ever actually go to the Con, since it’s right here in town?” His response was, “I do comics all day, every day; why would I want to spend my free time at a comic convention?” But this curmudgeonly response wasn’t really genuine, since Rich was a devoted Kirby fan, especially of Jack’s Golden Age work—and he spent much of his free time writing some of our most interesting and informative articles on Kirby’s work.
It’s a big loss, for me, and for Kirby fans everywhere.