Gary 'HulkDaddyG' Pope Tribute
|3 min read
RODCOM1000's avatar
By RODCOM1000   |   
1 17 61 (1 Today)
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Update: Checkout Gilead's new profile page on Vindicatorsgo.com

Hey everybody, I've been meaning to write this journal entry for a while now, but I just haven't been able to manage it until now. I had knee surgery at the start of the year and unfortunately it did not go well. I went in for a meniscus repair and wound up getting a meniscectomy which is a complete removal of the meniscus. The result was me on my back in agony for the last four months. This would not have been so bad if I could have done some artwork but I just couldn’t focus through the pain and the drugs. Bad times.

Then I got the news that my friend Gary (Hulkdaddy G) Pope had passed. Those of you that follow me regularly are probably aware of Gary's page and our friendship.

But for those who don't... Gary and I met here on DA years ago when he reached out as Vindicator fan. I didn't realize how much of a fan until he traveled to New York Comic Con for the Vindicators debut. Even then he was struggling with health issues, but pressed through them just to be there for the event. We've been good friends ever since.

We talked superheroes and comics and ran story ideas by each other. Gary was especially proud of his OC Gilead. So I didn't see it coming when he essentially asked me to adopt Gilead into the Vindicators. I was shocked by this for several reasons, primarily because I knew how much he loved the character.

I encouraged him to develop the character on his own because he had a great concept and he'd regret giving it up. But I didn't think Gary felt confident in his ability to see the idea through. Or at least that's what I thought then.

Gary moved to Georgia with his family and I visited him there when I was In town. It was then I realized the extent of his health issues. Gary could barely stand. He assured me he had a plan to improve his health and mobility and I believed him.

Over time Gary became less communicative. When I ask what was up he was evasive and I didn't press, I should have. When I last communicated with him he informed me he'd possibly be moving into an assisted care facility. Again, I should have asked more questions. It was the last time I heard from him.

Gary was always a helpful and supportive friend and I fear I failed to be the same for him. I think now he was asking me to take Gilead the way you might ask a friend to take care of your favorite pet if thought you might not be around to do it yourself. So I'm going to do just that. From now on Gilead will reside in the Rodcom Universe. My friend may be gone, but part of him will live on in the pages of the Vindicators.

Comments17
anonymous's avatar
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J-Mace's avatar
J-MaceHobbyist Digital Artist

Oh my God! Gary passed away! It hurts my heart to know that.

I'm glad to see that Gilead is being integrated into your universe of characters. He's a perfect fit.

RODCOM1000's avatar
RODCOM1000Professional General Artist

Hey, Mace.

Yeah, it hit me like that too.

Gilead being with the Vindicators makes me feel like Gary still around.

ADE-doodles's avatar
ADE-doodlesProfessional General Artist

ah,

I didn't know Gary except from a few exchanges on DA, but i get the impression that he was a strait forward guy, and I suspect that if Gary had wanted more from your friendship than what you're doing by carrying on with Gilead, that he would have said so man.

Very sorry to hear about your knee issues. I pray things improve for you on that front.

All the best

RODCOM1000's avatar
RODCOM1000Professional General Artist

Gary was hard to read because he hid his pain. Not to mention it's hard to read people over long distance friendships. You have to trust that they're giving it to you straight.

While I'm sure he wasn't purposely being deceptive I know his situation embarrassed him and he kept a lot to himself.

Thanks so much for commenting.

scruffyronin's avatar
scruffyroninProfessional General Artist

Yeah!!

RODCOM1000's avatar
RODCOM1000Professional General Artist

Hey Scruffy, thanks for commenting!

I’ll update the website with your illustration this week.

BlackKusanagi's avatar
BlackKusanagiHobbyist General Artist

Knowing how tight you guys were, I was wondering or more like, I was anticipating your words on how you felt.

First of all, I'm sorry about the menicsectomy. That just sounds painful as hell, and very unenjoyable.

Second.

I am glad you've decided to take in Gilead. The fact you had such a struggle going on...and then hearing about what happened...I can only imagine. I think the big guy is in good hands, and I think he'd be super happy to know you've given the guy a good home. I don't think I knew how bad his health stuff was...but knowing that now...I'm glad he isn't in pain or suffering anymore. I just...wish that he was here.

Thank you for giving us your thoughts, and sharing once again. Hopefully the rest of your weekend goes well.

RODCOM1000's avatar
RODCOM1000Professional General Artist

Hey, BK. Yeah, the meniscectomy straight up sucked

I'm arguably worse off than I was before surgery and certainly equally as bad.

Many thanks for your supportive comments.

I like to think that if he could Gary would tell us not to grieve

but to think of him finally getting to hang with the angels ;)

BlackKusanagi's avatar
BlackKusanagiHobbyist General Artist

Preach. I can raise a glass to that.

gif
mikewinn's avatar

Absolutely amazing work and tribute man. I'm blown away and your own struggles earlier this year - just wow - it's been a time for many of us these past six to eight months hasn't it? This is so solid, amazing and exciting and so representative of Gary and his work with Gilead. I am deeply moved and I look forward to seeing what comes of this and what inspiration brings you to create.

RODCOM1000's avatar
RODCOM1000Professional General Artist

Hey Mike, you know I had to try to do right by our boy.

It's far from the grand concept I was fever dreaming about,

but I think I managed to convey what I was feeling.

Thank you for commenting and for your support,

it really means a lot.

Soviet-Superwoman's avatar

It's very good to know that I haven't seen Gilead for the last time and that he is in more than capable hands. Gary spoke about you quite a lot, always positively, always complimentary, never think that you failed him as a friend.

In our conversations he was always confident, talking about losing weight and getting back on his feet again. He told me he was in a hospital setting but never once let on how bad things were, instead being nothing but upbeat and positive. He would tell me stories from his past when the Christmas retail season was knocking me down or send me a few sketches when my depression flared up. After Christmas we had started planning a comic together and again, he never let on how grave anything was. Then one day he didn't answer back.

I think he would (and is) proud and honored to have you continue Gil's stories and keep him alive - for what my opinion on the matter is worth.

Promised myself I wouldn't get upset and here we go lol. You're a good man and I for one appreciate the kind words for our mutual friend and think Gilead has a lot more adventures ahead of him thanks to you.

RODCOM1000's avatar
RODCOM1000Professional General Artist

Such a warm response! Thank you for sharing a bit of your relationship with Gary with the rest of us. It's exactly the kind of thing I hoped to inspire with this tribute. Just because our friendships are mainly online doesn't mean we don't feel for each other in a real way.

I know Gary would be happy he brought us together as friends and I intend to follow-up on that as well.

I see Soviet Superwoman visiting the Vindicators in the near future! Roll Safe Smart

Soviet-Superwoman's avatar

If there is anything I can help with or any old stories and notes you'd like me to share, ideas of his poured out on digital paper, please let me know.

Kostmeyer's avatar

That's a really nice tribute (The text as well as the film) and I can't think of a better way to remember your friend than continuing to use his character. Good for you.

RODCOM1000's avatar
RODCOM1000Professional General Artist

Thanks so much for commenting, Kostmeyer.

Did you know Gary?

Kostmeyer's avatar

Sadly not - only through your posts about him.

anonymous's avatar
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