This year has been hard. Emotional struggles are what we as a species are born to face, year-after-year. But 2011 has been painful for so many of us, as we have had to say goodbye to too many of our heroes.
We grew up idolizing them, we loved them, and they touched our hearts forever. The world will never forget them or their contributions to enriching life as we know it.
Entertainers, fighters, inventors, pioneers, presenters, singers, actors and actresses...millions of people owe their happiness to them. And while their passing remains sad and painful, they are not gone. We will remember them always as they stay in our hearts forever.
Elizabeth Sladen (a.k.a Sarah Jane Smith), perhaps the greatest companion of the Doctor, and a true heroine of so many children, generation-after-generation.
Nicholas Courtney (a.k.a. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), another of the Doctor's greatest allies and truest friends. The character he played was a reflection of the man he was in real life.
Sir Henry Cooper, truly one of the Best of British. 'Enry's 'Ammer gave Muhammad Ali a good run for his money, and made Henry one of the most accomplished prizefighters who ever lived.
Macho Man Randy Savage, one of the all-time greats of professional wrestling. Second-only to Hulk Hogan, a world champion of WWE and WCW, and one of the most colourful athletes to ever enter the squared circle. Ooooohhh, yeeeeaaahhhh!!!!!!!
Smokin' Joe Frazier, another true boxing legend. His skills made him undisputed world champion, the arch-rival of Ali in the Thrilla in Manila and one of greatest celebrities to ever appear on The Simpsons.
Steve Jobs. Mankind should never ever underestimate or take for granted what his vision gave the world. Because of Apple, the whole entertainment industry has been revolutionized, and technology has vastly improved our working lives. The iPod, the iPad, the iPhone, iTunes, and the Apple Mac; utterly reliable, remarkable devices/machines that have made our lives so much easier. All because of the direction and contributions of a true genius.
Sir Jimmy Saville, a man who truly fixed so many children's lives. If you wanted to be on Parkinson, fight the Gladiators or fly a helicopter, Jim would indeed fix it. A man of his word and a real-life genie.
Dame Eizabeth Taylor, a true beauty, one of the absolute legends of Hollywood, and a woman who fought tooth and nail against life's challenges. Not only an amazing actress and human being, but known throughout her life as being a true survivor.
Amy Winehouse. The reason why she was an award-winning singer and songwriter was very simple. She was simply THAT great. Amy was taken from us far too soon, and suffered tragically. But at last, she has found her peace...and we must never EVER forget the wonderful human being there was deep down inside.
The skies of heaven are so much richer.
To all the families and friends of these amazing people...I give my deepest condolences. You should all be proud of them.
WE ALL SHOULD.
Goodbye, my heroes. May you all rest in peace.
D.C. Wood (18/12/2011)
N.B. When I produced this illustration back in 2011, I was paying respects to several heroes of mine and people who deserved tribute. Before these horrific allegations came to light in October 2012, Jimmy Saville was one of those people.
I loved watching Jim'll Fix It as a kid and I loved Jim himself. To hear of people coming forward with these stories of abuse is something I'm still having difficulty trying to fathom. I can't believe it.
Either way, I don't know the whole story of what Mr Saville was up to, but out of respect for all those who've come forward with reports of abuse, I am deeply sorry. I did not draw this picture with the intent of celebrating an alleged sexual predator because this scandal did not come to light at the time of his passing. I certainly did not know any of this when I was putting pen to paper. I was merely saying goodbye to a man who had a positive influence on my life, like Randy Savage, Elizabeth Sladen, Steve Jobs and everyone else here.
All this has caused tremendous damage to lives, and has tarnished this illustration which I KNOW is a PETTY issue in light of everything else. I will still keep it up in honour of everyone else included in this picture, and am choosing to remember the Jimmy Saville I remember from television, rather than the monster he has come to be known as. If that comes across as disrespectful, then again I am sorry. It is the only way I can deal with this horrific scandal.
My deepest condolences to all who've been affected negatively by Mr Saville.
D.C. Wood (14/10/2012)
A new version without Jimmy Saville has now been uploaded. Apologies for the lateness of this task.mrdcwood.deviantart.com/art/20…
D.C. Wood (19/10/2013)