I received news today that a long-time friend of mine, Edouard Mesert, passed away from an unspecified illness on December 14th of 2008. I don't know how old he was, but I would guess in his late forties. He was a fellow fantasy fan as well as a devout Christian and a member of my religious group. He loved "traditional" horror characters such as vampires and werewolves, and he also loved antique cars. He once owned a Chevy from the 1970s that he called "Vlad the Impala." Edouard enjoyed fantasy costumes and would dress as an elegant vampire at conventions. He loved the vampire stories of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and the Darkover books of Marion Zimmer Bradley.
In 1995 he commissioned me to do this portrait of him, lovingly embraced by a sexy werewolf. (Watercolor on board, 9 1/2" x 11".) I enjoyed putting a "real" person into a fantasy world. Later on he and his partner Charles moved to Phoenix, Arizona, so I didn't get to see him that often, though he did make it back East in 2006 for the annual retreat of my religious group. He said that being with our group brought him great spiritual solace and renewal.
Now Edouard, who was so involved with the world of the undead, is now with the world of the dead, or perhaps more, the world of the imaginal, meeting his beloved characters on an equal level of reality.