Zeus, In Passing, by John Ostrander

John Ostrander

John Ostrander started his career as a professional writer as a playwright. His best known effort, Bloody Bess, was directed by Stuart Gordon, and starred Dennis Franz, Joe Mantegna, William J. Norris, Meshach Taylor and Joe Mantegna. He has written some of the most important influential comic books of the past 25 years, including Batman, The Spectre, Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Suicide Squad, Wasteland, X-Men, and The Punisher, as well as Star Wars comics for Dark Horse. New episodes of his creator-owned series, GrimJack, which was first published by First Comics in the 1980s, appear every week on ComicMix.

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90 Responses

  1. Martha Thomases says:

    Internet friendships are a modern treasure. I'm on a list with people I met through the various Usenet gossip sites, and it's fun every day. Some I've met in person, some not, but all are very dear.

  2. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    Bugger. I remember Paul fondly from the Compuserve days as well, where you and I first met up, virtually speaking. A fine man, always willing to share joy and praise of a good thing.I trust Phillip is coping in this time, and doing well in general. An address to pass on condolences would be appreciated.

  3. Elayne Riggs says:

    I too remember Paul, and wondered what had happened to him after the CompuServe days. Thanks so much for this lovely remembrance, John. Phillip, my deepest condolences to you and your family.

  4. Nick Varga says:

    JO!I'm sorry to hear of Pauls's passing. He was a good man, a great father and a wonderful friend to not only the online comic industry, but to anyone he knew. He'll be greatly missed!Damn! This getting older things really sucks! Don't do it!Nick

  5. Budgie says:

    Damn… Like Elayne, I remember Paul well from the old CompuServe days and wondered what had happened to him; dreadfully sorry to learn that he died.Best,budgie

  6. Nat Gertler says:

    Paul was generous, attentive, interested, interesting, bawdy, loving, fierce, competent, and driven, all at the appropriate times and all with robust enthusiasm. A good man, and we are better for having had his presence.

  7. Cheryl Harris says:

    Nat Gertler just directed me to this post. I hope Philip is doing well and knows how well regarded his father was by all of us who knew him through the CompuServe Forum. Unfortunately I lost touch with Paul these last several years but the memories of him at shows and Forum gatherings are strong. Even stronger (as touched upon by you, John) was his bond with Philip and the example he set as a (single) father for many.Rest in peace, Paul.

    • Sean D. Martin says:

      I haven't communicated with Paul since those days waaaay back when at the CompuServe forum and met him only a few times, at the few "conclaves" that got arranged. But I remember him indeed being Grand and his obvious good relationship with his son. (His comment once that he could measure his son's growing up by the comic books he read still comes back to me at times as I now watch my own boys grow. "First it was the Transformers he got for himself. A little while later, the superheroes. Now he's started to sneak the Omaha's out from the box under my bed….")His reviews turned my on to a wider variety of comics than I might otherwise have tried (such as GrimJack). And his humor was a bright spot in memories of the early forum days (We're almost talkin' pre-internet here, sonny!).I still spot names from then on occasion (Hey, Cheryl. Hey, Nat. (I still owe you one for a ChicagoCon trip.)) and it'd be good to hear from anyone else who was around way back when.- Sean (aka, Christopher Foxx (don't ask, it was an odd time))

  8. Trevor Burroughs says:

    Cheryl passed this on to me as well. I remember Paul well from our Compuserve days (just as I remember you, Cheryl, Nat, et al). His presense was as large as he was, and I remember him being very jovial. I saw him at many convetions and other gatherings over the years. Though I've lost track of most of the old crowd, it's certainly sad to hear that he's passed away.

    • Richard Gainey says:

      God bless Paul Grant. I was in the CS comics and animation forums back then and remember all your names fondly. But especially Zeus who once mailed me a copy of Mad Dog #1 of all things, I had casually mentioned the store was out of them when I went.He asked my address and mailed it to me.Online life was so much better back then, and the CS forum was a wonderful place.Paul Grant was a huge part of what made it like that. I can only imagine how wonderful real life around him was.

  9. Tim Fitzpatrick says:

    Carl Pietrantonio and Nat Gertler both let me know about this, it is all very sad. So many familiar names in the comments from people I have lost touch with, just like Paul.I've many good memories of my old friend Zeus, and it is hard to believe he has left us. I knew about some of his health problems, with his eye problem being a particular source of loss for him. Hopefully now he can catch up on reading those comics he's missed out on, there upon Olympus.John, Vinnie, Elayne, Nick, Budgie, Cheryl, it was nice seeing you all in print after all these years. Maybe sometime we can get together the old gang at some convention and have a toast to our old pal Zeus.

    • Cheryl Harris says:

      Tim, that sounds like a lovely idea. And how much time has flown – your Tommy must be 15 or 16 now!

      • Tim Fitzpatrick says:

        Cheryl – good memory! Tommy just hit 15 1/2 the end of November, which means the scourge of parents everywhere, the learner's permit.His age is bad enough, but my baby April is 10. Like you said, time has flown by.

  10. Neil Gaiman says:

    I am so sorry. He was one of the good guys, and one of, if not the, first friend I made on the Internet, back in those Compuserve Days. A voice of reason, and a really fine man. Sigh.

  11. Jack Curtin says:

    Wow. Echoing Tim, so many familiar, long-disappeared-from-my-radar names showing up to honor an old comrad.I knew Paul pretty well for a while there since we were both writing for Wizard back in the CIS days and would talk a lot. One day, after I'd agreed to do yet another Neil Gaiman interview (it was sort of my specialty back in the day), I got a call from the editor asking if I would give up the assignment because Neil wanted it done at his home (remember any of this, Neil?) and Paul lived a lot closer. In exchange they'd give me some other guy–Frank Miller. Yeah, I could live with that. I also later worked them for a trip to Toronto to interview Dale Keown. Paul and Philip were part of a CIS group who had dinner at my place during the first Philadelphia Comics Convention and, in working it all out, Paul had cautioned me that there was something, long lost to memory, that Philip did not, could not eat. I somehow managed to plan the whole meal around that item. Philip ended up eating bread and water or some equivalent, but forgave me when I allowed him to play among my comics and related books.I talked to Paul (online) last about five or six years ago, maybe longer–time does fly–and it was really sad to hear of the health burdens he'd come to bear. But bear them he did. He was Zeus, after all.

    • Jack Curtin says:

      I've sent an email to what I believe to be Doug Pratt's address pointing him to this site. If anyone has an address for him for sure, please let him know what's happening here. He really needs to see this and know what his efforts meant to us all back in the day. And let me echo Mike in thanking John O for making all this possible. (For the moderator: there was an error in my email address in my first posting, "jackcurtin.coe" instead of "jackcurtin.com." If that matters, please correct with this one. Thanks.)

  12. Trevor Burroughs says:

    Wow, it's like old home week here. We should have a London reunion. It'd be better than a high school one.

  13. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    It is ironic and sad that this has event has caused a de facto Compuserve reunion. I hope you are all well.

    • Elayne Riggs says:

      I concur with Vinnie, and I assure all my old CompuServe friends that, absent other web elves today, I'm activating comments from new-to-ComicMix (but known to me) folks as fast as I can. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

  14. Stu West says:

    I just saw this linked on Mark Evanier's site and had that moment of pleasure at seeing a name from the old days followed by a nasty jolt when I noticed the 'R.I.P.' My deepest condolences to his family.

  15. Rob Davis says:

    I just had this passed along to me by longtime friend Kirk Chritton who must have come across this in his ramblings across the internet. I too, met Zeus at the Comics Forum on CompuServe and counted him among my friends. Despite his nickname and his appearance as a bear of a man he was a truly gentle soul with a rock-solid grasp of reality and his place in it. It was his voice that many times calmed the wilder, fiery side of my personality that flared up on CIS from time to time. I regret that I lost contact with him these last few years as his influence and counsel were welcome and at times much needed. If somehow we do manage a reunion I'd hoist one in remembrance of Paul along with the rest of you. I'm going to do my best to be at Wizard World Chicago this year to promote some new work and would be willing to plan something there with any others in attendance…

  16. Alan Porter says:

    Like several others I have fond memories of Paul from the old Compuserve forum days. It's been a long time since I'd heard anything of him, and this wasn't the way I wanted to catch up. My deep condolences to his family.

  17. Terri Boyle says:

    How sad…Paul and Phillip were always one of the "must see's" when I was at conventions. I grew to love his playful fun nature while on CompuServe and loved having long conversations with him. I lost track of Paul several years ago and was just thinking about how he used to pick at me about a video that Diana Light and I did as a joke on a fellow pro. Life seems a little less shiny without him.

  18. Jim Pertierra says:

    I haven't heard from Paul in ages but then again, I haven't really kept in touch with most comic people since I drifted out of the CompuServ forum in the early 90's. My middle son Dan and I get together with Walter and Weezie every year though and we invariably get around to the good old days with Paul, Cheryl, Trevor, Tim on the forum. Rich Goldberg sent me John's posting on Paul's passing and it truly saddens me to lose such a great supporter of comics as well as a fellow Fantastic Four Congressman.My great memory is of the great one shot get together in NYC that Cheryl organized in February of 1990 where I got to meet Paul and Phillip.He is in my prayers always.Thanks Paul for Batman 193 and for always being on the Loose!!!Best/Jim

    • Sean D. Martin says:

      As coincidence would have it, I was re-reading that very issue of FF right around the time it seems Paul was passing. I'd forgotten about that congressional link we'd shared until I saw it again in print. Made for a particularly reminiscing read.

  19. Michael Grabois says:

    Compuserve old home week indeed! I recognize every one of the names above, Zeus and Phillip included, from my days in the forum, and was lucky enough to have met most of them in San Diego during the forum's heyday. (It was at my last SDCC in 2002 that I lost my forum badge – remember the word balloon with "What do you read, what do you enjoy?" tag?)I had suggested to Zeus after Don Thompson died that he rename the forum's annual awards in Don's honor, which lasted as long as the forum did. It's too bad there's nothing we could name in his honor.Hi to Martha, Vinnie, Elayne, Budgie, Nick, Cheryl, Richard, Tim, Carl, Nat, Neil, Trevor, Jack, Alan, Stu, Terri, Rob, and Jim. Sorry we all had to meet like this.

    • Tim Fitzpatrick says:

      Ah, yes, the Forum Badge – a real group effort, I made the badge, using a design by Rob Davis, and the unofficial Forum motto. I still have a couple of the '99 versions, along with the wimsical "Who Needs Warren Ellis?" version.Ah, good times.

  20. Andy Ihnatko says:

    Coming here via Evanier's blog.Good heavens. What a grinding of gears. I went from "Paul Grant! Now THAT takes me back!" and being instantly eager to find out what he was up to these days…to instantly regretting having read further.There's a short list of "bylines" which were must-reads for me. On a light day, I could keep up with all of the traffic on the forum, but when the slings and arrows were flying thick and heavy I just focused on The Good Stuff. Zeus' was always The Good Stuff. I'd be behind on my deadlines but I'd still stick my head in the door so I wouldn't miss anything.We need a new word for these kinds of Internet connections. Paul and I swapped emails from time to time back in the day but it'd be presumptuous of me to identify myself as a friend. Regardless, I miss him.

  21. Harris Miller says:

    What a reunion!I heard about Paul from Carl, also. In addition to his other writing mentioned, Paul wrote a column about legal matters for lay people and at least one chapter of an Automobile Accident Law treatise. He was a card-carrying member of the ACLU (his words) and had been arrested at least twice for anti-war protests (I don't know for which war, however). Walter Simonson got me onto Compuserve about 16 years ago, and I met and started corresponding with Paul shortly thereafter. I'm sorry to hear of his passing.Harris

  22. John Sardegna says:

    I read John's article about 11 hours ago and then had to get ready for work. Keep me in mind for any CIS reunion. I met Paul, Vinnie, Cheryl and others in early 1992. It was the first convention I atended after going online in late 1991. As I said often later. I "went out to dinner with 18 close friends I'd never met befpre." Paul was a big part of that as welll as other Cis get-togethers, both on-line and in person. I miss those days and I'll especially miss Zeus,

  23. Corey Klemow says:

    Antoher ex-CISer here, via Mark Evanier's blog. I remember Paul's "Notes From Olympus" well; I'd almost always read his reviews, even if he was reviewing comics in which I had little or no interest. I never knew him personally, but this is a jolt nevertheless. Farewell, Zeus.

  24. Cheryl Harris says:

    Last night I read comic books that had come out in recent weeks. Seemed fitting somehow.I would love to be part of a reunion. However, I live these days in London (hence Trevor's reference) so do not attend the shows as I did in the past. But if something gets on the drawing board with enough advance notice for me to sort out travel details (plus book the time off from work) I will be there.Unless everyone would like to come visit me here?

  25. Carl Pietrantonio says:

    Hi everyone. Jeez, what a blast from the past to see all these names. I remember you all, though with most, I've not been in touch with. There was something special about the old Compuserve forum and the way it was set up that really helped build friendships in ways that modern comment sections just do not seem to do. I met Paul in person a couple of times, back in Philly at the convention there, at Jack Curtin's and in San Diego. A great guy who once rescued me from posting a credit card publicly on CIS. I had to get a new card but he likely saved me from what we now call identity theft. A wonderfully nice man who seemed instantly upon meeting like an old friend. He shall be missed. My condolences to you, Philip, if you are reading this. If there is ever any get together of the old gang, I'll be there.

  26. Tony Isabella says:

    I can't add to all the wonderful thoughts expressed here. All I can do is add my name to the long list of those who count Zeus among their first online friends. This hurts.

  27. Todd Klein says:

    Very sorry to hear about Paul. I never met him in person, but enjoyed his comments on Compuserve, and spoke to him on the phone a few times when he organized an article about lettering for Wizard magazine, which turned into a how-to article mostly by me with an introduction by him. A very knowledgable man.

  28. Mike Gold says:

    Like many others here, Paul was the first friend I made back in the CIS days, and it was great fun talking with him at Mike Goldman's great Detroit conventions and watching Phillip grow up over the years. The last time I saw him — I think it was at a Detroit show — we were just starting to put together ComicMix. He was one of the few who knew about us in those earliest days, and as an Internet pioneer his support and encouragement meant a great deal to me. At that time he told me he didn't expect to make it much longer; I, of course, was in denial. When I heard from Phillip, I was crushed. Thanks, John, for giving all of us old CISers a place to tip our hats to a treasured friend.

  29. Heidi MacDonald says:

    Hey everyone, I heard about this via Michael Grabois, and have posted y own memories at the Beat, but wanted to join in the CIS reunion over here. It is a real treat to see all the names here from the days when just having an email address made you special. My condolences to Phillip.

  30. Kevin van Haaren says:

    Another person from the Comics forum here (I even still have my Barbie Head Whistle — http://www.boingboing.net/fulchau.html).I met Paul in person, briefly, once at a Chicago comic convention and read most everything he wrote on Compuserv. I can't begin to count the number of comics he turned me on to.

  31. John Ostrander says:

    It has been noted to me offline that this is the first online "wake" they had attended. Mine, too, and it's meant without a hint of irony. In my experience, this is what happens at "actual" wakes — people come together, some of whom haven't been together in years, to commerate the lost friend. To recall the deeds and accomplishments, to praise the person, and to tell storis about them because it's in stories that they live again. Stories are really the common currency for us all.I'm going to try and look into a private site where we can all go on a regular basis, as we did on the old CIS, and exchange news and views. I think that would be a fitting tribute to Paul. I'll let you all know what happens.

    • Trevor Burroughs says:

      That would be a great idea, John. It would be a lot of fun to connect with everyone again. I certainly had a lot of good times with you all over the years.It woudl also be great to see each other in person again. Maybe something like the Wizard Convention in Philly in 2008?

    • Marilee J. Layman says:

      I was never on CIS, but I have been involved in this kind of wake before. One of them created a small charity that I'm on the board of. I would suggest Yahoo Groups since almost everybody can access those and you can read them in person or by email.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Paul was a wonderful guy. I chose him to be an Eisner judge because of his insightful reviews and commentaries on CompuServe. He was a judge in 1997 along with Tony Isabella, Jesse McCann, Janet Hetherington, and Joe Field. They were a great group and he was just a delight to spend the weekend with, talking comics. In subsequent years he and Phillip would always make a point of stopping by the Exhibit A Press booth at Comic-Con to chat with Batton and me. We've really missed them in recent years–what a terrific pair they were. So sorry to hear he is gone.Jackie Estrada

  33. Patty Jeres says:

    While at DC, I felt we needed to be connected to online fandom and joined the CIS forum and "met" most all of you and felt the enormity of Paul's presence there.We kept in touch from time to time afterwards, both at cons with Phillip — where I had so little time to really talk, sigh — and when he had a case that brought him to New York. I recall after his first heart attack, I took him to the heart-healthy restaurant Heartbeat. Afer dinner, we parted so I could get a taxi home and he could walk back to his hotel. My quest was not so easy and I ran into Paul again, and he was sheepishly smoking a cigarette! Always the contrarian.The world lost a great man, a great dad, a great friend.And, yes, so good to see all your names. There must be a way to do an online "con." Maybe via Yahoo or Google?Patty

  34. APL (Allan Lappin) says:

    Shema Yisroel, Adonai Elochano, Adonai Echod.I had the great pleasure to meet Zeus (the only Jewish Greek God I knew of) at a NYC Comic Con, and at the Philadelphia Con Vinnie Bartilucci organized. [If memory serves, Phillip was in Phillie as well.]My first memory of Compuserve was of him and JO discussing barbeque restaurants in Chicago…His _View From Olympus_ got me to start reading Phil Foglio's _xxXxenophile_, a decision I never regretted.He was a character, larger than life. I was saddened a few years back when I learned he had glaucamoa as a side-effect of the diabetes. This caused him to reduce his reading in general, and to almost completed eliminate reading comics. My regrets to his son.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Barbecue restaurants in Chicago? There aren't many really great ones outside of the local neighborhood sandwich stands, but I very very highly recommend Smoque, 3800 N. Pulaski Road, about a quarter-mile south of the Irving Park L stop on the Blue line. They opened this past year; if they opened a couple decades earlier I never would have moved east.Sometime soon John and I will go there and dedicate a meal to Zeus. I hope you all can join us.

      • APL (Allan Lappin) says:

        Yes, barbeque erstaurants. This stood out in my mind because it was in a thread entitled (approximately) "New Hawkman series", announcing that JO was going to be writing the book. 8-)

      • Carl Pietrantonio says:

        Hey, you guys work up a Paul "Zeus" Grant memorial Barbecue dinner and tell me when it is gonna be, gimme at least a week or two lead and I will fly out for it! Heck, if I can fly to Chicago from Seattle for a ball game at Wrigley (a life's dream come true), then I can sure come to a dinner with some old CIS friends and toast a fine man sadly gone too soon.

        • Sean D. Martin says:

          Hey, if anything actually does happen near Seattle, lemme know. It was fun to put faces to the names way back at the NYC conclave (what was that, 1988? Sheesh!) and would be fun to do so again.- Sean (in Woodinville)

  35. Colin Murtagh says:

    The first three conversations I had on CompuServe were with Allan, Carl and Paul, that's what made me stick around in the forum. Paul helped make the forum what a wonderful place it was, IMO, something that's never been replicated. Even we'd disagree on something, he do it with humour and good grace. He was a real gent. My condolences to his son

  36. Michael Mooney says:

    Very sad to hear of Paul's passing. I often wondered what became of that funny, caring, clever group of people from CIS. Despite the circumstances, it was good to see Stu and Budgie's names on my screen again after so long.

  37. Benedict Sano says:

    ok all together "Wonder Powers Activate POWER OF ATTORNEY"I'll remember you Zeus.

  38. Steve Lieber says:

    Terrible news. Paul was a great guy and I really enjoyed our conversations, both online and off.

  39. Jim Wheelock says:

    Here we are, the internet equivalent of meeting so many old friends at a funeral. I heard about Paul's passing on Mark Evanier's blog, and about this particular CIS group from Colin. I vividly remember Paul from meeting him and his son at the CIS get-togethers at SDCC, and liked him a lot. I recall enjoying his posts on CIS, but I didn't regularly communicate online much, to my loss. I vividly remember him talking at the last CIS event I saw him at, about how he was preparing for his eventual loss of sight. He was building and organizing a massive collection of music to give him pleasure and solace in his later years. I admired his forethought and dedication at a time in his life when most of us would be just running around screaming. That must have been five or more years ago. I hope the music helped.I'm pleased to say I still see a few of you on occassion. A reunion would be a great idea. Did anybody reach Sadie, or Ben Tansley?

  40. Terri Boyle says:

    I have not heard from Sadie or Maddie in several years. If anyone hears from them, please let me know. Just reading all the names on this list reminds me of how special the CIS group was and how much I loved signing on to chat. If there are plans for a get together in 2008, count me in.

    • Maddie (maggie) says:

      Its so good to see so many familiar names. I'm just sorry I had to be reconnected in this way. Sadie sent me an email with the bad news. My heart goes out to Zeus's family and friends. Oh yes, Terri, you are right! I too miss the CIS group and our chats. They were loads of fun.

  41. Joe Pruett says:

    Wow. I've often thought back to those early CompuServe days with fondness and when my thoughts go back to then Paul would more ofen than not pop up in those memories. I was lucky enough to meet Paul numerous times at the MotorCity Cons where he always did a wonderful job of organizing and presenting the CompuServe Comics & Animation Awards. Good times. Good man. He will be missed.

  42. WDave "The Wand says:

    Following a link from Neil Gaiman's blog … my sympathies to Zeus's family, and to the rest of the community that seems to be showing up here. I learned to love comics through the Forum, though I found it through Witsig and some of the Comics Sysops I met (while sysoping in the hidden Sysop Forum, actually). Good to see some familiar names, albeit in less than ideal circumstances. My best to all of you!

  43. Steve Combs says:

    This is terribly sad news. I recall joining the CompuServe comics community and being warmly welcomed by Paul. He was also generous and encouraging to me when I began posting reviews. It's good to see all these familiar names gathered again in his honor, quite an amazing event.

  44. Uncle Milty says:

    Thanks to Jack Curtin for the head's up. I was saddened to hear the news of Paul's passing, he was a funny, intelligent, and engaging person and one of many people who made my experience on the CIS Comics forum a pleasure then and a fond and enduring memory today. He is missed.Milton Teruel

  45. Tony Abell says:

    I found out about this page from Jack Curtin's mailing list. My sincere condolences to the family. I'm afraid I never had much of a connection with Paul, though his online presence was always impressive, as was his physical presence, apparently, though I don't believe we ever met.What a pity it takes a sad event like the passing of the august Zeus to bring so many old CompuServe COMICS forum members out of the ether. To be honest, I only came into the COMICS forum indirectly via the WITSIG section, or perhaps the ROCKNET forum, and wasn't a regular comics reader at all, initially. So I never posted much in the comics sections. Still, I see a lot of familiar names, here, and have even met some of you in person. That aspect of this gathering constitutes an amazing and hopeful occurrence with which to close the year and honor Paul's memory.

  46. Chris Crosby says:

    I'm so sorry to hear this. Zeus was one of my favorite things about CompuServe's Comics & Animation forum, I greatly enjoyed reading everything he wrote. I had the pleasure of meeting him briefly at ComicFest '93 and he seemed like the friendliest guy you could imagine.My condolences to his loved ones.

  47. Michael Grabois says:

    Not to take anything away from the virtual wake going on here, but as Marilee suggested above I set up a Yahoo mailing list/group for the forum refugees (diaspora?), good for swapping stories, email addresses, or whatever else anyone wants to do. There's room there for links, pictures, and files should anyone want to upload anything. Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cis-caf/ to sign up (that's the Compuserve Information System Comics and Animation Forum).I have no idea when the forum started, peaked, or essentially ended (I think I was there from 1994-98 or so), but this is probably a good a year as any for a 10th, 15th, or 20th anniversary reunion this convention season.

    • John Ostrander says:

      Thanks, Michael. I'm having some computer glitches at the moment but they'll be worked out soon and I'll be over to join as soon as I can. Thanks for taking point on this.

  48. Evan Meadow says:

    Had to sign up just to add my condolences to the family. And seeing all these old names brings back tons of memories.Compuserve was the first real place on the net where I felt fans could gather and seriously talk about our love of the industry. And I remember all the Wed night chats fondly.Well you know he's up there with Leah right now that's for sure. Wonder what the two of them are thinking about all this? They must be having a ball seeing all this come together.

  49. Sadie McFarlane says:

    Jim Wheelock was kind enough to email me… It's beautiful to see so many familiar names, but what a terrible cause for a reunion. Zeus was one of the really lovely, constantly kind and friendly people – he was a big, big man, with a big, big heart. I think an online reunion is a lovely way to celebrate his memory, and how much he enriched our old online and real life gatherings. I figure it would make Zeus happy to know that he'd provided the stimulus for such a thing. Cheers to all – I hope everyone is doing well, apart from this sad news.

  50. John Gillespie says:

    Condolences from another ex-CIS member who also remembers Paul fondly. He made a huge contribution, along with so many other names I'm seeing here for the first time in years, towards pioneering what was the best space for fans to meet and to bring what they saw was the best of things out there for everyone to share. It was our own sort of a golden age for those who were there and Paul really was one of the guys who made it a special place.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I too remember the old CIS days. There isn’t much I could add to the wonderful things that have already been said. It is ironic that I have been thinking about conventions I had attended in the early 90’s lately and wondered what ever happened to Paul and Phillip. At the last Mid-Ohio-Con, Barry Kitson asked for copies of photos I have from back then. As I’ve searched, a flood of memories were found. No photos yet, but lots of memories. Paul and Phillip among them. Phillip, my thoughts were with you even before I heard.Jeff Martin

  52. Anonymous says:

    Dearborn Civic Center. Ladies Room.I remember that video!Jeff Martin

  53. Anonymous says:

    Third time's the charm–every time I try to post as a new member, the confirmation system wants info (member URL/password?) I don't have. So I'll post as anonymous.I was damned sorry to hear of Paul's passing…and sorrier still that I lost touch with him, as I see so many others did as well.Zeus was one of my first online buddies, and I was proud to be able to offer him work when I began editing Wizard–back when I could be proud of my association with that magazine. The online comics community is undoubtedly bigger these days…but somewhat poorer as well.Best,Pat O'Neill

  54. Mary McCool says:

    I wandered in here from Neil Gaiman's blog and I'm really thrilled to see so many familiar names here remembering Zeus. He was one of the first Compuservers that John and I met in person. He and Philip were here in Philly visiting with Katie Fritz and Jeff Lang and we all went out to lunch together. Everyone joked about Paul and John being separated at birth since they looked so much alike. My condolences to Philip. I know he must be touched to know how many people have such fond memories of his dad.

    • Craig Shutt says:

      I learned of Zeus' passing from Tony Isabella, and Michael Grabois alerted me that John's column had become a wake, so I thought I'd stop by. What a rush of memories these names invokes!I was stunned and saddened by the news. I had just talked with Zeus earlier this year, when he happened upon my phone number in a file and decided to call me to catch up. We talked for some time about the old days on CompuServe and the Chicago Con, and he told me he had moved down south and we discussed some of the projects he was up to. I knew he had several health problems, but they seemed to be manageable, and he was excited about what the future held. John Ostrander's reminiscences are much the way I remember him and Philip, too. They both attended a CompuServe comics party I held at my house during the 1994 Chicago Con, where we mocked the FF movie that was making the rounds as a bootleg. It was always fun to be able to put faces to those names I knew so well from the board.Zeus has at least one on-going contribution to comics fandom–he was serving as the programming chairman for the Chicago Con back in 1996 and asked if I'd be interested in putting on a Pros vs. Fans trivia panel. I figured I'd give it a shot, and he lined up a group of fans and four pros who hung out on CompuServe, comprising Kurt Busiek, Dan Mishkin, Mark Waid and Tony. Now THAT is a trivia panel to reckon with! The panel went over well, and so I agreed to do it again the next year. And the next. When Wizard bought the show, they asked me to keep doing it, which was kind of a surprising holdover to me. This year, I did the program for the 11th time (we took one year off), with the Fans taking on another group of fans pulled from the audience. It may not be his greatest contribution to fandom, but anyone who is still enjoying the Chicago Con's Pro vs. Fan panel or the column I create for CBG's October issues based on that event show know that it owes its existence to Paul Grant. I think of him every year as I'm preparing it.– Craig Shutt (aka Mr. Silver Age)

  55. Jackie Schnoop says:

    Jim Dracoules sent me the word about Paul's passing. I've pretty much drifted away from the comics scene, but the old CompuServe Comics Forum days were some of the best times I had online (and in person) and Zeus was a part of that. May he rest in peace.

  56. JM Lofficier says:

    Randy and I just learned of Paul's passing. What a very, very sad news. We were among the folks who'd met on CIS, and later on at Comicon. What a golden age that was. It feels like another chunk of ice breaking off and slowly melting away. Condolences to Philip.

  57. Paul D. Storrie says:

    Like so many others, I first came to know Paul through the Comics/Animation forum on Compuserve. I'm still in touch with several friends from those days but, sadly, haven't heard from Paul in several years. I was lucky enough to live in his general neighborhood, so we ran into each other at the occasional comic folk gatherings around town as well as at conventions. Still, not often. Not enough. He was a warm, friendly, thoughtful guy. The fact that his passing has brought so many of the old Compuserve crew together again is a testament to that.Thanks to Cheryl for passing me word regarding John's column. Thanks to John for sharing his memories of Zeus. And to all the rest of the Compuserve folks, it's good seeing you here again, despite the circumstances. Signing off, in honor of the old days,Paul "Quest" Storrie

  58. D. Eric Carpenter says:

    Yet another old Comics/Animation forum member throwing in my condolences.When I went to law school in Chicago I'd attend the Comicon every year and had the chance to meet him in person a few times. I always read his posts on the forum with great interest.Sad to hear.

  59. Kurt Culler says:

    I didn't know Paul through CompuServe, but I knew him for many years. I worked at a comic book store from 1986-2005 (when it closed) and we pulled comics for Paul and a couple of other people right when we were counting in the books. He would come in and sort through the comics and would end up with an incredibly large stack every week. He was easily one of our best customers.I wasn't always working when he came in, but we had many discussions about various independent titles that we both enjoyed. Phil was usually with him when he came in to the store and Phil grew from a young boy to an adult in the time I knew them. I hadn't seen Paul for a while, but I'll definitely miss him.

  60. Benedict Sano says:

    Sheryl Smith would have been thrilled to see many of these names again as well if she hadn't died a bit more than a year ago. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Neil Gaiman for his help at that time and it was due to our having met him on Compuserve's Comics Forum.Thank you Compuserve, Neil and Daniel Handler from my heart.Ben Sano

  61. Hoy Murphy says:

    I had read about the CompuServe Comics and Animation Forum in an issue of Comics Interview, and after some thought sold my X-Men collection so I could buy my first computer and join up. It was worth it. There were so many great people on that forum and I still miss it. One of the first people I became familiar with was Zeus through his comics reviews, and he turned me onto several books I had never considered before. I wish his family and friends well.–your pal, Hoy

  62. Kurt Busiek says:

    It's great seeing so many names from the Compuserve days. It's a sad, sad reason for it, though. Like so many, Zeus was one of the first friends I "met" in cyberspace, and was always a pleasure to talk to online and a joy to spend time with in person, the few times I got to do so.He'll be missed. Not that anyone needs me to tell them that.kdb

  63. Cheryl Harris says:

    John, is there any particular charity to which Philip and the rest of Paul's family has asked that donations in Paul's memory be made?Thanks, Cheryl

  64. Dan Mishkin says:

    I heard the news from Cheryl today and I'll briefly add my voice to the chorus of cheers in honor of Paul J. Grant (Zeus) [as I believe he identified himself on the CompuServe board]. Paul was a great guy and a great fan — "a great fan" being a very high accolade in my book — and although we hadn't communicated in many years, his larger-than-life qualities returned to my thoughts from time to time.I remember a time when Paul and Philip visited my house and Philip wondered why my Kenner Green Lantern and Flash action figures were standing together on one of the small corner shelves in my office, when the figures were otherwise placed one to a shelf. Paul then regaled him with a discourse on the Hal Jordan-Barry Allen friendship and what it meant to fans like us. Like I said, a great fan.

  65. Ben Tansley says:

    This is sad news indeed. I only knew Paul through CIS, so can barely imagine how much his passing affects his family – to whom my deepest condolences – his colleagues and his friends. I remember him as a positive influence, even in the more raucous storms; he helped us all be better friends.

  66. Edward Douglas says:

    Very sad about Zeus… I used to love reading his reviews on Compuserve, which I'm sure had some influence on me getting into reviewing, first comics and now movies, myself. My days on Compuserve seems to be have been so long ago now, but sadly, as I myself get older, it's become inevitable that people I've met through my internet fandom have passed away. Although I never got to spend nearly as much time with "Zeus" as others have, I gathered that he was a really sweet and wonderful man, and his passing is a huge loss to comics fandom. My best regards and condolences to Philip and the rest of his family.

  67. Philip Grant says:

    Thank you all so much for your kind words. It is a tribute to my father's life that so many of you remember him so fondly. At the time of my father's death, his only regret in a life filled with friends and family, of riches of wonder in the movies, music, and comics he loved so much was that he was unable to get our novels published. He coped with the slowly encroaching blindness with, if not grace, then result determination, and kept getting new comics up until the week he died, even when it took him an hour to read a single issue ot 52 or x-men. I hope to publish the novels of what dad insisted we call "The Minstrel Cycle" so that others besides me can enjoy his wit. As for those who want to send me their condolences, its not necessary, but my email is Terabiel@hotmail.com and my phone number is 813-634-2107. as for charities, dad would, I'm sure, love for you to give your money to either the Jordan River Village project (Its a hole in the wall gang camp in israel) or to the Comic Book Legal Defense fund, assuming that still exists.Again, I cannot tell you how good it is to see so many familiar names on so very many comments of rememberance. Its been a hard month, and although the future is uncertain at best, I'm glad to know my father will be remembered so well.God bless,Philip Grant

  68. Dave Gibbons says:

    Sad news. My condolences to Philip and the family. Zeus was such an important part of those early online days.

  69. Denise Sudell says:

    Yet another CIS Comics Forum-ite here. I've been offline for over a week, but Patty Jeres passed the news about Zeus to me via phone, and Cheryl provided the link to John's tribute via Facebook. (A number of old Forumites are on Facebook these days, BTW.)I remember Zeus well, mostly from the Forum, although I met him once or twice in person at cons. He rather intimidated me, being such a big guy — John's term "grand" is exactly right. And he did have a wonderful voice. So sad to lose him. But great to see so many old friends come out to pay him tribute. I gasped several times reading the names on the list above, of folks I never expected to encounter again — Allan, Tim, Ed, Hoy, John Sardegna, Harris, Carl, Jackie Schnoop . . . no use listing them all, you know who you are. The Forum was my first on-line home, and remains first in my heart. Something Evan said makes me stop in my tracks, though — Leah? Please tell me this isn't a reference to Leah Adezio. We haven't lost her too, have we?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, Denise… we lost Ms. Adezio about a year back.–Nat

    • Elayne Riggs says:

      Yes Denise; sadly, Leah passed away about a year ago from complications due to liver disease. It took her very quickly; she called me from the hospital on a Friday, and by Tuesday she was gone. Jackie Estrada was kind enough to run my online eulogy for Leah in the San Diego program book. Had I remembered that Leah was a CompuServe person, I would have tried to spread the word among the old CIS community. I did mention her death in my first ComicMix column, but of course CM didn't have the word of mouth we do now…