The tributes of my colleagues and of his fellow bloggers to Dean Barnett are a balm in this time of loss. Of the writers I have worked with over the years, none was sweeter, more cheerful, and less self-pitying than Dean. Like his other friends and correspondents, I cherished his emails and phone calls--among other reasons because they always lightened the day's load, rather than adding to it.
But Dean was no plaster saint. Like all of us in this business, he screwed up from time to time. I bring this up not to speak ill of the dead, but to highlight Dean's virtues. Unlike some of us, he was not defensive about his mistakes but quickly owned up to them and made public amends. He also had a keen appreciation for the visual side of blogging. His posts were enlivened by photos and illustrations. Many of these were funny--some laugh out loud hilarious.
These two traits came together in the most winning, recurring illustration in Dean's work. As his many fans will remember, I am referring of course to the sad puppy who always showed up when penance was owed, for a fact mangled or an opponent unfairly maligned. Here he is, one more time, still sad, forever sad.