I don't know Andy well, but I'd like to share a memory of him. At a UKCAC (UK Comic Art Convention) sometime in the mid-nineties I was getting back into self-publishing comics, and went for the first time to meet some fellow small-pressers. Like many people who spend far too much time in their rooms over the drawing board when they should be out socialising and getting some fresh air, I was quite anxious, nervous, apprehensive about actually going up and talking to these fellow creators, who were likewise mostly introvert, but doing their best. Once you crack the shell they all turn out to be pretty nice and interesting people.
Then Andy Roberts and Jenni Scott came up and before I could even introduce myself Andy was clutching my hand and shaking it, grinning, and saying how much he loved my comics. He acted as if we were friends already, no need for the effort of introductions. Jenni was similarly friendly and totally at ease, showing great interest in my comics and making me feel part of the whole thing. That was the important bit. The weekend got better from that specific point on. That simple meeting did a lot for me, and the effect had its benefit for future conventions too. He'd taken away a lot of the trepidation. I met Andy a couple more times only, during which time he had reviewed two of my titles in Caption and Comics Forum, and his support always meant a lot to me because he had made a connection. I checked his blog pretty regulalry, if not so frequently in more recent times, and was pleased to discover a link-up, through him, with another acquaintance, Martin White.
Andy is an incredibly creative bloke and his value as a person is great. Somewhere out there is a motorcyclist who didn't just crash into Andy a few days ago, but knocked over his good friends and family in a wave that has spread out to anyone who met this lovely chap.
As I say, I don't know Andy well at all, but I'm thinking of him every day, and I truly hope he beats the odds, because any alternative is just devastating to contemplate. Come back to us, old chap.
Update: Jenni has just said on her blog that Andy died this morning at 10.15, Saturday 18 June.