Alan Moore on Robert Morales, 1958-2013:
“Appropriately for a man I met when he was spitting out incisive comments on the music business for Vibe magazine, my twenty-something-year relationship with Bob Morales was conducted, pretty much exclusively, in audio. I never got to shake his hand, but I imagine that Bob’s handshake was a firm one, and that it was warm. I’m going to miss the savvy New York creak his conversation had as much as I will surely miss his writing; the commitment, insight and rare passion that he brought to every story, ever feature, every line. One of the comic field’s conspicuously rare voices of colour, he was also one of its most gifted and original contemporary writers. As a genuine creator of integrity, inevitably he came into conflict with an industry that much prefers a bland subservience in its employees to the fierce, ungovernable talent of an actual artist who has something deeply felt to say and does not care to compromise a work which he or she believes in. That was the stance Bob Morales took, a fighting stance almost unheard of in a frequently less-than-superheroic marketplace, and that professional bravery is something else I’m going to miss. Moving with no apparent effort between his extraordinarily diverse realms of endeavour, Bob was like a human cultural adhesive that connected up a vast cobweb of people who, in every probability, would never have been introduced to one another save through him. One of the last authentic hipsters, he was sharp, astute, and very, very funny. If I’m honest it might be his anecdotes that I’ll miss most of all, the unexpected courtesy and deference extended to him by a crowd of strangers at a party whom, it transpired, had been informed Bob was a Puerto Rican mafia prince.
I may be wrong, but I did not see Bob as a conspicuously religious man with any firm conviction of an afterlife, and nor do I myself have any such beliefs. I do, however, have a strong affinity for Albert Einstein’s view that in this at-least-four-dimensional eternal solid that we know as spacetime there is only, as he put it, “the persistent illusion of transience”. Each instant, every hour and every human lifetime is therefore suspended, fixed forever in a medium without loss and without change, where our time-bound awareness recurs endlessly, our precious lives repeating in their joys, their sorrows and their sheer breathtaking richness, and each repetition new and unexpected, every time the first time round. Robert Morales had a fine and blazing life, a side or two of classic vinyl that I’m convinced will replay unendingly, just as I entirely expect to pick the ’phone up for an interview with Vibe, one day back in the hectic1980s, and commence a long, sweet friendship full of warmth and great ideas and lots of memorable laughs.
So long for now, Bob, from me and Melinda, and I’m looking forward to enjoying that mafia anecdote again.
Your friend and your admirer,
At the end of the day, it’s who you know, not what you can do.