Those of you who are also my Facebook friend will probably already be familiar with this, please forgive the repetition if that is the case.
On New Year’s Day my longtime friend, fellow caricaturist, ISCA member and illustrator Glenn Ferguson was attacked at the caricature concession stand he works at in Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando by a disgruntled former co-worker, and seriously injured by multiple stab wounds which caused neck, cranium and brain damage. Glenn underwent 5 hours of emergency surgery that day, and thankfully pulled through. However the extent of the injury to his brain will not be known until he regains consciousnesses and they can access how his injury will affect him. As of this writing he is being kept sedated to allow the swelling in his brain to subside… it might be another week or longer before they will allow him to wake up to see where he’s at.
The ferocity of the attack and the bizarre nature of the circumstances is causing this story to get news media attention, and has been picked up by ABC and other media outlets. There are conflicting reports on the circumstances and timeline of what happened. One thing that is not in dispute is that this was a murderous attack against an innocent individual, and that Glenn’s injuries are extremely serious. There is a lot of vitriol going around on the interwebs from the caricaturist community against the guy who attacked Glenn. I understand the anger, but in the long run who gives a shit about that psycho? He’s caught, there are multiple witnesses… he’s going to get what’s coming to him. His eventual fate will not do Glenn one single bit of good. All that is important is Glenn’s health and his recovery.
After this happened I was trying to figure out how long I’ve known Glenn. I couldn’t do it. Can’t remember when and where we met… it’s been at least 20 years or longer. He has been working with Fasen Arts, the company I started doing caricatures for and managed some operation for, since he was 17 (he’s 42). We never worked together and weren’t close, but he was part of both the Fasen Arts family and the greater caricature community, so that made him a friend. We’ve exchanged emails many times, and even did some illustration work for the same client once. I got to know him better through the International Society of Caricaturists and their annual convention. He is one of the nicest, most unassuming people you could wish to meet, and a great talent.
Friends created a GoFundMe campaign to try and head off what is bound to be some serious financial hardship with medical bills and recovery therapy. It’s a testament to how many people love and care about Glenn that it’s already raised close to $45,000 in just a few days. If you’d like to contribute every little bit helps.
My thoughts and prayers are with Glenn and his lovely wife JoAnn. I hope in a week or two I will be able to write about the great news that Glenn’s brain damage is minimal and that he’ll be back to drawing fantastic caricatures very soon. I hope that with all my heart.
111 I am close to adding a second caricature workshop in January in Orlando. Details here: http://www.tomrichmond.com/2016/10/21/second-orlando-workshop/
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