||It’s with extreme sadness I have to report that Graeme Clark passed away on Sunday the 19th of June.
I apologise it’s taken me so long to report this, I’ve still not really accepted he’s gone, it’s still unbelievable, it’s still almost impossible to put this into words, however I’ll do my best.
Regular visitors of this site will know Graeme as our reviewer or co-editor, or sub-editor, but that’s not the truth. The Spinning Image was Graeme’s website. Sure, Graeme wrote reviews… over 10,000 in fact, but he did a lot more. He was the life, soul and beating heart of The Spinning Image. He updated all the news, he ran the press office, he reviewed just about everything that passed under his nose (as his good friend Jim said, he watched On The Buses 2, so you didn’t have to!), yes he wrote reviews too and in between he’d write articles and perform general maintenance on the site whilst answering all incoming email and just keeping all those plates spinning (everything that made The Spinning Image what it is), he did it all and he never once dropped a single plate.
I’ve known Graeme for what must be 35 years or so. Myself and my cousin John, both keen horror film fans, decided to start a film fanzine. We put an add in The Darkside magazine hoping to get some writers, reviewers or just about anyone willing to help out. Graeme was first through the door, offering to write an article on Giant Monster Movies… little did we realise that Graeme’s article would turn out to be a monster itself, a definitive list of every single monster movie ever made, it was so big we had to run it across many pages across many issues! That should have been a big clue… what this man didn’t know about movies, well… it just wasn’t worth knowing.
As well as his monster movie article, I’m pretty sure, if memory serves, Graeme also came up with the title of the fanzine, in his own inimitable style, ‘Invasion of the Sad Man-Eating Mushrooms’. We loved it and he then named the letters page ‘A Bucket of Soapy Fish’… we stopped asking him for titles after that!
As well as writing, Graeme was also a fantastic artist, his work scattered through the fanzine, brought the pages to life in his monotone, cartoon style (see self-portrait to right). Those who followed the fanzine can never forget his comic strip ‘Bigger than Hitler’, featuring an inflatable George Formby, and the many other decidedly odd tangents Graeme’s mind went off on! Genius.
When Invasion finished (bagging Magazines of the Movies’ ‘Fanzine of the Year’ twice running, along the way) and the internet was born, we stayed in touch, emails passing frequently; Graeme saw me married, have two kids (the eldest now 24!), divorced and remarried… in fact I’ve known Graeme for longer than my marriages combined! He became a great friend, always fun, witty beyond belief and always willing to help out with new ideas and offering to do anything he could to get that idea in motion (more recently that has been kicking me up the arse, but in his own caring way)… and from these ideas The Spinning Image was born.
Fast forward, I dunno, 22 years maybe… and 10,000 reviews later and here we are. Please take a moment to let that sink in, ten thousand reviews. Graeme watched and reviewed ten thousand films. Where do you even find 10,000 films?! I think that’s truly incredible. He let that number just slip past me, never after kudos or praise, just quiet and humble. Whenever someone loads a review on this site I increment a count of the views. Graeme’s reviews have been read approximately 36 million times! He was undoubtedly a very popular guy! I did some quick maths, maybe wrong so I’ll expect to be corrected, but if Graeme watched 10,000 films averaging 2 hours a piece, that comes in at 2.3 years of continuous film watching, without the time spent reviewing it afterwards! It’s incredible, but then Graeme always said, films are my life!
So alas Graeme’s story comes to an early end (he was only barely 50), and maybe so too does The Spinning Image. Whilst I let this all soak in, I’m truly devastated by his passing, although I’ll leave the site running forever in his memory (along with Wayne Southworth, another taken too soon) but I won’t be updating it until I know it’s future.
Graeme you were a true friend, and I could have never asked for more, because you always gave more. You were The Spinning Image, and just never realised it.
Rest in peace my friend x