I am a bit of a comic history buff. Where some other artists can discourse on the meaning of Rembrandt, articulate their views on the realists, and spent their college days studying the Dali, I spend my time with Little Nemo, Popeye, Krazy Kat, and the Yellow Kid. The fact that these old pioneering comics still exist not only as mentions in a few history books or blurred out on microfiche at the library, but in a format that has been saved and cared for to be enjoyed by future generations, is in no small part to the efforts of Bill Blackbeard.
I was saddened to learn yesterday of his passing in early March. I never knew him personally, but as someone who collects and loves the Platinum Age of comics, his fingerprints graced every collection of reprints or scholarly work I ever read on the subject. He cared when no one else thought to and began saving the comics from disappearing over a decade before I was born, and I will forever be grateful.
A far more proper obit can be found here.