Drew Ford, who published comics and graphic novels under the It’s Alive banner, passed away from COVID-related pneumonia, according to his wife, Aki Uesugi.
Uesugi has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for the funeral and other expenses, where she shares more details on what led to Ford’s death. While Ford has been declared brain dead, he is still on life support as his organs will be donated.
After working for Dover Publications and Marvel Comics, Ford started It’s Alive in 2016, dedicating his efforts to collecting out-of-print comic books. It’s Alive was an imprint of IDW for about three years before becoming independent in 2019.
Over the years he has published new editions of comics by Sam Glanzman, Trina Robbins, Tom Veitch and Bryan Talbot, Rich Hedden and Tom McWeeney, and many others. He also published English translations of foreign releases as well as new comics, like Breathers by Justin Madson and Pink Lemonade by Nick Cagnetti. A quick scroll through the It’s Alive Twitter feed shows that he had a lot of projects in the works, including new issues of the 1980s indie series Fish Police by Steve Moncuse and the return of BloodLines by Rob Walton.
“I grew up in upstate New York, and we had what we called at that time a ‘junk shop’ in my town,” Ford told Comics Worth Reading back in 2018. “They never had new comics, but they always had slightly used older comics, graphic novels, and magazines like Heavy Metal and Epic Illustrated. The material I found there always seemed more grown up than what I was picking up in my local comic shop from Marvel and DC at that time. Anyway, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure, and that place was filled with treasure, as far as I was concerned!”