My Friend Kurt

A Memorial for My Friend

******* Kurt Reichenbach *******

by Jim Pinkoski

I met Kurt in 1986

I had come to the Takoma Park/Silver Spring area of Maryland from California, and I heard about and met Kurt…. since I’m a artist/cartoonist, and both of us were into comic collecting, Kurt let me move into his house in Rockville, MD and I was his house guest for around 6 months!  Yes, I was even there for one of Kurt’s famous Christmas-in-July parties! (…sorry, no pics of it…)

Kurt did **3 major favors** for me

that affected my entire life!

Kurt’s BIG FAVOR #1

I had worked on my Prophecies of Daniel and Revelation book for many months, and I completed the 56 pages and its cover while at Kurt’s house — and now it was time to show it around and find someone to publish it!  After sending it to a couple of publishers who said “No,” a photographer friend of Kurt’s stopped by his house to borrow some camera equipment that he needed to do a photo shoot in Africa — his name was Dennis Crews — and as Dennis was heading out the door, Kurt suggested giving Dennis a copy of my book to take with him back to Hagerstown where he worked at his father’s ministry, Joe Crews of AMAZING FACTS…..

I don’t remember if it was later that day, or the next day, but we got a call from AFacts saying that they were interested in publishing my book!  While Joe Crews was reluctant to publish something that looked like “a comic book,” Allen Hrenyk their Treasurer convinced them to “go for it!”  After all, their duty was to put their witnessing material into formats that “worldly” people would read — and the dreaded “comic book” is the #1 Easy-to-Read format on the planet!   The book sold quite well — and in the years since, I have done 7 other books for AFactsand those 8 books have sold over a half-million copies in the past 35 years!

THANKS, KURT !!!!!!!!!!!

That’s Kurt reading a copy of my **brand new published PROPHECIES book** back there in 1986 — on the last page I drew me and Kurt going into one of the Revelation Seminar meetings along with a crowd of people….

Kurt’s BIG FAVOR #2

While I was still out in California in 1985, I saw the art of Harry Anderson for the first time — I totally loved his work, and I was collecting as much of it as I could find…. In June of 1986 Kurt got a photo job doing a series of Investment Posters for the church, and he wanted one of them to feature Harry Anderson!

Kurt and I took a plane flight to Harry Anderson’s house in Connecticutt, and we spent 3 wonderful hours at Harry’s house one Sunday afternoon!  Kurt set up his photo equipment in Harry’s studio, and while he took his pics, I took my pic of him & Harry from the studio balcony….

I just wish that I had brought along more film — while I did take several pictures, there are ones I had to pass on because I was “running low on film”…. (there was one painting that has haunted me to this day, it was a beautiful scene of a young boy and girl climbing out a second story window into a big tree with green leaves all around them… and I have never been able to find this painting since then!)

I had brought along my special Nimslo 3D camera, and I took a very special pic of Harry sitting in his living room, and his family really enjoyed getting 8×10 prints of it — and while I was at Kurt’s house, I also took a really great 3D photo of Kurt with his Disney toys!

It was funny — Kurt was the “professional photographer” — but I was the one with the 3D camera!

ABOVE:  Kurt’s pic of me & Harry Anderson — and in 2018 I was the main contributor to the beautiful 260-page hardcover book THE ART OF HARRY ANDERSON! 

BELOW:  Kurt clowning around with one of Harry’s originals….

And in 2014 for Christmas I got Kurt a copy of the 1953 magazine that published that very cute Rabbit Lady illustration!

See my website:  www.HarryAndersonArt.com

 *    *    *

Kurt’s BIG FAVOR #3

!!! The Saturn Awards !!!

In 2002 when Kurt was in Hollywood and I was in Tennessee, he called me up and asked me to draw a cover for the Saturn Awards magazine!  In 1989 Kurt moved from Maryland out to Hollywood, and he got the job of doing the layouts for the yearly Saturn Awards magazines — I have managed to acquire a number of them (see below), and then in 2002 when MARVEL COMICS Stan Lee was receiving a special award that year, Kurt called me up and asked me to do the cover….

Kurt wanted to do a comicbook-like cover with a superhero ripping open his shirt showing the Saturn Awards logo… so I drew the cover, and Kurt added the Saturn Awards logo!

BELOW:  This was my 1st sketch — but Kurt said it had to be much closer…. so I drew the close-up version!

An article in a science fiction fan magazine included my cover….

It was really strange… there I was, living in “the boonies of Tennessee” — and I get to do the cover of the program book to the equivalent of the Oscars for Science Fiction and Fantasy Movies!?!   Wow… amazing…. That was also the year that Kurt’s friend Drew Struzan got his first ever Life Career Award for his fantastic movie posters…

And Drew Struzan “returned the favor” by doing the cover portrait for Kurt’s music CD…. which was also the image used on Kurt’s Memorial Tribute

Uh…. “OOPS” ……..

When it came time to do Kurt’s Memorial, I was there online waiting my turn to be able to say a few words about my good friend of 35+ years — but as everyone saw on the Memorial footage, when my time came to speak, I could not get the computer image to work — this was all that was on the screen:

So I was not able to contribute to the video comments — and two days later we finally figured out what the problem was… I was using my new laptop, and since I never do any Zoom meetings, etc., I was unfamiliar with using the camera eye on the laptop… the lens was still covered with the tiny clear plastic protective covering to protect the small round lens!!!  That is why there was an odd orange glare there, some light was getting through the clear plastic!  ….DUH…..

Oh well, I knew I had lots of pics that would be posted on the website, so I knew I would “eventually” get a chance to share my stories about Kurt….

****My “Old Pics” of Kurt****

ABOVE:  Me and Kurt with one of his booklet cover paintings of Jesus.

Kurt clowning around with one of his ALIEN figurines!  IT’S BURSTING OUT OF HIS CHEST!!!

SNOW IN ROCKVILLE AT KURT’S HOUSE IN 1986

BELOW:  Kurt bought a really nice juke box that went in his living room!

 BELOW: Kurt and I collaborated on a pamphlet ad for BTV (Business Television)….

Kurt wanted the storyboards to start out as pencil sketches, then tight pencils, then inked art, and then it becomes a color pic of Kurt-the-salesperson!  (I drew myself in panel 2, and my brother Ken in panel 3)….

“Real” Christmas in 1986 at Kurt’s Parents’ House

BELOW:  Kurt and I went to New York City so Kurt could photograph some of the Christmas Window Displays — and while there we stopped by and saw the Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park!

BELOW:  Kurt, his Dad, and his bother Bill

BELOW:  Kurt did the album cover art for his bother Bill’s record some time before I came to town….

Ads for Kurt and his music that appeared in the Saturn Awards magazines in 2006 to 2010

BELOW:  And then there was the time in 1986 when Kurt was driving us to his storage locker on the Beltway AND HE RAN OUT OF GAS!!!!!!  Of course I had to take a pic…..

Kurt bought a working 35mm film projector and several cans of various films — (the only problem with watching movies this way is that you can’t “fast forward” through them….)

BELOW:  And we also found a REALLY BIG CIGARETTE at a Health Booth that was just too good not to clown around with….

One of Kurt’s many, many, many art projects…. done with cutting out colored paper….

I myself have always thought that Kurt and Jeff Dunham the Ventriloquist almost looked like twins!  Oh yes, I told Kurt about it…..

I think about Kurt nearly every single day — I have so many things around me that bring Kurt to mind…. he was a great friend and one of the nicest and most generous people I have ever known….

I REALLY MISS YOU, KURT