The news I received a couple of weeks ago that CoC would exit teenhood straight to euthanasia has since been roiling in my head. I admit, I avoided confirming with Gino that I'd submit some final words because I couldn't have it be trite or glib.
Gino reached out to me, a relative stranger, at a time when, looking back, I needed the community that he himself sought out in the producing of a thoughtful, considered publication. This was shortly after the release of the first issue, as I recall. There wasn't much for me to go on except the quality of that issue and the passion displayed by both Gino and Adrian, but that was enough. I gave a piece of myself to CoC 20 years ago and received much more in return.
More than the promos, the interviews, and other perks in the early days, more than the warm feeling I get reading CoC 20 years later, it's the lasting friendships and the memories that will stay with me long after the last issue is released, long after the lights go out.
Gino, you have made a huge difference in my life, and I'm grateful to have worked alongside you to enrich our world.
Hails to you, Gino and the entire CoC staff, past and present.