Brian Turner – RIP

Cartoonist Brian Turner (aka Renrut) has passed away.

Brian William Turner
December 15, 1949 – January 31, 2021

writer, cartoonist, researcher, and educator

From the obituary:

Brian was a prolific writer who worked diligently on his novels, articles, books, and research projects right up to the weeks before his death.

One of a handful of baseball historians who research and document the early history of the sport, Brian was frequently published in The National Pastime and Base Ball: Journal of the Early Game, where his last article will appear posthumously. With John S. Bowman of Northampton, Brian co-authored The Hurrah Game, a companion book to an exhibit at Historic Northampton, and “The Florence Eagles Base Ball Club,” an authoritative entry into the book, Baseball Founders. In addition, he penned the encyclopedia entry, “Luther B. Askin,” for The African American National Biography following his discovery of the world’s earliest-known integrated baseball team, the Florence Eagles. Brian was an active and respected member of the Society for American Baseball Research.

A number of his short stories were published during this time in Northwest Review and other literary magazines.


From Forbes Library Facebook page:

We were heartbroken to hear of the passing of Brian Turner, writer, cartoonist, researcher, and educator, and a regular in the library and archives. When Brian found out he was sick, he donated his personal collection of the local arts publications he had worked on to the Forbes Library archives. Many folks who grew up in Northampton in the 70s-90s may remember Brian as the co-founder of Scat Comics Gazette and Pioneer Valley Graphics Guild, as the cartoonist behind Renrut, or as a contributor to Oh No Noho!, VMag, and the Perkins Press.

More from the obit:

He was also an extraordinary cartoonist, whose Renrut’s World graphic tales followed the arc of his life with his trademark savvy and self-deprecating wit. A collection of his cartoon stories is currently being prepared for publication.

In the late 1970s, Brian became a well-known figure in Northampton’s cultural renaissance. In 1979, he co-founded SCAT Comics Gazette, which featured his art and was “promoted” with the slogan, “Don’t you have anything better to do than read SCAT?” He was a co-founder of the Pioneer Valley Graphics Guild in 1976 as well as a partner and then sole proprietor of Graphics Guild through 1986.


Brian had a hand, though a few steps removed,
in the creation Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


Back to the obit:

During this time, his cartoons were used on Virgin records gift tokens, book covers and illustrations; and were widely distributed in publications, locally (SCAT, Valley Advocate, Oh No No Ho, VMag); regionally and nationally (Cozmic Comix, Time Out, Sportscope magazine, Perkins Press magazines, Boston University’s Z magazine); and abroad (the Netherlands’ Tante Leny, India’s Indian Express newspaper, Transitions Abroad).

Sophia Smith has a really nice collection of Renrut’s World comix.

One thought on “Brian Turner – RIP

  1. My Uncle was a important cog in the sequence of events that led to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Though, he was not part of the creative process. Nor was he involved in the the Turtles directly.

    One day, Kevin Eastman was on the PVTA bus from Amherst to Northampton (he was a student at UMASS), and he happened upon a SCAT magazine on the floor of the bus. He decided to give the SCAT office a visit (not sure whether it was for work or to show his work…..) and showed my uncle Brian Turner and SCAT magazine editor, the work that he did.

    Meanwhile, there was a man named Peter Laird that contributed to SCAT magazine. I’m not sure if Peter was working at SCAT at that time, but he either was or had been a cartoonist for SCAT. Don and Brian told Kevin, “We know someone that’s draw’s weird Sh#! like you.” and referred Kevin Eastman to Peter Laird, and the rest is history.

    So, my uncle was not directly involved, but he was part of the butterfly effect that resulted in the TNMT phenomenon.

    My uncle has contributed to many things in his lifetime. Novels, Historical Baseball research, local historian, and guiding many prospective writers at Smith College. He also was a great Uncle. He was direct. He was honest. He was loving and accepting of my faults as a growing boy, teen, young adult, young father, man……..and now, I will remember him with the loving care he has shown me, in his own way, throughout my lifetime. He was one of a kind. Evan, Sally, and I will miss you Uncle Bumpy.

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