Shagg Matthews, an online friend, reached out to me this week to tell me that the family of Xum Yukinori wanted me to have a copy of his privately printed Xum’s Who. Subtitled, Xum Yukinori’s Addendum to the Definitive Directory of the DC Universe.
Xum had passed away last December leaving behind a legacy I knew nothing about. He was a regular contributor to Comic Book Resources’ The Line is Drawn and they celebrated his life in January. It proved an eye-opening read.
From what I have learned, he began doing the art as part of the CBR column and then for Shagg and Rob Kelly’s terrific Who’s Who Podcast on their Fire and Water Network. His blog tells us: “Xum (1963-2019) Former adman. Former marketing consultant for cellular technology and health care service industries. Former manhua background/crowd-control artist. Former artist for The Line It Is Drawn. Former host of The Done-in-One Wonders Podcast Wonder Show. Former resident of 12 countries. Former resident of California”
On his blog, he talked about his love for the DC Universe and Who’s Who, going so far as to create mock ads in the style we used in 1985.
You’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between his work ad that of the real deal. There are entries for one-hit wonders that didn’t make our three appearances minimum rule so you can learn about Fireman Farrell (Showcase #1) or Lady Copy (First Issue Special #3). He did make up a few characters out of affection for his peers, such as Aquarob, for Kelly, who ran The Aquaman Shrine for years.
In his introduction, he takes me to task for changing the editorial focus of Who’s Who from a 50th-anniversary celebration to one that reflected the post-Crisis status quo. Correcting that misjustice, he crafted entries for the Superman and Wonder Woman of Earth-1 along with Woozy Winks and even Topo (if you don’t know him, for shame).
Perhaps the oddest addition is the TRS-80 Whiz Kids, who were created for a custom comic DC produced for Radio Shack. None of the custom creations could be used given their ownership issues (hence no Protector, either).
Xum’s production work is top-notch and his art is versatile, aping the styles of the DC artists who reusing some of their work (crediting the work appropriately) with modifications.
I am touched that he thought enough of the series to add to it and gratified his family sent along a copy, which I am now keeping with my bound set of the original series.