Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Harold Ramis has died

Much is often said about the deaths of celebrities.

I seldom join in with the mourning.

These are people that I did not know and never met. Anyone’s death is always a tragedy to someone, but the general outpouring of grief for total strangers is alien to me. I might feel some sadness at the waste of a life cut short by a fatal accident or terminal illness. I might regret the untimely loss to us all of a significant talent, but to feel personally touched by the death of a stranger is rare for me.

Harold Ramis
Egon Spengler
Harold Ramis’s death struck a little closer to home than most celebrity deaths might, however.

I have a particular fondness for clever funny men. I have said it before. I tell women that those are the men they should take an interest in, and I find that many of the feistiest women do.

We all know that Harold Ramis was both clever and funny. We only have to recall that he was responsible for some of our favourite movies from the eighties to remember that fact.

Of course, I’m talking about Ghostbusters! 

Harold Ramis was largely responsible for Ghostbusters, which was released in 1984. I saw the film with the husband. We laughed. The movie outsold the second Indiana Jones film and went on to be the most successful movie in the US that year. It regularly appears on lists of the top 100 funniest films ever.

Harold Ramis played Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters.

I have a very particular fondness for Egon Spengler. Not only is he my kind of nerd, but he’s also my kind of nerd!

On March 28 1988 Marvel UK launched The Real Ghostbusters comic book, which was exactly what you think it was. It ran for, I believe, 193 issues with 4 annuals and 10 specials. 

I was in my mid-twenties in 1988 and I wasn’t reading comics. The husband and I were also on hiatus. I missed him.

Every issue of The Real Ghostbusters carried a column called Spengler’s Spirit Guide. It was a sort of monster of the week bio or character feature. The columns were funny and clever too. I didn’t read them at the time because I didn’t read the comic.

I did, subsequently, read all of them. I sat down one afternoon in the spring of 2000 when the husband and I had just moved house and he was sorting out storage for the comp copies of his work, and I read every single column.

The husband wrote every Spirit Guide for every issue of The Real Ghostbusters. The husband is my very own Egon Spengler.

Every girl should have one.

So, Harold Ramis has died, and I am rather sorry for that. He was a clever, funny man who made clever, funny movies. I will always have a particular fondness for his memory, because Harold Ramis gave us Ghostbusters and he portrayed the character of Egon Spengler, and that means a little more to me than it might to most people.

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