The Uncanny Scott Cosby: A Tribute
Written by Tommy B. Smith
A few years ago at Oklahoma City’s shining pop culture experience known as SoonerCon, I met a good-humored fellow creative, an artist, the Uncanny Scott Cosby. I was in the midst of setting up the promotional display for my short story collection Pieces of Chaos, which featured a fractured mirror. I’ve had two close calls on that particular prop becoming increasingly fractured or shattered altogether thanks to gravity and an instant’s misfortune. Curiously, Scott was there to witness both of those occurrences.
The first time I met him, he was chatting with another author I knew, and the three of us were soon throwing around banter. Conversation was easy with Scott, even from that first day. There was an amiable sense of humor about him, immediately noticeable. Clearly, he was also having a good time at the convention.
We had plenty more time for conversation over that weekend. The very next morning, as it happened. I was in for Saturday’s kaffeeklatsch with a number of other convention guests. Scott was there, so we resumed some of our conversation from the day before. I sat at a table with Scott and author Laura J. Underwood, the three of us chatting and sipping that black liquid motivation that fuels so many of us creative wanderers through the course of a dynamic three-day event.
Scott invited me to drop by his table sometime and have a look at his artwork. Later, once I was free, that’s what I did. I brought my wife Carrie along, and we looked over his array of artistic projects while discussing a few of the qualities and themes we enjoyed in art.
As a cover artist, Scott worked on the comic series Celtic Knights, which I was familiar with, and Rubenette, a comic out of Dublin, Ireland which I was not so familiar with. He also created the Peanuts-themed cover of the Tim & Lynne: Love Can Be Murder graphic novel. There is a copy of it on my bookshelf, signed by Scott to both of us.
Later at Underground Monster Carnival, Oklahoma City’s own dark carnival of horror, steampunk, and oddities, I had the opportunity to join Scott and others on a special panel, The Writer’s Mind hosted by Will Harrison of The OKC Edge.
Scott himself had been a contributing writer to The OKC Edge for some time by that point, reviewing and writing about films, books, comics, and events.
While at Underground Monster Carnival, I chatted with Scott about his artwork and mentioned how much I enjoyed his rendition of the Phoenix. As that incarnation of Underground Monster Carnival came to an end, I left with a copy of the fiery Phoenix, now framed and hanging in the room where I write.
As well, my wife has a copy of his Devil Girl artwork. Sometime later, Scott did an original piece for her, the Half-Skull, which he reproduced soon after in a modified version for the grand Count Gregore.
Scott was always pleasant and considerate toward my wife, something I appreciated, and good to me and very supportive of the work I do as an author. He was highly supportive of the art and the artists across the OKC scene, I’ve gathered, and an encouraging force of energy to those who knew his friendship.
At another SoonerCon the following year, I recall speaking to him for the greater part of the first day, Friday. His table was down the aisle from my own and it was early in the weekend. The show was only beginning. More than once, I urged him to join me at certain other events in other parts of the region, but I could never quite manage to lure him outside of Oklahoma. He was a true fixture of Oklahoma City and its artistic community.
Multiple experiences and events later, in the latter part of 2016, my wife and I were traveling through New Mexico. Our return trip would send us right through Oklahoma City, so I invited Scott and a few others to join us for dinner the night we were to be there. He wanted to visit with us, but wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t make it over. He had been experiencing some difficulties; I knew this and understood. I just wanted him to know he was welcome.
Not long after, he was hospitalized. I called up to his room in the hospital. As we talked for a while, he mentioned his hopes to recover in time to see us at the next Underground Monster Carnival. I paused, asked him if it was really that bad of a situation, and said I hoped I would see him there.
Aside from our exchanges on social media, that was the last time I spoke with him. As of January 18, 2017, he abruptly passed. My wife discovered the news and passed it on to me.
Scott was many things to many people: he was an artist, he was a writer, he was a freemason, he was a bolstering force, he was a friend, he was family, and more. He was a husband to his wife J’Layne, to whom I wish only the best, and I lend the same to his family and friends.
With his absence, there will be a rift, but we have the memories, the stories, the fortune that we knew Scott Cosby and that our lives are better for it. And as I do what I must, writing onward, when I turn to my left and look upon the Phoenix in its lasting glory, I will remember my friend.