In Memoriam

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    <strong>Darren Hutz<br />
    May 21, 1985 &mdash; January 6, 2014 </strong>
    
    
    Darren Hutz was a fixture of the Imprint community from 2004 to 2007, where he fulfilled official roles from comic artist to <a href="http://archive.uwimprint.ca/archives/2006-07_v29/Misprint_2007-04-01_v29_i00.pdf" target="_blank">Misprint editor</a> to board member. His unofficial role was always as the heartbeat of the office; the spirit and voice that kept us moving through countless production nights and etched itself in the pages of the paper. Darren was a stellar person, not just for his fun-loving side but also his impeccable attention to detail and extremely high standards of quality.
    
    
    It was at Imprint that Darren fell in love with Margaret Hutz (nee Mansell), the woman who would eventually become his wife.
    
    
    Darren passed away in the early hours of January 6, 2014 from a brain tumour. His loving wife stayed by his side every step of his battle with cancer.
    
    
    This page will stand as a lasting memorial to a man who touched the lives of so many volunteers and helped shape Imprint into the institution it is today. Photos and videos of Darren are posted below, along with memories from volunteers who worked with him. This is a living memorial. Any submissions for this page can be sent to <a href="mailto:tim.alamenciak@gmail.com" target="_blank">Tim Alamenciak.</a>
    
    
    Play on, Darren.
    
    
    With love,<br />
    Your Imprint family
    

     

    "Darren had a lightning-quick sense of humour and deep dedication to Imprint. But he also held a wisdom in his dark eyes, like he knew much more than what he was saying, and a little more about the world than the rest of us. He always brought levity to production night, cleverness to the staff awards, and a geniality that made it very easy to get along with him. His wife Margie is one of the most genuine and sweet people I met at UW and to see the two of them come together to give to and support each other was a joy.

    I, as the rest of the Imprint family is, were heartbroken to hear the news of Darren's passing. I hold you both in my heart."

    — Sabrina Bowman

     

    "Our most memorable night with Darren and Margie was at an open mic night at some dive in Toronto. Darren sang back-up (let's be honest, Darren doesn't do back-up and totally stole the show) for some nerdy guy covering a Gogol Bordello song. The performance was so good that I became a fan of gypsy punk, which is evidently a real thing. Thank you, Darren, for this memory and for all the times I got to enjoy your musical genius. You and gypsy punk have enriched my life more than you'll know. You're our favourite rock star. So much love,"

    — Kinga Jakab and Dustin Pringle

     

    "Darren and I lived together for a short time in University and I'll never forget when the neighbour complained about his loud singing. Nobody else was there — he was just practicing. But that was Darren. He gave it all. I've never met someone who laughed like he did when he found something really funny. He threw his whole body into it. He threw his whole heart into everything else. His relationship with Margie. His friends. The paper. And his music. Whenever I hear The General by Dispatch I will think of Darren and those countless open mic nights, bedroom practice sessions and impromptu office concerts."

    — Tim Alamenciak

     

    "The thing I remember most about Darren is he was always able to find humour in the world around him.

    For example, a photo of Darren in front of a food kiosk [below] might look plain on its own. But it's memorable for me, because it was taken after one of Darren's spiels, which I'm sure you can all imagine. "There are two racks of sandwiches, hearty choices and better choices. Well, which one are we supposed to take? If the better choices are better, then…why do they have hearty choices?"

    (A similar "finding humour in the world" happened when we visited a McDonalds, and there were two women's washrooms comically close to each other. The photo speaks for itself, really.)

    — Michael L. Davenport

     

     

    "While we all know that Darren was rarely seen without his trusty guitar in his hands and a song on his lips, what I find most special in my memories of my friend are the songs that I consider to be “my Darren songs”, those special songs that I can’t possibly hear without imagining Darren singing them. What’s most amazing is that I know so many of us have our own Darren songs, but for me, these will always be Eve 6’s “Inside Out” and John Mayer’s “My Stupid Mouth”.

    During my last year at UW, Darren was regularly playing Bomber’s open mic nights on Mondays and myself and some other friends and Imprinters were almost always in the audience. These two songs were two of Darren’s standards at the time, and always stand out in my mind when I think of Darren. His version of “Inside Out” (or the “Heart in a Blender” song as my friend and I would call it) always made me laugh because of the crazy awesome energy that he’d put into it each and every time. His performance of this song was a classic example of Darren’s infectious stage presence.

    And then, there was the John Mayer song. I’d never heard the song until I heard Darren sing it, and if he hadn’t told me otherwise, I would’ve thought this song was his own. Darren’s personality shone through this song like I’d never heard before — the song is beautiful and slightly melancholic but with a wicked sarcastic and clever streak, and it couldn’t have suited Darren better. More than seven years later I can still perfectly picture him singing this song on the Bomber stage and I swear I can hear him, too.

    The song’s constant refrain of “I’m never speaking up again” always made me laugh when Darren sang it — anyone who knew him knew that he was way too talkative and opinionated to mean a line like that. And though we won’t hear him speaking up or singing to us in person again, I know that in my memories and in my heart that he’s still singing “my Darren songs”. I hope you can all fondly remember and cherish your own Darren songs, too."

    — Suzanne Jangda (nee Gardner)

     

    "A lot has been said about Darren’s penchant for music and performing on stage (and justifiably so). But I remember him for a completely different passion of his – Darren was one of the founding members of Imprint hallway shootout hockey.

    Darren and a couple other Imprint volunteers were on an intramural hockey team together and, like many of us who used the Imprint office as a storage facility, Darren kept his hockey sticks there. The office was also littered with a variety of those free stress balls that you’d find in a frosh kit, and it didn’t take us long to put two and two together.

    Using Darren’s sticks, whatever stress ball was lying around, and a broom and dustpan for the goalie, we ended up wasting countless hours forming shootouts, doing rudimentary 2-on-1 drills, and other general buffoonery. There were even a couple of instances where our frustrated EIC Tim had to confiscate the ball until a column or comic was complete. This whole activity was usually accompanied by an especially hilarious rant from Darren, bemoaning the most recent egg laid by his beloved Maple Leafs. That part was always so humorous to me – not only because I’m a Habs fan, but because Darren peppered his comments with equal parts anger and hope. Just like a true Leafs fan."

    — Adam McGuire

     

    "When it came to making comics, Darren and Margie were the first group of people I could actually talk shop with on campus: storytelling methods, when colour was good, when colour was the worst, gimmicks and tropes that we loved and hated, if 'thrift-store superheroes' was the transcendent comic idea. This duo of extremely beautiful-minded dorks became one of the reasons why I continue to make comics. When I write, I occasionally think of them.

    Margie and I would trade sketchbooks while I visited them at whatever open mic gig they were both attending. His self-proclaimed 'crude' sketches that he'd share in his ruled notebook were, for lack of a better word, the best. Some artists would disagree with me, but I could see what was in them. I almost always laughed when he showed them and with not a single hint of intended irony or non-consideration. And it was because he was that good."

    — Peter Trinh

     

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