October 3, 1955 - August 3, 2016
By: WayvesMagazine staff
By Wayves Staff
Long time WayvesMagazine team member Jim Bain passed away on August 3, from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, at the Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital, at age 60.
"Wayves first encountered Jim Bain in 1995," said Wayves Publisher Dan MacKay, "He was the president of PRIDE in LIFE in Riverview, NB at the time, and wrote in with a massive list of corrections and updates for the New Brunswick section of our Groups And Services page."
Dan recalled that in the next year Jim proposed to Wayves that he be hired as a regional reporter for the magazine, based out of New Brunswick. He got started on ad sales for the LGBT community in the late 1990s, with his good friend Chris Aucoin, publisher of the Pride Guide: "Maritime Canada's gay / lesbian / bisexual / transgendered phonebook!"
In 1999, in response to a readership survey, Jim wrote Wayves a precise and robustly logical letter telling us to pull up our socks, produce a decent publication, and act more like a business. He soon convinced Wayves that we needed him, designed his own job, set his own pay scale, and begun putting the magazine in the black, every month, for almost fifteen years, until we stopped print publication.
"He was determined to transform Wayves," said Dan," from 'a very loosey-goosey collective' -- a phrase that he never failed to utter with a derisivie curl to his beareded lip -- into something that ran more on a business model.
Jim worked tirelessly to keep Wayves on a solid financial footing. "His vision was that we on the editorial team had to make Wayves essential to the LGBT community, and that made selling ads easy," says MacKay?.
Jim was a fierce advocate for our community; in addition to his work for Wayves, in the 1990s he served on the Board of Directors of the AidsCoalition of Nova Scotia and was involved in MacLeather, while helping with his husband WolfFillmore's custom leather apparel & accessories business.
Wayves volunteer, HugoDann remembers him as a man who loved challenging people to live up to their own expectations. "I recall that in 2007, I was complaining at a Wayves layout meeting that Halifax seemed to have lost its appetite for queer political rallies, and that nothing was being planned to mark May 17, (now known as the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia IDAHoT?.) Jim immediately challenged me to turn my complaint into action. Dan and RaymondTaavel quickly came on board, and Wayves funded the publication of a pamphlet promoting the event, and a queer Halifax tradition was born."
Hugo cherishes memories of Jim's deliciously dry wit and how he loved an argument: a staunch and unwavering view that he would vehemently set forth was that the queer lifestyle was far superior to a straight one.
"While I rather agreed with him on that point, we often locked horns in debate, especially about the "business" model for Wayves, but our arguments were entirely free of rancour. I had loads of respect and affection for Jim."
ChrisAucoin recalled a more private side of his friend, "Jim Bain loved heavy metal music and cars. While he'd admit that Revolver was his favourite Beatles album, his music collection focussed more on Metallica and Guns & Roses. You could be watching a movie on TV with Jim, and if a classic car drove into the picture he could name the make, model and year!" He was a huge fan of comics, and Tolkien (and reading and writing generally), and "loved Dungeons & Dragons, as well as card and board games."
"He was a great big gentle bear… and I’ll miss him." As will all of us at Wayves.
Celebration & Benefit
Jim will be remembered with A Celebration of Life & Benefit including a pot luck meal, Chinese auction, 50/50 draw, and a show, on Sunday, August 14 from 3 PM to 11 PM at Menz & Mollyz Bar, 2182 Gottingen St, Halifax. Donations at the door will be accepted; a formal memorial will happen at a later date.
My first direct communication from Jim:
“Be warned that some of the things I have to say could be deemed harsh. Everything, though, is said only in the spirit of concern and the wish to have a publication in Atlantic Canada that we can all be proud of."
It was a response to a request for feedback about the quality of Wayves magazine, which I was the publisher of. It was the first time that anything I was involved with had been illuminated by Jim’s laser-like intellect. But I would continue to bask in that light for another decade and a half.
The rest of Jim’s note to Wayves is a precise and robustly logical letter telling us to pull up our socks, produce a decent publication, and act more like a business. He soon convinced Wayves that we needed him, designed his own job, set his own pay scale, and begun putting the magazine in the black, every month, for as long as we published it.
Jim could sell ice to eskimos. BUT always reminded us that he could not sell Wayves ads unless the editorial team produced a magazine that looked great and more importantly was not just relevant, but essential to LGBT Atlantic Canadians. Ten years later Wayves adopted the motto, permanently: “Queerly Essential, Essentially Queer.”
Jim had a business model for the magazine, and very much saw me, as publisher, as his boss, and responded to any request I had with, “Certainly.” I was envious of Jim’s certain and unwavering head space. Me, I, tend to talk about ideas as I have them, and very often I would verbally daydream some kind of half baked plan and ask Jim if he could carry it out; his answer was always, “Certainly.” A few seconds later he would follow up with a comment pointing out the totally impractical parts, replacing them with things that would work beautifully, while still making it clear that it was *my* idea.
Of course, while he was a brilliant journalist, we hardly ever got to use those talents with the magazine. He was quite firm about the separation between editorial and advertising.
We handful making Wayves were very close. I talked to Jim at least every other day, and Jim said he talked to Raymond Taavel often an hour every day. Not business associates, not colleagues, but friends who very much enjoyed each others’ company.
One day a month we spent crammed into a tiny room, laying out the magazine, and always had fun, enough fun that we chose to spend a lot of non-Wayves time with Wolf and Jim in… Wolf, what was the nickname you had for your little cove? The Mull of McBain??
For a few years Mike and Norval and I would occasionally sleep over at Ostrea Lake Road - they always made room for guests in that tiny home. With typical precision, Wolf figured out that the double air mattress fit exactly inside the sectional so we had a little nest in the living room with just enough room to for them to squeeze by on the way to the kitchen.
All of you will remember that parties out at Wolf and Jim’s were... epic. One that is… uh… burned into my memory is at the fireworks time of one party - some time between 11 and midnight I think, they were all set up and ready to go, and lit… and the box fell over and began spinning, sending fireworks randomly towards everyone, and pandemonium erupted - some people ran towards the box, some away, everyone screamed.
After months or years of parties, the straight men -- fishermen, woodsmen, labourers -- from up and down the road started attending, and towards the middle or end of the evening everyone, including them, would start discussing how straight they were, or demonstrating how straight they weren’t.
We always wanted to spend more time there, and be less bother, so Jim, Wolf and I planned a camp for me on their property. In the spring of 2008, Wolf found me a 1967 Winnebago Indian for six hundred bucks, and for another couple hundred we had it towed to their property, and we ran an extension cord across the yard for power. I could sleep and cook and fuck there, alternating with social time with them. It was heaven, and Mike and I spent as much time there as we could. We shared music and food and jokes and serious talk from sunup to sundown, and after the evening meal, the games would come out - most often, one of the variants of Uno.
When we were more or less sober we could play the tile game which involves monumental amounts of addition. Moderately drunk (for me) and stoned (for everyone else), we played the Uno card game. And… when we were too messed up to do any calculations or remember rules, which was reasonably often, we played Uno Stacko which involves pulling sticks out of a tower without it falling over, and trying not to bump the table while literally almost falling off our chairs laughing.
Of course, any game with Jim that had any element of strategy at all… guess what happened.
Yes, of course, Jim whupped us. Among many things I admired about him, was that every decision he made, every recommendation, every move in every game, was guided by this totally natural, effortless sense of strategy . I live in a universe of opinions that can change, huge expanses of moral grey areas and to me it seemed as if for every topic that I couldn’t make up my mind on, he had spent a lifetime thinking about and figuring out a coherent position on it. Everything fit together. He lived in a universe of certainty which dazzled me.
In his favourite areas, his knowledge was encycopedic - of comics and science fiction. He would cheerfully talk about the groundbreaking artwork from, say the 1953 Superman issue 103 and how it changed drawing forever, and, there were times when he would view the world or illustrate a point entirely through the lens of comics or science fiction.
The strongest thing that Jim gave to me was a staunch and unwavering view that the queer lifestyle is far superior to a straight one. Like everything else, he had solid and convincing reasoning for this position, and it was such a fresh take on pride - that is, logical rather than emotional — that it has been with me every day since the first Sunday morning on the Mull of McBain? that I heard it from him.
We’ve lost Jim, but these gifts of laughter and wisdom and pride will be with me, and his gifts to you, will be with us forever.