Today, the hometown newspaper ran a spread on Alec.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FAMILY
Often, family members would find Alec Kent (left) huddled over one of his sketchbooks. He is shown here at a birthday party with his brother, Austin Kent.
ALEC RICHARD KENT | He loved comics
Boy was drawn to illustrating
By JENNIFER BHARGAVA
The Kansas City Star
Who: Alec Richard Kent, a middle school student who enjoyed drawing and games.
When and how he died: Sept. 20, due to heart failure.
An illustrative passion: Friends and family could always find Alec huddled over one of his many sketchbooks. Drawing comics, especially Japanese anime, was one of his favorite activities.
His enthusiasm for illustrating was enhanced by family friend Aaron Williams, who is a local comic book creator. The two artists spent hours together practicing their drawing techniques. Alec also enjoyed reading Williams’ published comics, “Nodwick” and “PS238.”
“Alec always offered his opinion to me and in fact, he used to point out my mistakes,” Williams said. “He was the best editor I ever had.”
He showed physical affection: Alec was not afraid to kiss his mom in public or hug people he just met.
Christi Kent said her son’s most endearing quality was his touch. Whether it was rubbing her temples to get rid of a migraine, or wrestling with his brother and cousins, Alec used physical contact as a way of expressing himself.
However, his desire for interaction could sometimes lead to awkward moments.
“Alec was such a wiggly kid his entire life,” his mom said. “When he was 2, I took him to Kmart and he had his hand in my pocket and tripped. He fell down and so did my shorts &emdash; right in the middle of the Kmart entrance. He was all twisted around me and it makes me laugh every time I think about it.”
Always one to take on a challenge: The energetic teenager was never satisfied with being average. Alec loved to put himself to the test. He challenged his Boy Scout peers to games of chess and poker.
He spent hours each day playing “RuneScape,” an online game that promotes problem-solving skills and puzzles. Alec’s desire to learn new skills amused his family.
“Alec spent all his Christmas money last year on eBay buying swords,” Kent said.
“He wanted to play with them in the backyard, which drove me nuts. There was even a time when he wanted to learn Japanese.”
His secret language: One of Alec’s favorite sayings was “Oh, snap!” This phrase was usually accompanied by a detailed description of his day at school. Encoded in his stories would be nicknames he had for all his friends. He created the special names based on something that happened to that person or how a friend’s name sounded.
“You really had to learn to speak ‘The Alec,’ ” Kent said. “I had to remember all his friends’ nicknames and I even called them by those, which they thought was pretty funny. Alec also made up words, which were so silly but became a part of who he was.”
Survivors include: Mother, father, brother, grandparents and great-grandparents.
The last word: “Alec kept me reading every parenting book I could get my hands on,” Kent said.
“He was just so bright and full of energy.”