Ninjalicious dies
August 25, 2005 4:32 PM   Subscribe

Jeff Chapman (Ninjalicious of dies. He created Infiltration, the zine that documented and instructed the practice of "urban exploration" (spelunking in buildings where you're not supposed to go). Discovering his zine led me to understand that my lengthy time-killing in the catacombs of the Ontario provincial government was an activity with an actual name - and purpose. Chapman, a liver-transplant recipient, died in Toronto of cancer at age 31. Details from his wife. (Previous mention)
posted by joeclark (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

posted by dobbs at 5:06 PM on August 25, 2005


(and looking forward to the book in Oct.)
posted by ktoad at 5:09 PM on August 25, 2005

This is sad. Even though I've never gone urban exploring myself, I remember discovering back in the day, and being struck by how cool the concept was.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:09 PM on August 25, 2005

Shit. He was really fucking young. (I'll have to go wandering around the U-M life science center this weekend; memory, or what have you.)
posted by Tlogmer at 5:12 PM on August 25, 2005

He looks just like ME! Except, you know, clean cut and handsome.

posted by Balisong at 5:28 PM on August 25, 2005

posted by sinical at 5:38 PM on August 25, 2005

posted by docgonzo at 5:39 PM on August 25, 2005

This was more of a "holy shit!" moment for me than even the passing of John Peel. I had no idea.

Wish I'd known the guy through more than his zine. He practically turned lurking in abandoned subway stations and steam tunnels into a spiritual calling. I'm glad he got to see his book in print.
posted by chrominance at 5:43 PM on August 25, 2005

posted by foozleface at 5:43 PM on August 25, 2005

It might be of interest that Chapman appeared as Milky in BBS: The Documentary. Here's a link to the director's recent post about his death
posted by robinw at 5:55 PM on August 25, 2005

posted by shoepal at 6:49 PM on August 25, 2005

Wow. I met him once, briefly, in a Toronto zine con.
posted by ori at 7:04 PM on August 25, 2005

================== .

(ok, ... its a long tunnel with a dot at the end)
posted by R. Mutt at 7:50 PM on August 25, 2005

I started to come up with some joke about infiltrating heaven, but nah. I hope he gets a fitting tribute.
posted by revgeorge at 7:57 PM on August 25, 2005

Jeff Chapman was also interviewed for an episode of This American Life, Invisible Worlds.
posted by Felicity Rilke at 7:57 PM on August 25, 2005 [1 favorite]


Infiltration had such a massive influence on me. I'll never forget the first time I stumbled across it back in the late 1990s. I remember being amazed that there were other people out there who loved abandoned things and decay.

posted by keswick at 8:25 PM on August 25, 2005

posted by Vidiot at 10:05 PM on August 25, 2005

I have not met Jeff Chapman, I know many members of his family, though, as I work very closely with his brother-in-law, and his father used to be my boss. It is very strange to have heard yesterday that the brother-in-law was away from work due to a family emergency and then to come here and read this, and discover just what the family emergency was. I remember how anxious they were when he went through some of the early treatments, and it's sad to know that he hasn't pulled through.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:54 PM on August 25, 2005

Tonight was the first time I've ever stumbled across an obituary for someone I had met before, a singularly lonely and sad experience for me.

I met Jeff just once, at a New Year's party -- his wife and my girlfriend are friends. I never knew much about his "underground" life, just that he was a quiet, unassuming chap. One day, we (the gf and I) got an email from Jeff's then-girlfriend, Liz, announcing that they had up and decided to go get married. Jeff had been sick for some time, though I don't think he'd been diagnosed with cancer yet, but they both knew to make the most of their time together. It struck me at the time, and does now, as one of the sweetest, most beautiful, yet most wrenching, commitments you could make.
posted by jimray at 12:13 AM on August 26, 2005

The bitter irony is that if he hadn't got sick in the first place, would probably have not come into existence. I wonder what he'd choose if he could swap out and turn back the clock..

posted by peacay at 6:00 AM on August 26, 2005

I fully expect Jeff to have heaven's basements and sewers mapped out when I get there.

A toast, to our dear departed explorer.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:16 AM on August 26, 2005

posted by lyam at 6:34 AM on August 26, 2005

Infiltration was such a great zine. Always excited to get a new issue. Jeff also posted some very funny stuff on alt.zines which I still think about now and then. :(
posted by valis at 6:42 AM on August 26, 2005

posted by rzklkng at 7:31 AM on August 26, 2005

Shit. I had no idea he was even sick. I've been reading for many years. Hadn't looked at it for a while, and then BAM, Metafilter tells me he's dead. I've been sitting here shocked.

RIP Jeff. For whatever it's worth, I'll miss you.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 8:11 AM on August 26, 2005

posted by ImJustRick at 9:13 AM on August 26, 2005

posted by safetyfork at 11:18 AM on August 26, 2005


posted by Alt F4 at 6:28 AM on August 27, 2005

posted by OmieWise at 7:12 AM on August 31, 2005

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