The inspiration for the Brian Morden Foundation logo came from several sources.
First you need to understand the symbol: <3.
Those who use the Internet have very clever ways of expressing a variety of emotions, ideas, etc. Look at <3 sideways and you’ll see a heart, the symbol of love.
Several of Brian’s friends and his brother Jamin explained that Brian would often use the <3 symbol when Internet games were getting heated. He would try to calm players down by typing <3 during their online conversations.
Brian also used <3 in many of his posts. His last post to the HBO Forum was on January 25, 2003, in reply to a call for help from his best friend, SilverBrin (Brian Johnson) who started his message with, “Well, as most of you may know, the HBO regular, the defender of love himself, Ar-Isildur, has been fighting cancer for the past two years.”
In reply to SilverBrin’s call for help, an HBO Community member who did not know Brian posted this:
: From this day fourth I would like us to be known as the HBO MAIL
: FLOODERS and fill up his room with cards, notes, thoughts and prayers enough
: to raise his spirits and fill his heart.
Brian’s reply 1/25/03:
mission accomplished. to date i have received some 200+ emails and cards. your <3 and support has been absolutely overwhelming. i don’t know what to say except thank you … all of you.
as for my health, well, generally it’s improving but my future is still very uncertain. i still can’t walk or move about on my own easily, so i’m still in the hospital.
i’ll go into more detail later, but i’m quite tired. i just wanted to drop a line. thanks and <3 to you all!
Deimos Fawkes, from subnova.com, made the first Superissy shield “in honor of our comrad, Ar-Isildur.” http://subnova.com/library/?aid=20030112.191109 (One of Brian’s Internet nicknames was issy.)
In an email from Deimos Fawkes (3of9 and also known as Josh) after Brian died, he said, “When I made it for Brian one of the times he was in the hospital, all I could think of was how amazing he was. I was so happy when he logged into the server and told me how much he liked it.” Not knowing this until we decided on the logo, it has made us very happy to know that Brian had seen this shield and loved it. We also finally made the discovery through this email that our whole family had actually met Deimos Fawkes (of course Brian knew this, but sometimes Internet names and real names get confusing, so we’re not always sure who we’ve met or not). “Even though we only met the one time in New York, I felt wonderfully comfortable in your family van. You and yours are always in my prayers.”
Jesse, another terrific Internet friend said, “Brian not only understood what we termed ‘the power of <3’, but lived it.”
Miguel (yet another wonderful Internet friend of Brian’s) helped finalize our decision to use the Superissy design with the <3. In his post after Brian died, Miguel said, “I and a few others have actually met Brian in person, and I feel privileged to have been in the company of someone that was both a lover and a fighter. Brian shocked his doctors by fighting the cancer that was eating through his body to the bitter end. Yet through out it all, his love for his friends and family never faltered, and we never failed to give it right back to him.
You didn’t have to meet him in person to see what a great guy he is. Just do a search through the forum’s archive for his posts. You will see that we have lost a warm and decent human being.
For the man that popularized “<3”, it is only fitting that he stayed with his family and friends through Valentine’s Day. Brian was no fool.” (Brian died early Saturday morning, February 15, 2003.)
Thanks to Josh, Miguel, SilverBrin, Jamin, and Jesse for helping us create a fitting logo for the foundation that represents the love so many felt for Brian and he for them, as well as the love we hope to continue through the works of the Brian Morden Foundation.