John Ostrander Update
Brubaker! Meltzer! Quesada and More!
Hello again, everyone, and thank you again for all the remarkable support and concern and well-wishes that have been shown for comics legend John Ostrander, during the efforts to raise cash and donations during his battle with glaucoma in the past several weeks. Thanks also to Lucas, Vaneta and Michael here at Newsarama for graciously helping us spread the news.
This is just a quick update to let everyone know what a TREMENDOUS difference this has made in John’s life and situation. Thanks to you, the outlook is vastly brighter for one of the all-time great comic book writers. It’s easy to be cynical about this industry, we’ve all done it at one point or another, but this benefit has been simply a series of one wonderful, gracious, inspiring moment after another that it’s hard to be cynical at all. From people who donated a few dollars because it is literally all they could spare, up to some of the giants of the industry donating covers and paintings and double-page spreads, it’s really been something to see. There have been so many sad stories of great creators falling on hard times, it’s wonderful that in this one case at least, we all pulled together and said, “not this time.”
Of course, as we’ve said many times, all the money above John’s expenses goes to Heroes Initiative, to help many OTHER creators who have found themselves in a tough spot for medical or other reason. If you can, please consider helping them the way you’ve all helped John, at http://www.heroinitiative.org/
We’ve had some amazing events happen since we began but wow, the Ed Brubaker auctions surprised the hell out of everyone. Ed and I spoke at SDCC, and he and I commiserated briefly that it’s hard for writers to help in the same way that artists can. An artist can donate a beautiful piece of art, everyone understands it, and it is a fairly simple, in wonderfully generous endeavor. With writers, donating signed books or scripts is not always as effective.
So Ed Brubaker, one of the best writers this business has ever had, donated something unique…in his wonderful series, CRIMINAL, he has three dead mobsters coming up. The idea was to hold three auctions, with each winning bidder getting the chance to have their own name given to one of the dead mobsters, with a ‘criminal nickname’ also given to the corpses (chosen specifically by Ed), and finally, they each get a signed and personalized copy of the issue itself.
We knew it was a fun idea, but we had no idea how much it would go for. It ended up that the three auctions together raised over twenty-four hundred dollars alone!
That blows my mind. I saw the letters from the winning bidders and it was clear they wanted to help with the Ostrander efforts as well, so hats off to them, and Ed, you are my hero!
Brad Meltzer Gets Into the Action
Just as that auction was running down, I received a note from bestselling-novelist and IDENTITY CRISIS writer, the great BRAD MELTZER, with an idea that’s just as exciting. You all know Brad, he’s the guy who wrote some of the best superheroes in the last decade. He’s the guy with entire shelves of bestselling thrillers. And perhaps most touchingly, he’s the guy who spearheaded the efforts to restore the childhood home of Jerry Siegel in Cleveland, the place where Superman was created.
Brad is putting up for auction a speaking role in his next novel, which will undoubtedly be another best-seller. “It’s my next thriller,” says Brad, “So we'll have some deaths and chases and moments for someone to live forever on the printed page!”
The winning bidder will also receive a signed and personalized copy of the novel from its first printing, guaranteeing bragging rights for ages to come!
Brad told me why he wanted to help…”It's bad enough to see something bad happen to someone -- but to see that something bad happen to one of the people who gave me so many stories that entertained me when I was young? John Ostrander taught me about heroes. He taught me about fighting a good fight. I owe him far more than this.”
This is an amazing, possibly never-to-be-repeated opportunity for any fan of Meltzer, John, or comics. Be sure to keep an eye out later this week when this auction goes live!
Speaking of live…
We are in the last few hours of several ridiculously cool auction items at http://tinyurl.com/npjv6j
These all go to benefit comix4sight.com , so the proceeds go to John Ostrander to cover his medical bills and related expenses, with all the rest going to Hero Initiative. It looks like we’re going to be able to help a LOT of people here, so please keep those donations of cash and art coming!
Last week we had several higher end items and people have asked for some of the less expensive items to be available with each series of auctions, which sounds like a darn good idea, so we’re doing that. This week features some wonderful pieces…pages of original Spider Man/Doctor Strange art by Joe Quesada and beautiful pieces by Mark Wheatley and Marc Hempel, and gorgeous sketches by the wonderful Colleen Coover, unbelievable pieces including an astounding painting by Timothy Truman, and great collectibles like the very first appearance of Doctor Strange, and much much more, but go look FAST because today is the last day for most of these items and SOMEONE is going to get some amazing bargains!
Go check it out and check back often-we have a ton of surprises left and you never know when you might have a chance at a once-in-a-lifetime item from YOUR favorite creator!
John Ostrander Update
John had another surgery last week, on the eleventh. The results are very positive, and John was able to, for the first time, not only update us from the hospital recovery, but also work while away from home.
ecause of this benefit, John was able to have the necessary surgery to keep from losing his eyesight. Because of this benefit, John is able to pay for the necessary recovery time without worrying about losing everything else he had.
Because of this benefit and the kind donations of people like you, John was able to get a laptop with wifi, and for the first time, won’t lose a week of paying work because he has to stay for observation and follow-ups after surgery.
I met John just before Mike Gold and Adriane Nash started comix4sight.com to help their friend in his time of need. He was charming, funny, gracious and kind. But there was no question that he was weighted down a little bit by his medical worries and a feeling that he wasn’t really remembered by the mainstream comics industry.
That was John then. The John of today is feisty and hilarious and optimistic and healthier and spouting a hundred ideas a minute. He’s working on secret projects and cool concepts and we’re all going to be the better for it. In short, he is back in the game, and ready to kick ass. I’m working on a secret project with him and he has the enthusiasm and imagination of a 17 year old newbie.
It’s pretty &^%$ing great, actually.
Thank you again, everyone.