Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Places to go; people to thank

First, if you're trying to reach me via email, note that I'll be in Los Angeles at BEA from May 29 through June 2 and will only read and return vital email during that time. This blog won't be updated until I return Monday night. In fact, I'm taking a personal day today to be with family, so I won't be around much. Emails regarding the Gene Colan Benefit Auction won't be looked at nor responded to until Monday.

Second (should really be first) sincere thanks to my friend, artist Michael Netzer for the gift of this blog's logo. I always wanted a logo I could call my very own.

Third (should be a fifth, but I'll drink one on the plane) thanks to each of you--artists, writers, collectors, friends--for supporting the Gene Colan Benefit. Gene and Adrienne would like to thank each of you personally but can't--however contributors to the auction should expect some form of communication from them in the future.

Last, please support my new projects: The Snaked trade paperback (IDW Publishing) is due out in June (intro by Gene Colan, art by Rufus Dayglo and Dave Cockrum, coloring by Christian Krank). Then there's Meth, Colan & Other Theologians from Aardwolf Publishing (intros by Marv Wolfman, Mark Evanier, Gail Simone, and the late Steve Gerber). And you can still find my recent One Small Voice (also from IDW, cover painting by Neal Adams; art by Gene Colan, Alex Toth and many others) discounted from numerous booksellers on the web. Or if you want it signed or personalized, get it from me (email cliffmeth@aol.com).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gene Colan Benefit Auction Begins

This auction was a huge success. Our deep thanks for everyone who participated.
Clifford Meth
Gene & Adrienne Colan

A Note from Adrienne Colan...

To Gene's fans and colleagues:

I'm on my fourth attempt to find the words to express my gratitude to you. Our gratitude. Our current challenges are dwarfed by your generousity, love and respect for Gene. It means even more to be coming from men and women of great accomplishment in their own right. You've all enriched our life throughout Gene's six decades in Comics. Thank you all dear friends.

Adrienne for Gene

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gene Colan Benefit Auction: Update

The date for the Gene Colan Benefit Auction has not yet been set but it appears that only relatively expensive items (original art) will be part of the "big" auction at ComicLink.com; other items (e.g., signed comics and books from folks like Garth Ennis and many others) will be part of a blind auction via this blog.

I plan to start posting items, with minimum bids, this weekend. If you see an item that you want, email me the bid and the highest bids will be listed at the end of each day. Winning bids will be posted and winners will be notified.

Bids will not include shipping costs.


Pictured: A sensational, unused cover pencilled by Gene Colan and inked by Neal Adams that Neal has generously donated to the auction (above)... And a piece that Walter Simonson created specifically for this auction (below). Click on them!

My Brother Dave Making America Safe

"Better to be judged by twelve men than carried by six," writes Dave.

Come home soon, brother!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Let's All Help Gene Colan

Note: This post from Sunday, May 11, will continually be updated with new information. Last update was May 22 at5:00 p.m.

You can help right this minute: Order Meth, Colan & Other Theologians -- the full proceeds will go directly and immediately to Gene. For details, click here.

In addition, numerous artists and writers will be contributing drawings and/or signed books to help Gene and Adrienne Colan with their mounting medical costs. Items will be auctioned by ComicLink.com

This list will be updated regularly. So far, it includes (in alpha-order):

Neal Adams, Daniel Best, Doug Braithwaite, Norm Breyfogle, Randy Bowen, Ed Brubaker, Adam-Troy Castro, Ernie Chan, Paty Cockrum, Peter David, Rufus Dayglo, Tom DeFalco, J.M. deMatteis, Tony Dezuniga, Pat DiNizio, Harlan Ellison, Garth Ennis, Mark Evanier, Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith, Joe Kubert, Erik Larsen, Bob Layton, Jae Lee, Jim Lee, Stan Lee, David Lloyd, Tim Mandrake, Leah Moore, Albert Moy, Michael Netzer, Josh Olsen, James A. Owen, Tom Palmer, Greg Pak, Mike Pascale, Richard & Wendy Pini, Jim Salicrup, Bob Shreck, Dave Simons, Gail Simone, Walter and Louise Simonson, Joe Sinnott, J. David Spurlock, Jim Starlin, Roy Thomas, Juan Torres, Andrew Wildman, Marv Wolfman and Ash Wood.

Aardwolf Publishing, Harris Publishing, IDW Publishing, Marvel Comics, NY ComicCon, PaperCutz and Vanguard Productions have also stepped up.

And please keep spreading the word!

Make Mine Marvel

I am delighted beyond delighted to announce that Marvel Entertainment has made clear its intentions to help Gene and Adrienne Colan.

In a warm conversation this morning, executives at Marvel offered Adrienne and I some of the many things that they plan to do for the Colans to provide immediate and long-term relief. I will provide the details soon.

For now, I thank all of you for your encouragement and assistance in this matter. Please continue to support the auction and book sale.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Meth, Colan & Other Theologians

Aardwolf Publishing will be publishing Meth, Colan & Other Theologians, the proceeds of which will go directly and immediately to Gene and Adrienne Colan. The new book will include everything that was in Perverts, Pedophiles & Other Theologians (the short-fiction collection Gene and I did together for Aardwolf in 1997) plus two never-before-published stories (one-co-written with Gene). Foreword by Mark Evanier (as well as the original introduction by the late Steve Gerber). This will be a limited edition (aprox. 100 pages) of only 500 copies, all signed and numbered. You can order it NOW by using PayPal to send $20 plus $3 shipping to: sales@aardwolfpublishing.com

Gene Colan's Love-In

The emails don't stop... the phone calls... but more importantly, the generous contributions of art and other items for the soon-to-be-announced auction to aid Gene Colan.

Just this morning (and it's only 9:30) I received art pledges from Jim Starlin, Michael Netzer, Juan Torres, and Walt Simonson who writes, "I see a Beta Bill Ray vs. Iron Man in my future!" For the full list of contributors, click here.

I'm sure Marvel will join us soon in helping one of the pioneers who built their empire.

Pictured: Iron Man #1 by Gene Colan

Monday, May 12, 2008

Publishers Aid Gene Colan

Aardwolf Publishing, IDW Publishing and Harris Publishing have stepped up to help Gene Colan and his family in his hour of need. So has New York ComicCon and Bowen Designs. Many are wondering out loud what Marvel will do for the man who did so much for Marvel. This from author Tom Spurgeon:

I think what's particularly worth noting is that Marvel has been asked for help. Colan played a key role in creating and developing the two properties that happened to launch both phases of Marvel's major movie-making history: Blade, in his Tomb of Dracula run, and his work on those Iron Man comics. There's no reason on earth why that company shouldn't spare what will probably amount to a single cash payout during a single quarter to a single board member to someone that paved the way for that success. I hope they come through.

Artists, Writers, Celebs... Want to Help Gene Colan?

We're getting lots of email saying, "How can I help?" If you're a writer or artist or TV/film professional, please contact me at cliffmeth@aol.com -- Or just mail a drawing or signed book or whatever it is you're contributing to:

COLAN c/o Clifford Meth
179-9 Rt. 46 West
Box 252
Rockaway, NJ 07866

Items will be auctioned off at ComicLink.com (details, dates, etc. TBA)

Community Galvanizing for Gene Colan

It's a love fest... And Marvel will join us soon, I'm sure... In the mean time, Joe Kubert, Norm Breyfogle and Leah Moore have joined the team of contributors to an auction that will benefit the Colans. And we'll have a Fender signed by the Smithereens (courtesy of Pat DiNizio). And my friends at ComicLink.com will run the event.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Gene Colan: Call For Action

Spoke with Gene this evening. He was exhausted but very optimistic. Good for Gene! But his wife Adrienne has no illusions. She writes, "My darling, sweet, handsome and brilliantly gifted husband's liver is failing. The complications are very nasty. This week it's fluid retention and encephalitis. He's on powerful meds now to diminish the symptoms. He sleeps a lot and has very little energy."

I've contacted a number of writers and artists this evening asking for a few signed items to auction on the Colans' behalf. Stan Lee, Neil Gaiman, Mark Evanier and Peter David immediately pledged their support. Many more will join the list over the next few days. Not sure which outlet will be used to auction these items yet, but we'll get to that soon enough. For now, if you're a pro reading this blog, please contact me and pledge a few signed books or a drawing. If the rest of you would spread the news to your own blogs, that would be enormously helpful, too. Let's get this ball rolling and give Gene and Adrienne a quick boost.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gene Colan Needs Our Help


I'm saddened to announce that Gene Colan has liver failure. While Gene's wife Adrienne shared this with me some weeks ago, and asked me to keep it private, I received a note from someone else regarding this matter several hours ago, then saw it posted at someone else's blog. So the news is out and it will spread fast... And with that, there's no reason not to announce some efforts to help the Colans immediately as they have zero pharmaceutical coverage and are paying crippling prices for meds.

Two weeks ago, Gene approached Marvel with a plea for help. We've all been waiting to see if that help is forthcoming. In the mean time, I know of no organized efforts to help the Colans so let me start with this: Purchases of any of my books or comics will be earmarked for Gene's benefit. I will also seek help from my peers and inform all of you regarding those efforts and how you can help.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Handsome Dick gets Snaked

After many late nights rethinking, reworking, and rewriting the SNAKED treatment, I'm finally sending the dark little stepchild to Richard Saperstein for further taming. No more second guessing for Mistuh Meth--I have other eggs that need hatching...

While it's the director's call, I've suggested certain songs-sequence tie-ins, including the credit roll, that I believe are ideal; one is the brilliant "In the presence of a new god" by The Dictators. I phoned Handsome Dick Manitoba (pictured with the other 'Tators) to give him a heads up and we ended up talking about Iron Man and Steve Ditko. If you haven't heard this band in a while, my droogs, you owe it to your ears.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Keeping Up with the Cohenses

This morning at approximately 11:00 a.m., the doorbell rang, an odd thing on a Saturday in my household because here Saturday is Shabbos, the Sabbath, and friends know to knock when visiting. But on rare occasions a carpetbagger, Jehovah’s Witness or someone selling something will make it up the stairs and press the bell only to find themselves at the wrong threshold. Today it was Federal Express. The package they’d brought apparently required no signature because I saw the courier’s truck pull away as I opened the door. I looked at the box. It had my son’s name on it.

After Shabbos, my boy unwrapped the box. From all appearances, he’d received an expensive gift. He peeled away the bubble wrap, then worked his way through several layers of fine orange tissue paper to find a 13x9x2-in. perfect-bound, four-page, acrylic hardcover with expensive fabric endpapers and a woven bookmark hand-sewn into the lining. Sporting all the detailed production values of a high-end limited edition from Subterranean Press, this publication was glove-fit into a substantial Lucite shell with a laser cutout that allowed the book’s custom monogram to peek through, while the Lucite itself was custom-inscribed with my son’s name.

My boy examined it. No, not a book. It was an invitation to a classmate’s bar mitzvah in Livingston, New Jersey. The entire production must have cost at least $30-$40 apiece to produce. Perhaps more. It weighed just over 4 lbs., as described on the bill of lading, and had come all the way from Los Angeles courtesy of Creative Intelligence on Venice Blvd.

While I may not have been bred among the blueblood of Livingston, where new money (apparently so new it still smears) grows on trees, neither was I raised in a pumpkin patch. Regardless, in all my born days, I don’t believe I’ve seen a more garish, vulgar display of conspicuous wealth. We’re talking about an invitation, folks—something you read once, then toss away. The event it heralded was once holy to Jews. This one would take place at New York City’s Pierre. A black tie affair. I allowed my son to watch me throw the 4-lbs. epistle in the garbage.

Oscar Wilde referred to fox hunting as the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible. Never mind the environment. Never mind that the invitation for this “Jewish event” had been sent for specific overnight delivery to arrive at one’s home in violation of the Sabbath—I could chalk that up to ignorance. But the idea that moneyed Jews would throw away such money on unabashed, unblushing, unconstrained frippery frankly made me wanna womit. Only several weeks ago, there were all too many families in our surrounding communities—both mine and Livingston's—who lacked food for Pesach, and here’s my son staring at an invitation that cost over $100 each when you add in the overnight charges ($15 extra just to get it to us on Shabbos). Multiply that by 200 or 300 (or 500) invited guests. In a Lucite, custom-engraved shell no less. I can only imagine the pompous punctiliousness in store for everyone at the Pierre.

I have regretted sending my children to the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy since it left its modest dwellings in West Caldwell some years ago and moved to the palatial Livingston. The fig leaf of Torah Judaism they provide these days, after a king’s ransom in tuition, hardly seems protection from the pandemic ostentations that their Conservadox crowd find themselves helplessly, hopelessly addicted to. But this school's administration, like Herson's Chabad, like Ramaz, like any institution preying on the uninformed, knows instinctively like a good confidence man to pander to its wealthiest patrons; that at the end of the day, the business of business is business.

Does the presence of this bar-mitzvah invitation among the eggshells and tunafish scrapings raise the value of its neighboring contents in my trash can? More importantly, will there be anything even remotely Jewish about l'affaire à la Pierre? These are uncomfortable questions for terribly comfortable Jews.