Karl Kesel: ‘There honestly aren’t words to express how grateful I am’
In a heartfelt message, longtime writer and inker Karl Kesel thanked those who helped him to buy back part of the comics collection he sold to pay adoption and medical expenses for his infant son, saying, “there are a lot of great people out there, all willing to go above and beyond. But I never saw this one coming.”
As Comic Book Resources reported in early August, Karl and his wife Myrna adopted baby Isaac, the child of a heroin user who began life battling methadone withdrawal. Facing $67,000 in medical bills, in addition to the $25,000 for the adoption itself, and uncertain of how much would be covered by Myrna’s health insurance, Karl did about the only thing he could: He decided to sell the Silver Age Marvel collection he’d amassed over four decades.
“Wanting to adopt seemed natural to us. Paying for it by selling the heart of my comic collection was the only way we could afford it, and a sacrifice I was more than willing to make. Didn’t have to think twice,” Karl wrote in a message posted this week at Blastoff Comics, which facilitated the online sale. “But actually, physically letting go of those comics— not easy. Not easy at all. I slowly sorted and re-bagged the comics, remembering how this one thrilled me, this one scared me, how hard I had to search to find that other one. It took a while. And then the stacked boxes sat in my studio for nearly two years. “I gotta sell these,” I kept thinking. But the time never seemed right. Not until Isaac was actually in our arms. Not only did I know it was time — I knew I was coming out way ahead in the deal.”
Among those moved by the Kesels’ story was Reddit user Razor Shedlon, who as we reported two weeks ago, launched a Crowdtilt campaign to “Help Karl Kesel Keep His Comic Collection.” That effort raised $5,663, allowing Karl to buy back some of his treasured issues while also putting money toward Isaac’s expenses.
“Blastoff has done, quite frankly, a jaw-droppingly good job getting the word out,” Karl wrote. “And people — because there are a lot of great people out there — responded. But never in a million years would it have occurred to me that someone would buy my comics back for me. That they would actually give me money for my comics — money that I could use for Isaac — and then just give those comics back to me. I write and draw superhero stories for a living. I know all about selfless altruism. I know all about long odds and impossible goals and never giving up. Looks like a lot of people do. There honestly aren’t words to express how grateful I am for what Razor and company did for me. Because of them I’m able to get back some of the comics that, once gone, I found myself thinking about and missing.”
Karl goes on to list some of the issues he was able to buy back, ending his message with, “There are a lot of great people out there— and that list starts with everyone who helped make this happen. Isaac is the greatest gift I have ever received. This is a very close second.” Read the entire post at Blastoff Comics.