Clifford Meth passes along word that, because of family medical expenses, former Killraven and Black Panther writer Don McGregor has been forced to auction his collection of art from comics he wrote.
“I won’t allow art dealers to steal these from him,” Meth writes. “And I am not expert enough, despite the posturing, to know what these pieces are really worth. So here’s the deal: Some friends of mine and I are bidding on Don’s art while spreading the word far and wide. We are hoping you’ll beat our bids because we want Don to get top dollar.”
A rundown of the art, by such creators as Rich Buckler, Gene Colan and Marshall Rogers, can be found here. Bids are being accepted on McGregor’s Facebook page until “Don says, ‘I’ll take it!’” Meth also asks for any artists interested in helping to make “small drawings” of characters that McGregor worked on. “I’ll be the first bidder and I’ll bid generously… and I expect others to do the same.”
“The legacy of his artistic storytelling and abilities played a key role in cementing the enduring popularity of characters like Daredevil, Iron Man, Howard the Duck, Blade and Dr. Strange, and garnered him praise and fans the world over,” columnist George Khoury said in an obituary on Comic Book Resources this morning.
In lieu of flowers, Colan’s friend Clifford Meth is asking folks to contribute to a scholarship being set up in Colan’s name for The Kubert School. Details on how to donate can be found on Meth’s blog.
Fellow creators, fans and friends of Gene Colan are sharing memories. Here are a few; as always, click through to see the entirety of what they have to say about one of comics’ legendary artists:
Clifford Meth: “I knew this day would come but it came too quickly. It’s been a rare pleasure working with Gene. He knew who he was—how valuable his contributions to the world of comic art have been—how prized it remains by so many. Yet he never felt less than grateful to anyone who’d even read a single panel that he’d drawn. Until he was too weak to hold a pencil, he put his whole kishkes into everything he drew—whether it was a $5000 commission or a small drawing for someone’s child. And he was never satisfied with his artwork but always eager to learn a little more, do a little better, try something new. At 84.”
Retailing | A judge on Friday approved a proposal to pay Borders Group executives up to $6.6 million in bonuses as the bookseller reorganizes under federal bankruptcy protection. The company had originally requested $8.3 million — that figure met with objections from the U.S. bankruptcy trustee — in a bid to retain key corporate personnel. Since Borders filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 16, 47 executives and director-level employees have left, leaving only 15 people in senior management positions.
The approved plan comes with conditions, tying some bonuses to the company’s ability to pay creditors and save $10 million over the next two years in leases on the remaining stores or in non-personnel cost reductions. [Businessweek, AnnArbor.com]
Publishing | Dark Horse CEO Mike Richardson talks more about the publisher’s recent layoffs, saying that some reports of the cutbacks were overblown: “We have 150 employees. We let seven people go across three different divisions. What is that 4%, 5%? Our staff was just getting too large. The real reason for the layoffs is that we get worried about the cost of doing business. We’re sitting there looking at the rising health insurance costs, the changes in the cost of doing business. We thought we were going to get some relief in the form of cover prices moving to $3.99, but I guess the market’s made a really strong statement on that price. Meanwhile we’re getting squeezed on paper and printing costs at the same time — and creators certainly don’t want to take any less money.” [ICv2.com]
Some good news — according to Clifford Meth, artist Gene Colan has recovered from his injuries, though he’s still living at a hospital/recovery facility in New York because “going home means his wife will have to leave.”
But he’s well enough to leave the facility, as you’ll see in the above video, where his son Erik takes him back to the area where he grew up and talks to him about his early life.
Back in the 1980s, before OGNs and trade paperbacks were as prominent as they are now, Marvel had an over-sized graphic novel series that did things like introduce the New Mutants, kill Captain Marvel and, on occasion, feature creator-owned work by the likes of Jim Starlin, Walt Simonson and Dave Cockrum, among others.
Once I discovered the joys of the comic shop, I made it my mission to buy up as many of Marvel’s graphic novels as I could, whether they featured Marvel’s characters or not. I remember Cockrum’s graphic novel, The Futurians, fondly; I of course was a fan of his work on X-Men, and the Futurians featured his incredible artwork coupled with a pretty cool story that begged to jump from the pages of that graphic novel into a regular series. Lodestone published a three issue mini-series, and a #0 issue was published by Aardwolf back in the 1990s. And now, some 25+ years after that first graphic novel, the Futurians return, courtesy of Clifford Meth, David Miller and Kickstarter.
Meth, who has been attempting to get the Futurians up on the big screen, talks about a new mini-series coming this summer on his blog:
First at bat is the new Avatar mini-series from David Miller Studios. This is the first time Cockrum’s “Andrew Pendragon” gets top billing. As David Miller explains, “Avatar returns to his English home for a family funeral and encounters an ancient evil from his past; an evil that could consume all of Great Britain.” Issue #1 features a cover by Greg Larocque, who was drawing DC’s Flash back when my buddy William Messner-Loebs was turning in the finest scripts that title ever saw ever (note the double use of the word ever). The incomparable Michael Netzer and inker Joe Rubinstien will be joining the series with issue #2.