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Portland retailer Jason Leivian of Floating World Comics has announced that his store will be holding a benefit sale for Dylan Williams, the ailing head of independent publisher Sparkplug Comic Books. 100% of the proceeds generated at the store on Monday, August 29 and Tuesday, August 30 will be donated to pay for the medical care of the gravely ill Williams, who has no health insurance.
In addition, Leivian is organizing a benefit art show to raise additional money for Williams’s medical expenses, with a theme of Phillip K. Dick book covers. Leivian says he plans to post the contributing artists’ pieces on a dedicated blog, sell the originals on eBay, and sell prints of the contributions online, at retailers, and at cons like SPX and APE. Full details on this will be available Monday.
And remember, if you don’t live in Portland or aren’t in the market for original art, you can simply stop by Sparkplug’s online store and buy anything you like. (I suggested a few titles to start with the other day.)
The full press release on the benefit sale at Floating World is after the jump.
Publishing| Joe Keatinge and Frank Cho have signed a three-book deal with Delcourt, a comics publisher in France. The first book of theirs Delcourt will publish will be the first volume of Brutal, which will debut at the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angouleme 2013. Delcourt publishes many American comics in France, including Walking Dead, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Invincible, Rocketeer, Hellboy, The Goon, Haunt and many more, as well as many manga titles.
“On a personal level, French comics have had a huge influence on me. Working within that industry is something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I wanted a career in comics at all. Being an author with a book debuting at Angouleme is a goal I thought was many a year away, so this has taken things to a whole new level much sooner than anticipated. While I do plan on going back in 2012, this still gives me a year to work on my awful command of the language before I have to do a signing. Being in the good hands of Delcourt makes me think it’s a good start,” Keatinge said. [Joe Keatinge]
Critic Rob Clough reports that Dylan Williams, the publisher of the idiosyncratic small-press outfit Sparkplug Comic Books, is dealing with a serious health crisis. And as with many problems involving people who’ve dedicated their lives to this art form, there’s a win-win solution: You can help support Dylan financially simply by buying some of Sparkplug’s awesome comic books.
Which ones, you ask? Good question! My first and foremost recommendation would be John Hankiewicz’s Asthma, one of the very best comics by anyone since the turn of the millennium — a cutting, haunting masterpiece of image-making and image-juxtaposing that’s one of the rare instances where calling it “comics as poetry” doesn’t make you feel like an idiot. There’s also Chris Cilla’s The Heavy Hand, a funny, foul-mouthed and strange science-fiction comic, or Inkweed by Chris Wright, a stunningly well-written short story collection about Muppet-like monsters in very human struggles.
Williams does important work with Sparkplug, putting out work of sparkling intelligence, with visuals that run the risk of not having a built-in audience for them. By publishing what he publishes he seeks to create that audience. That takes guts, putting your money where your mind is like that, and Dylan deserves to be rewarded for it, in sickness or in health. Right now, it’s in sickness, which makes buying his books an even better idea.