As a student at Rutgers, FDU and Wroxton College in the U.K., I often competed for writing scholarships. The awards proved invaluable on numerous levels:
1) As an amateur/student, I was forced to bring my writing to the highest possible level, at that juncture in my development, without any assistance.
2) I learned to meet a deadlines and follow word-count parameters.
3) Winning awards for my writing increased my confidence and allowed me to envision life as a professional.
4) Awards are solid resume material for as-yet unemployed wannabes.
5) Any monies I won were enormously helpful to my father, who earned a meager living but was otherwise happily burdened with my tuition and upkeep.
Needs-based awards have some value but, let’s face it, everyone has needs.
Merit-based awards are far more valuable. And character building.
After Dave Cockrum’s passing, Paty Cockrum and I launched the Dave and Paty Cockrum Scholarship at the Joe Kubert School
where we annually award a second-year student with some tuition assistance based on their ability to create seductive, sequential art. We designed the award for someone who has demonstrated a stick-to-itiveness by hanging in for that second term. The scholarship now enters its 6th year and is funded, in part, by sales of Dave Cockrum’s personal comics collection.
After Gene Colan’s passing, I began funding a second scholarship to a promising penciller at the school, also in his or her second year. I was pleased to be informed that these scholarships inspired the creation and private funding of other named scholarships, including one in Dave Stevens’ memory.
With Joe & Adam Kubert at 2012 Scholarship Ceremony
This year’s award ceremony will take place next month and I plan to be on-hand once again to meet and congratulate winning students. This will be the first year my friend Joe Kubert is not there to emcee the event. But in contemplating that loss, I’ve decided to add a third scholarship (as yet unamed), which will be funded by selling signed comics. Today’s collectors like their comics signed and, fortunately, I am able to pick up the phone and ask some old friends for signatures. Stan Lee, Walter Simonson and George Perez were among the first to offer help.
I invite your participation in this new scholarship, too. If you have any signed comics that you are willing to part with (even one), please send them to: Clifford Meth (attn: Kubert Scholarship), 179-9 Rt. 46 West, Rockaway, NJ 07866. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Donated items will be auctioned on Ebay under the account DaveCockrumEstate (which is currently in use to fund the Cockrum and Colan Awards).
Scholarships helped me and kept me going forward. I am delighted by the opportunity to maintain the circle of life.
Don McGregor‘s elderly mother and other family medical emergencies have forced this fine man and fierce writer of the Black Panther, Killraven, and Detectives Inc., to put his personal collection of art (from stories he wrote) on the selling block.
I will be representing Don McGregor’s personal collection of artwork–original pages from stories that he wrote for Marvel.
I am not taking a commission from Don. All monies will go directly from you to him and he will ship directly to you; I am just sitting in the middle because Don is a wonderful and kind man who has never been about money (imagine that) and I don’t want him to get a dime less than he deserves or might otherwise get.
When a man like Don McGregor sells cherished art that was gifted to him by the artists that drew his beautiful stories, you know it’s painful for him. Don loves this art and it should go to people who love it, too. It’s being sold because he needs the funds. Ain’t that America.
I won’t allow art dealers to steal these from him. 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 going to bid 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. We hope that you will help spread the word. The bidding can end at any time (when Don says, “That’s a fair price; I’ll take it!”) But let’s not let this drag out too long, chums. Let’s pretend we actually learned something from those superheroes we grew up reading when Don was still writing them.
What else can you do? If you’re an artist, a small drawing would be nice. Black Panther, Killraven…something that Don worked on for sentimental reasons. I’ll be the first bidder and I’ll bid generously…and then I expect others to do the same. Let’s make the world go round.
Contact me if you’re genuinely interested in buying art from Don at fair market value. And spread the word to other art collectors. This is a rare opportunity, and you will have my gratitude and Don’s. And you will have Gene Colan’s gratitude where he rests in the World of Truth.
Current bid on the piece you see on this page: $1750.
I regret to announce that my friend Gene Colan died at about 11 pm on June 23. Gene spent this last week in a quasi-coma state following a broken hip and complications from liver disease. He was 84.
I am terribly saddened to lose Gene. He was a gentle and deeply spiritual man, a bright light in every context, and those who knew him at any level were enriched by his warmth and generous nature. Below are some thoughts I cobbled together when he slipped from consciousness earlier this week.
I leave the historical perspective and details of Gene’s significant career to my friends Tom Spurgeon and Mark Evanier. For now, I mourn.
My Friend Gene Colan
When I was in Morristown, New Jersey, in the early 1990s, there was a girl of about 12 or 13 who lived around the corner. Every time I saw her, she was out walking a German Sheppard puppy. I’d see the pair every two weeks or so. But as the years passed, I realized the girl’s puppy didn’t seem to age. My young neighbor was blossoming into a young lady, but her little dog was like Peter Pan, or Jefty in Harlan Ellison’s story. Eventually, I inquired and learned that the young lady took her young dog from the Morristown Seeing Eye. After she had house-broken and bonded with the little dog, she returned it when it was ready to be further trained to help one of the blind. And then she’d get another puppy and start over again.
It must be heart-breaking, I thought, getting to love something the way only taking care of it will allow you to love, just to say goodbye so quickly.
Two cover recreations, one of THOR #126 (originally rendered by Jack Kirby), the other of SUB-MARINER #8 (by Gene’s pal John Buscema) — both reimagined here by the team of Gene Colan and Michael Netzer (12×18). Starting bid on each: $1200.00
Complete 6-page story from Life With Archie – current bid $325 (email@example.com)
Plots and Misadventures by Stephen Gallagher (hardcover, limited edition from Subterranean Press) signed by Gallagher; only 750 copies issued – starting bid $25
Pages 24, 25 and 26 Original Art from Gene Colan’s Little Shop of Horrors – min. bid $180
Two random Firestorm (DC Comics) Original Art pages by Gene Colan – min. bid $200 for the pair
Spawn #33 – signed by Todd McFarlane – $15
A handful of comics signed by Gene Colan: Glamourpuss (Aardvark-Vanaheim), Creepy – Book One (Harris Comics), Journey Into Mystery #4 (Marvel, 1973), and Daredevil #89 (in rough shape) – min. bid $40
A pair of comics signed by Gene Colan: Captain Marvel #5 and Howard the Duck #3 (collects newspaper strips) B&W – min. bid $40
The Marvel’s Project (Variant Edition) #1 signed by Gene Colan with small, original black & red marker drawing of Daredevil’s head on the cover – min. bid $100
The Savage Return of Dracula #1 (Marvel) Gene Colan file copy – signed in red by Gene) – min. bid $40
The Tomb of Dracula: Book One – signed by Gene – min. bid $40
Tales of Suspense #39 reprint (Marvel Milestone Edition) signed by Gene Colan and Don Heck – min. bid $75
Tales to Astonish #79 – signed by Gene Colan – current bid $45 (kpedd)
Nathaniel Dusk #1 – Gene Colan’s file copy – signed in red by Gene – min. bid $30
Iron Man #124 signed by Stan Lee and Gene Colan – current bid $60 (josephc)
“The Simpsons: Sub-Basement of Dracula” script (signed by Marv Wolfman) – min. bid $5
Gene Colan has left the hospital and is now in rehab. But he will not be going home. He and his family are deciding on an appropriate place where he can live the rest of his life comfortably with proper care. Despite this, Gene remains positive. He would like to draw again but is too weak and the drugs that block his pain don’t make that possible now. Nevertheless he is determined not to be a financial burden on his children and wants to do what he can to pay his own way, so limited signings will continue. And we continue to sell his art and books. Click here to see what’s available.
At his family’s request, Gene’s whereabouts will remain private and everyone is asked to respect that. If you are an old friend, contact me and I’ll put you in touch with Gene… or you can send a letter to him through me.
I spent several hours with Gene this morning. He wasn’t under the influence of any pain killers so he was lucid and jovial, but grew short of breath several times—and every now and again he’d grimace in pain. The attending nurse finally had no choice but to put him back on the morphine and that was it—Gene was fast asleep.
Despite his legendary optimism, Gene’s situation is tenuous. His family hopes he can undergo a procedure early this week that may alleviate his pain. Regardless, it’s unlikely that my pal will be drawing for anyone anytime soon.To continue generating what might become much-needed funds, we are selling off the last of Gene’s artwork, as well as some books and comics. Gene hopes to continue signing comics for the CGC Signature Series. If you have comics that you would like to put through this process, please contact me ASAP.
I am now taking private bids on the below items. To bid send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – put “Colan Auction Bid” in the subject. In the body of your email, indicate the item # that you are bidding on and its description. Bidding on all items will end on Sunday May 8 at 11pm EST and winners will be notified.
While the scene at the NASDAQ at Times Square Thursday night was
the polar opposite of the geek circus this past weekend at the Javits Center,
the one thing they both had in common was Stan Lee at center stage. The Stan
Lee Foundation, a new literacy program recently launched by Stan and his
business partners at POW! Entertainment, used only the thinnest veil of
superhero banter and trope to get the message out that they are serious—deadly serious—about solving
illiteracy across the globe.
“The Stan Lee Foundation is a foundation with a message,”
said the keynote speaker. “We want to make this a planet we can live with. That
way we can, uh… live with the planet… Er, that’s what the foundation was
Okay, I thought from the eighth row—somebody forgot
his lines. Or never took an extemp course. He should’ve had my speech coach
Jerry Lasso at Morris Hills. Three months later, you could blither all day
I turned to Richard Manitoba (aka, “Handsome Dick” of The
Dictators) who was sitting to my right and whispered, “Don Corleone, I am
honored and grateful that you have invited me to your daughter… ‘s wedding…
on the day of your daughter’s wedding.”
Richard nodded but didn’t look up from his Blackberry. He
was busy texting baseball with band-mate Scott “Top Ten” Kempner. “And I hope
their first child is a masculine
child,” he replied, then added, “Andy Pettitte is rolling over the Twins. Sixty
pitches through five innings after a 1-2-3 fifth.”
“Still bothered about that autograph?” I inquired. Stan’s handlers wouldn’t let
anyone get their books scribbled in, not even a rockstar/radio host like HD.
“Nah—I’m a big boy,” said Richard, fingers flying, both eyes on his
Blackberry. “I got my picture taken with Stan. That’s enough.”
Enough indeed. It struck me how Stan Lee reduces everyone he surveys to fanboys and fangirls. Fanpeople. I’ve known comic industry’s grand old icon as
long as I can remember. He even wrote the introduction to my forthcoming ComicBook
Babylon. But I was still jacked to get a personal invite to his
foundations’ coming out party. I’d recently helped launch the Kars4Kids
Literacy Program and was hoping to get Stan to sing the Kars4Kids jingle.
Or maybe someone else would sing it. Isn’t that Ne-Yo the R&B rapstar yaking
it up with Joe Quesada in the corner? Or maybe Handsome Dick will come to the
mike after the Yankees finish trouncing the Twins. I turned to my left to see
who else was available. Gene Colan was snoring audibly.
Stan’s stage appearance followed the keynote debacle. Our
man of the hour needed no script. “I don’t even know what I’m doing here!” Stan told his standing
ovation as he stood tall in front of an even taller projection screen with his
iconic signature plastered across it. “But it’s a little embarrassing, isn’t
it? Couldn’t they make my name any bigger?”
And then came the celebrity auction. That is celebs bidding
on comics-related items that Stan had signed. That is if you consider
behind-the-scenes marketing folks celebs of any sort. They certainly had deeper
pockets than yours truly. A VG copy of a late-issue Spider-Man went for
50-times its Overstreet value. Dutch courage, they call it. Pay heed, would-be
auctioneers, to the value of an open bar.
Auction over. Sony and Sega and IMG execs and their young,
scantily clad dates are back at the bar for refreshers. Handsome Dick finally
looks up from his Blackberry.
“Yankees win,” he said, John Sterling-like. “Theeee Yankees win!”
And then he noticed the young women at the bar for the first
time. “I don’t get it,” he said. “Look at those shiksa noses, willya? They’re so small! How can they even breathe out of those things?”
(Editorial note: Even though Clifford writes for us on occasion, this is written in his role as Gene Colan’s friend and occasional assistant.)
We are now accepting blind bids for the following Captain
America #601 pages. Captain America #601 is up for the
Eisner Award this year. This book is also significant because it’s
Gene’s final Captain America book, and likely the end of his Marvel
Minimum bids are listed. I plan to have scanned images
available soon, but please don’t let that stop you from bidding now. If I
have a solid, fair offer, I will stop the bidding and notify you that
the page is yours, as I have in the past. Don’t hold back and wait until
an item you want has been sold.
You will pay exact UPS packing
and shipping fees plus sales tax. Descriptions of the pages that we are
selling and minimum bids are below. High bidders will be notified
by July 19. To bid, write email@example.com.
In the subject line, put the page # that you are bidding on and your
We are saddened to report the passing of Adrienne Colan, wife of Gene Colan, over this past weekend. Clifford Meth, pictured here at right with the Colans, adds this personal note for his friend.
The news hasn’t been great in the Colan home these last few months. If you’ve followed it, and if you’ve read between the lines, you’ve weeded out a kernel of truth and likely a whole cob of mistruths. And none of that really matters, now. It was all rubber-necking anyway.
But there are truths I’d like to share about Adrienne Colan, and chief among them was her and Gene’s love for each other. It read like an epic poem. The hardships and tragedies and obstacles were too numerous to count, but for half a century they remained at the center of each other’s universes. For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health. For better or worse.
The Adrienne Colan you met at conventions was the real McCoy. She was tough and funny and uncompromising; warm and intelligent and spiritual. And her sense of humor was splendid. I think that’s where we met—at that dark crossroads where everything was tragic-comic. Our friendship existed outside of my friendship with Gene; we corresponded for decades, sharing dreams and fears.
And I guess I loved Adrienne. Now that the end has come amidst ashes and tears, I owe myself that honesty. I loved her attention, loved sending her a new story and when she got something I’d written and dissected it (and me with it); loved that she was intellectually curious about everything I shared and painfully honest with me…and with herself.
“Something I find fascinating about you is how you came to give yourself permission to live by your own standards without alienating those that love you and
you love,” she wrote to me last December, following a personal tragedy. “How and where does one go inside to know they have that right to live by their own truth? I’m so interested in this because I’ve always had a POV about how I need to live my life but continued to allow myself to be crushed by [others]… I’ve allowed their version of right and wrong choices to annihilate my world view. That’s what the weight is about. And I can’t begin to tell you dear Clifford how awful it is [for] one’s psyche to still be crawling my way out of that at the age of 67. At this age I feel I acquiesced to letting myself ‘die’… But I’m responsible, so I eat.”
And there it was—that dark humor inside the sadness. So I eat. You could hear her say it.
As sophists worldwide are aware, HaRav, HaGoan, HaWriter Adam-Troy Castro’s “Dear Magneto” essay is currently challenging more than 3000 years of Talmudic wisdom on the subject of homo-superior-phobia. Consequently, we stood in line, knee-deep in rain and runoff, for nearly sixteen hours along with hundreds of the revered Talmudist’s loyal chassidim, just waiting for a brucha from the tzadik… and once we’d gained an audience, we, in our unmitigated chutzpah, dared post these four kashas to the scholarly sage in the spirit of the coming festival of the Passover.
Why is Magneto different from all other super villains? Unlike the vast majority of super-villains (among them Graviton, who “can crack the planet in two and still can’t get laid”), Magneto has character; he’s been wronged, he has a case, he’s pursued his ideals to their logical extreme and, like a tragic Shakespearean villain, it has brought him nothing but personal tragedy. He has lost his friends (Xavier), his wife (Magda), the love of his children (Wanda and Pietro), the respect of the people who could have become his community (the X-Men) and his potential (which, it’s clear, was limitless; a man with his smarts could have changed the world for the better). Magneto is a guy who made all the wrong decisions for all the right reasons, and my “open letter” can be seen as an attempt at an intervention.
How does a serious science-fiction writer read comics—sitting or reclining? Eating.
Your X-essay is getting lots of attention–and rightly so. Is it read best when dipping or not dipping? It must be read, footnotes and all, at one sitting for the full effect.
Which Jewish comic character would you like to write and would Doc Samson eat matzoh, or is that too high in carbs? Benjamin J. Grimm. Or that other famous Jew, Kal-El. (Actually, I always suspected the ’70s Oliver Queen of being Jewish; he had the attitude.) I don’t know if Doc Samson eats matzoh or not, but I’m sure as hell happy that Bruce Banner doesn’t. The last thing we need is the Hulk, constipated.
Rashi notes that HaRav Adam-Troy Castro (the Hugo-, Nebula- and Stoker-nominated author who has also penned four Spider-Man novels) is also responsible for the Andrea Cort novels, EMISSARIES FROM THE DEAD and THE THIRD CLAW OF GOD; and the upcoming illustrated books Z IS FOR ZOMBIE and V IS FOR VAMPIRE, both with Johnny Atomic. There’s some secret projects that he’s working on, too, but that would be telling.