Comic legend John Ostrander has suffered from glaucoma for over twenty years. Recently he had a series of operations to save his remaining eyesight, and while there is currently every reason to be optimistic, the procedures were rather expensive, necessitated travel and lodgings, and only a small proportion of the final bill was covered by his insurance. Which, by the way, ends next year.
I understand that Mike Gold and Adrian Nash, with the assistance of Peter Katz and the generous employees of Wizard Entertainment, are organizing a benefit auction to raise funds for John’s medical expenses.
The auction will be held on the Saturday night of Wizard World Chicago at a nearby hotel. John Ostrander is a Chicago resident, with links across the popular arts in the city. As a result, there may well be a fair few celebrity auctioneers on hand and press coverage to match.
Currently Mike Gold is asking for donations – original art, signed scripts, memorabilia – and of course monetary contributions if you can. And any excess donations will be donated to the Hero Initiative, caring for other comic book creators in need.
Gail Simone, comics writer and friend writes;
I was recently fortunate enough to get to spend some time with John Ostrander, one of my biggest heroes in comics, at the Superman Celebration in Illinois. He held a bunch of jaded comics creators in stitches with his Elmer Fudd impersonation, and then at rapt attention as he gave a little seminar on writing. We all had signature lines during his brief talk, but all of us were stretching and straining to eavesdrop because hey, the master was speaking, and that’s an opportunity not to be missed. I kept thinking how fortunate the audience, and the pros in attendance, were to be there to get to hear this stuff, this concentrated advice on how to write with intelligence, honesty, and wit.
It was, in short, the good stuff. And we all got to experience that wonderful feeling, when you find out one of your idols is actually a damn good person, on top of everything else. I’m sure anyone who has met John knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Whatever it takes to get more John Ostrander work out there, our industry needs that. If you have ever enjoyed one of John’s stories (and for god’s sake, go seek them out if you haven’t), then I urge you to PLEASE follow the link provided and donate a little something. Anything will help. If you’ve enjoyed stories with Deadshot or Oracle, it’s because John made them into something in the first place. If you’ve enjoyed Suicide Squad or the Kents or Spectre or his amazing Star Wars comics, or any of his other landmark works, this is a great way to show your appreciation. And I know it will mean a lot to John.
A huge thank you to the good folks at Comic-Con, Wizard Entertainment, and Comix4sight.com for making this happen and for getting the word out. Heroes, every one of them.
John, we love you. Take care of yourself, my friend!
John Ostrander was co-creator of Grimjack, and worked extensively for DC on The Spectre, Firestorm, Justice League, Martian Manhunter, Suicide Squad, Wasteland and Batman, remaking Barbara Gordon as Oracle.
He’s also written for Marvel on X-Men, Quicksilver, Bishop, Heroes For Hire and Punisher, and is main writer on Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars line, including the regular Star Wars Legacy title.
If you can help, call Adriane Nash or Mike Gold at 203-853-9011, or e-mail arrogantMGMS@aol.com. Contributions can be mailed to them at 304 Main Avenue #194, Norwalk, CT 06851, USA