Epicurus the Sage by William Messner-Loebs and Sam Kieth is one of my favourite comic books of all time. Published by DC Comics/Piranha Press, it told stories of Greek philosophers in a very funny, human and silly way that was absolutely bang-on with the philosophical principles and legends of all the figures. Horrible Histories before its time, it remains a work of marvel.
But everyone has their favourites. For Detroit’s FOX2 Reporter Derek Karva who interviewed writer and artist Messner-Loebs, they would be his run on Flash which he read when six years old. Though he didn’t realise this until halfway through the interview.
William Messner-Loebs — who recently saw his name on the credits of the Wonder Woman movie as it drew on his writing work for the comic, including the creation of Artemis; who was co-creator of The Maxx; who write and drew the comic Bliss Alley from Image Comics about a homeless man — is currently homeless in Michigan.
In a short film, Derek profiled Messner-Loeb’s life’s work and his current predicament, the result of illness in his family, eviction as a result of healthcare costs, a mobile home declared unsafe, and now driving from church to church, working in cafes and taking janitorial work where he can, attending small comic conventions to sell prints.
What does he want? A job, drawing again.
And plenty of comic book people have been talking about it:
My first proper comic con panel was with Tim Truman and Bill Messner-Loebs. I was so starstruck and nervous I drank the whole pitcher of ice water and about liked to piss on myself.
— Phillip Hester (@philhester) March 27, 2018
Comic book people,
Bill Messner-Loebs is homeless.
This is heartbreaking.https://t.co/alXJkqFYcq
— Brad Meltzer (@bradmeltzer) March 27, 2018
One-armed comic book artist worked on Wonder Woman, now homeless in Michigan https://t.co/GWdPKG3HW1
— chris eliopoulos (@ChrisEliopoulos) March 27, 2018
It's heartbreaking reading stories like Bill Messner-Loebs', which is hardly unique among older comic creators. If you want to help, please donate to organizations like @heroinitiative. https://t.co/oPwr76ooOO
— Jody Houser @ RCCC U-03 ✒️🗯️🎲 (@Jody_Houser) March 27, 2018
For God's sake someone hire Bill Messner-Loebs! His Journey series was collected by @IDWPublishing and is a masterpiece! One-armed #comicbook artist worked on #WonderWoman, now homeless in Michigan https://t.co/iTn1PtVs8G @neilhimself Chance of a signal boost for poor Bill?
— Tim Pilcher (@Tim_Pilcher) March 27, 2018
Ah, damn. Bill Messner-Loebs co-wrote The Maxx. https://t.co/Ufea7M8DPn
— Iron Spike (@Iron_Spike) March 27, 2018
If you're in comics, you've heard way too many stories like this. Not saying that to diminish Messner-Loebs' situation; saying it to point out how much better comics needs to do for its creators. https://t.co/7G5hbqQk7S
— Ford Gilmore (@fordgilmore) March 27, 2018
I didn't know Messner-Loebs was homeless now. :-(
— Jess Nevins (@jessnevins) March 27, 2018
Wow, I had heard things weren't going that great for William Messner-Loebs but I didn't realize it was this bad… https://t.co/hnMP8LtziK
— Pat Brosseau (@droog811) March 27, 2018
I talked about the work William Messner-Loebs did for the horror comic Wasteland earlier this month on @StokerCon panel — but had no idea of his precarious situation. Based on the video, it looks like he can still draw. Anyone have a job for him? https://t.co/6QZDIp4sQq
— Scott Edelman (@scottedelman) March 27, 2018