Monday, September 14, 2009

Giving Back to John Ostrander

Just yesterday I wrote at length about the first volume of Sucide Squad, a comic book that has provided much entertainment and enjoyment to myself and many others over the years. As I noted, the two folks most responsible for what made that series so special were writer John Ostrander and his wife and co-plotter, Kim Yale. Sadly, Kim passed away as a result of breast cancer in 1997, and while John is still with us, he too has fallen upon bad health in recent years. John suffers from glaucoma, which has affected his vision and left him with significant medical bills.

In addition to his work on the Squad, Ostrander also penned seminal works like Grimjack and Hawkworld, collaborating with the incomporable Tim Truman on both. Ostrander and another frequent creative partner, Tom Mandrake, provided classic--and highly underrated--lengthy runs on ongoing series featuring the Spectre and the Martian Manhunter. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Ostrander work with Marvel's Western heroes in Blaze of Glory, truly one of the most badass tales you will ever read.

No matter what character Ostrander was given (and he had his runs with the big guns from Batman and the Justice League to the Punisher and the X-Men as well), he made the most of it, working magic where it may have previously seemed impossible. Truly, John Ostrander may be one of the comic industry's more overlooked giants of the past few decades, but undoubtedly he has the respect of his peers and any fan who has ever read his work.

John Ostrander has given so much to comic books, and now is our chance to give something back to him.

comix4site is a web site organized by Mike Gold and Adriane Nash (and I do apologize if I'm getting any details wrong here) to raise money for the continued treatment of John's glaucoma. In addition to being able to donate directly to the cause, you can bid on really cool items from original art by the likes of Tim Truman, Rob Liefeld and many more to the chance to appear in Ed Brubaker's Criminal (and get offed)! There's also helpful info on glaucoma and how to treat it that everybody should check out.

As a fan of John Ostrander, I hope you'll join me in paying the man back for all he's provided for us over the years.

UPDATE: Newsarama has the latest on the situation from Gail Simone.

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