Tuesday, March 29, 2011
It's still charity, even if it's done out of sheer spite.
So my mom (that's Mom in the photo, fixing to claim Dad as her property, once and for all) tells me that I should do something to help the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunamis in Japan. Hey, I thought owning a Wii and a Sony blu-ray player was enough. Or maybe it's a Samsung. Tomato, tomahto. And I'm pretty sure my next car is either going to be a Nissan or a Toyota, and that's like thousands of dollars right there alone. But I'm sure that's not good enough for her (she's getting old, and I think she's trying to make earning brownie points to get into heaven a family affair now. Oh, Catholicism and bribes.)
I love my mom. But dammit, I'm going to show her I am a good person, even if it kills her. I'm going to try and do something meaningful and helpful to those who have gone through tragedy unimaginable to most of us, because let's face it, it could so easily be you or me (especially me, living on the edge of a faultline like a cold sore,) and we owe it to ourselves as human beings to show some sense of us all being in this together. Plus, anything to get out of another Sunday phone call from Mom.
I had the fortune and honor of being given the assignment to draw the death of a much beloved comic book character, Nightcrawler of the X-Men, in issue #26 of X-Force, as a part of the Second Coming story arc, written by the great Craig Kyle and easy-on-the-eyes Chris Yost. I have the entire issue's worth of hand-drawn original art, which I was hoping to keep for myself, to someday sell in the event of an emergency or me wanting to buy one of them 3-D TVs. But instead, I'm going to auction them all off, and donate 100% of the proceeds to the American Red Cross, in support of their disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.
That'll show Mom.
I also had other things I wanted to donate. The original art to my first New X-Men cover, #204, written by Mike Carey, and the art to my first Uncanny X-Men cover, #495, written by Ed Brubaker (Yes, there's a difference.) While I originally thought I'd just sell them separately, (because let's face it, they're really only valuable to me as sentimental pieces, even though I do think they look nice, and could probably fetch a bit,) I decided instead to let my inner PT-Barnum-if he-sold-used-cars come out and have them as incentives to raise the highest bid on what I think is the bigger deal, the art from the issue where poor Kurt bites it.
Along those lines, I started to think, hey, what other crap do I have lying around the house I can throw on top as more incentives? I've found some hardcovers, rare variant issues, and basically some knick knacks that I could pass off as slightly more valuable by doodling something on them.
Basically, I'd say, if the auction bid hits, say, $100, I'll throw in a signed $1 poker chip from Circus Circus I found in the trunk of my rental car. $150? Hey, you also get a worn out first edition copy of Fab Five by Mitch Albom, signed by Rob Pelinka. And so on.
Well, here's where I'm asking my favorite comic peep friends to help. If you have anything that you'd like to donate to add as incentives, or just add to the prize package, that would be awesome. A piece of original art, maybe (don't steal my thunder, mate.) Maybe a piece of stationary you used to create a landmark piece of art of major historical significance, like X-23: Target X #3, for example, where she hugs a puppy. Maybe a signed script or layout sketch.
I honestly do not know how the whole tax-deduction thing will work, so I'll just put it off until 2012, which will NEVER get here anyway, so phew. I know a lot of you have helped the Japan relief already, and I'm actually really late to the party (blame my mom.) But anything you want to help out with by donating, that would be great. The smaller the better, after all, I don't want you outshining me in the good person department, and have my mom wanting to adopt you after disowning me, once and for all.
She's one of those cruel-to-be-kind types. My sunny disposition? All her.
But please help out if you can, even with just a signed comp copy of a random issue. I kept this original art just because I'm sentimental and was saving them for some imagined future emergency, and that's not as important as helping out people who have lost family, home, everything they knew and had. It's close, but ultimately falls short.
What I'm hoping to achieve is this. As more prize donations come in on this single auction, and the high bid goes up, I'd love it if more people start trying to pool their money with their friends or message board buddies and divvy up prizes that they want. Best case scenario is that this thing becomes a big deal, with a lot of prizes out there and a lot of fans interacting and coming away with something nice for their monetary donation from their favorite comic creators, and a crapload of money going to people who really need it. I'm hoping it's one of those things where attaching a single face to a cause might help unify people, as in the case of the broad issue of counterfeiting artwork and credentials being personified by a single douchebag Floridian, who was cast out of comics by the law offices of Waid, Van Sciver and Johnston, with the support of damn near everyone in comics with a Twitter account.
Hopefully my mom's face could be the one of a good cause like this one, that brings people together in different comic communities to argue amongst themselves over who gets what.
Look at her. Smug.
The idea is to start the auction on April 15, right when most people know what they're getting for their tax refunds, because most people are slackers and procrastinators. So we definitely need to get donations and generate interest by then.
Please email me at mikechoirants at g mail dot com with any donations or ideas or whatever. This might be a really crappy idea that falls flat on its face. But in the end, at the very least, I'll have made at least a little money for a good cause, someone will have some nice original art, and my mom will stop bugging me until Christmas-ish.
Please check back for updates, what kind of stuff will be part of the package, scans of the art etc.
I will be breaking my no-cons-in-2011 rule to go to Wondercon, just to get stuff from anyone who might have any donations. Email me please :)
Holy crap, have already gotten a pledge from someone to donate something really cool. I can't wait to share.
Seriously, what are my parents looking at in the photo?
Holy crap. In just one day I've had offers to donate or help out from several people already, including Eric Canete, Ron Marz, Rebekah Isaacs, Greg Pak, CB Cebulski, Jewel Staite, Filip Sablik and the guys at Top Cow (which is why I'll always be a Top Cow guy), and Laura Hudson of Comics Alliance has even helped edit my posts to make me seem less of a d-bag. Thanks so much!
In a week's time, I don't want my name even on this project. I'd love it if it became just a thing people knew about, that people who otherwise wouldn't want to associate with me at all would want to be a part of! :)
Holy crap. This auction thing is getting bigger than I thought it could get. Who knew people would actually believe me when I said I wanted to do something good.
I felt guilty for the longest time asking people to help, given how much I hate being guilt-tripped, and given how long it took me to finally get off my butt and do something to help. But man, I wish I had done more at Wondercon. Maybe it says something about me, but I never expected such generosity from people.
Quick list of people who have donated stuff to be auctioned so far in alphabetical order:
with pledges from several more individuals and organizations to donate some really cool stuff.
Please help by tweeting the link to this page. Now I really want to change the name of this blog and the whole nature of this thing... I just wanted to do something good and have a little fun, but this has been really humbling. It's like friggin' Scrooge and Christmas or something.
You know, from the book by Bill Murray.
Scans and pics will be put up starting tomorrow.
Seriously, check out how many times I've started a post with "Holy crap." That should show how amazed I am by people's generosity.
Some pics of the aforementioned generosity! Holy crap!
Jewel Staite with Jo Chen!