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L.E. Becker of Warp 9 on ‘Karma and Hypocrisy’

DC and 'The 3-Minute Sketchbook'

Published: 10/06/2008 12:00am

L.E. Becker of  Warp 9 in Clawson, Michigan talks about DC Comics characters being conspicuously absent from Hero Initiative’s benefit book The 3-Minute Sketchbook:

 

Karma -- n.  the law of cause and effect or ethical causation; self created destiny

 

Hypocrisy -- n.  assuming of a false appearance of virtue: insincerity.

 

I just got back today from the Baltimore Comic Con today (a great show; if you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend it).  As I was driving back with a friend, I checked Newsarama on my iPhone to see what happened at the many panels at the show, and apparently the topic of the All Star Batman and Robin #10 debacle was addressed.  The article explained what was being done to correct future problems, and then, a quote appeared by DC VP of Sales Bob Wayne that not only disturbed me, but also made me ponder the hypocrisy of those who run the industry. Said the quote (from the article)...

 

"...Wayne strongly suggested that retailers who did choose to sell the error copies may need some ‘All Star Amnesty’ and suggested with a smile that those who have sold copies should perhaps donate their proceeds to any number of comic industry charities as a means to balance out their karma."

 

Now those who know me, know that I do not hide from people who accuse me of whatever the current topic of controversy is, whether it's the sale of All Star Batman #10, or whatever.  So to say that the "karma" statement disturbed me after something else I saw over the weekend, well... let me explain:

 

The Hero Initiative was set up at the show, and they were auctioning off a number of sketches from The 3-Minute Sketchbook, a product they published which goes to benefit comic creators in medical or financial need. I won a nice little stack of sketches, primarily DC characters, and was quite pleased.  I like the drawings, and I like the fact that the money I spent goes to a worthy charity to help out those within the industry that need it.  I asked one of the Hero booth staff why I didn't recall seeing the DC pieces in The 3-Minute Sketchbook and was told, “because they weren't.” DC would not allow their characters/symbols to be used in the book.  I was amazed.  This book had a load of Marvel characters, plus Conan, Red Sonja, characters owner by Matt Wagner, Terry Moore, Erik Larsen, and more. EVERYONE was involved... except DC.

 

And I thought about one person: Gene Colan.

 

Marvel and The Hero Initiative have put out a Gene Colan benefit comic to help raise money for the ailing artist.  Hero, with the help of Marvel, has also produced special posters, highlighting Gene's incredible work-with Stan Lee signatures, no less!  And all profits generated from these go to Mr. Colan.  So... where's DC in all of this?  Where is the "caring" conglomerate that takes care of their former brethren?  Now granted, I know Mr. Colan was work-for-hire in the day.  In fact, he worked on such greats as Batman, Wonder Woman, and Night Force.  But Marvel is stepping up to the plate, and helping Gene "The Dean" out.  Where are the DC tribute books to Mr. Colan?

 

Yep, I thought so.  Nothing.

 

Any amnesty needed here?  Any karma need balancing?

 

So, with all that considered, I am going to auction off my newly acquired sketch pieces on eBay, with a nice portion going to the Hero Initiative.  That way, maybe a small portion of what DC could have done can help NOW, since DC, in all of it's infinite "generosity" will NOT.  We will be placing the sketches up sometime after this weekend's Mid -Ohio-Con.

 

And I'll go one better: I just ordered 50 copies of The 3-minute Sketchbook from Hero.  Fifty.  I will send one each to the first 50 customers who make a PayPal donation to Hero at: HeroAuctions@aol.com and email me a .pdf of their PayPal receipt.  Just make a donation of $1 or more.  That's it.  It's free from me, and I'll ship anywhere in the USA on MY dime.  I really hope you enjoy the great art of Marvel characters, Conan, Red Sonja, Matt Wagner's Grendel, Terry Moore's Francine, Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon and more.  And I hope you notice who's conspicuously absent.

 

And that, Mr. Wayne, is how "karma" works, and hypocrisy is defined. Actions speak louder than words.  I'm acting.  Where are you, DC Comics?

 

The opinions expressed in this Talk Back article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.

 
 
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