You don’t need all the answers in life. You just need to know who to call. Some people are clever enough to call me. I’m clever enough to call Neal Adams.

For the last three weeks, I’ve been telling you that writer/artist Bill Messner-Loebs is in trouble and needs our support. Last week, I enumerated projects that are including Bill or being put forth to aid Bill and his ill wife Nadine. It was a good start, but it wasn’t enough.

This week, I’m delighted?nay, ecstatic?to announce two more significant projects: An art auction spearheaded by Neal Adams, and a tribute book with the theme “Heroes & Villains” that I’ll be editing, which will collect this art. The tribute book will be published by TwoMorrows Publishing.

Neal and I make an interesting team. He’s the industry’s conscience and finest artist, and I’m a pain in the ass. We’ll be contacting artists over the next few weeks, but don’t wait until we track you down?get in touch with us first. If you’re a professional artist and want to contribute to these projects, contact Writers who’d like to add a little something to the book, contact me at As for the rest of you, consider it your sacred charge to spread the word: Link this announcement to your blog or favorite message board; reprint it freely and pass it around.

As Neal puts it, “As a group, an industry, we can combine to give Bill that boost that will let him climb out of his terrible situation. We have Dave Cockrum to show us that these contributions work. It’s quite amazing.”

I’ll offer more details of the book and the auction next week as deadlines are set and contributors are announced. In the mean time, gang, do us a favor and support THE THREE TENORS: OFF KEY project from Aardwolf Publishing, another terrific project designed to aid the Messner-Loebs couple. Scheduled to ship in June, THE THREE TENORS: OFF KEY will collect nine stories from Messner-Loebs, Dave Cockrum and your humble pain in the ass, along with art by Messner-Loebs, Cockrum, Al Milgrom, and Steve Lieber (with a little help from Dave Sim and Tom Spurgeon). If you order now, you can still get one with a unique Messner-Loebs sketch on the limited edition bookplate (but hurry?there’s only 52 of these and they’re going fast!)

Let’s close with Neal. “Will you please help? I can only promise a gold star in your soul’s notebook, and my and Bill’s and Nadine’s gratitude.”

That’s good enough for me.

© 2004, Clifford Meth

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