No good deed goes unpunished. If you don’t believe me, try one on. It may look great in the mirror, but you’ll find a rash forming as soon as you look away.

Twenty years ago, Stan Lee regaled me with this parable: He was reading his morning paper and noted that a hospital had been proposed for his community. “Now here’s something that no one can possibly object to!” Stan told his wife Joan. But he soon discovered how wrong he was. Within 48 hours, a community group had organized to protest the hospital; they didn’t want the traffic increase in their neighborhood. “The experience taught me that no matter how good something looks, there will always be somebody who objects,” Stan said.

This morning’s episode was another reminder: Aardwolf Publishing had announced the new Uncanny Dave Cockrum Prestige Edition Hardcover. Dave Cockrum was prepared to abandon all proceeds from this book; to earmark them for another as-yet-unnamed creator in need. We offered to turn the monies over to Neal Adams to help someone else. “There’s no one in the industry we trust more,” said the press release.

But Neal called me and rejected the proposal. “Your heart’s in the right place,” he said. “But all it takes is one objection from one creator. They were asked to create a piece of art specifically for Dave; we can’t suddenly tell them their art is being used for any purpose other than that.”

I agreed, of course. How can you argue with that? But I admit I was disappointed. I’m still naïve enough to assume that no one could possibly object to something as beneficial as a hospital.

So I’m forced to write this retraction to an earlier press release that carried a quote stating that proceeds would benefit anyone other than Dave Cockrum. If you ordered the book already based on that assumption and want to pull your order, contact Jim Reeber at Aardwolf Publishing and he’ll square you. The book’s proceeds will go to Dave Cockrum and only Dave Cockrum.

Of course, if he chooses to give them away?

Clifford Meth
One Small Voice

The new statement from Aardwolf now reads as follows:

Jim Reeber of Aardwolf Publishing has announced that his company will be releasing a short run of The Uncanny Dave Cockrum Prestige Edition. This Limited-Edition Hardcover will feature all of the art and artists that appeared in the trade paperback edition of the book (Neal Adams, Jim Lee, Travis Charest, Will Eisner, Joe Kubert, John Cassady, etc.) along with new art from George Perez, Rich Buckler, Mark Texeira, and others. There will also be a section of never-before-seen Cockrum creations, and each book will be signed/numbered with a unique sketch from Cockrum bound into the book.

“Dave is recovering now and these sketches represent his first professional work since he was hospitalized last January,” says Clifford Meth, editor of the project. “Dave is known industry-wide as a generous soul, so many fans have received sketches from him. But his illness has prevented him from drawing much this year, and he isn’t up for traveling, so this book gives fans not only an opportunity to have the Tribute book in hardcover, but also to own a unique piece of Dave’s art.”

The Uncanny Dave Cockrum Prestige Edition will be limited to 300 signed/numbered/remarqued copies. Other contributors to the book include Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Johnny Romita, Harlan Ellison, Chris Claremont, Stan Lee, Walt Simonson, Neil Gaiman, Sergio Aragones, and Gene Colan. The retail price is $110. Anyone who ordered the trade paperback directly from Aardwolf will receive a $25 discount. For more details, contact Amy at

© 2004, Clifford Meth

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