NostoNews, September 1, 2012
by Tommy Jasmin

Bravo Karl

I know, I haven't had a lot to say the past few months, and it shows. You can tell when I really think I've got some news or a story, and sit down for an hour and pour some heart on my sleeve and the words spill out looking halfway decent. Here it is almost Labor Day, and I force myself to grind out another column.

Well it has been summer, summers seem to be accelerating, and while I claim to be taking on less and less, I seem to be doing more and more, sliced even thinner. The old dog is trying to learn a few new tricks, and I find myself back in college. To put that in perspective, I finished my 2nd undergraduate degree in 1989.

And I never expected to find myself raising a kid, but here I am, having a blast and wishing I could keep my little girl 8 for... maybe not forever but for a few more years anyway. At the same time, I couldn't imagine starting that gig now, as I sit here closing in on 50 myself. Which makes what Karl Kesel and his wife did even more impressive to me.

If you haven't heard, Kesel, comic book writer for the big two, recently sold his comic book collection to pay for the staggering costs to adopt a baby with heroin exposure. This is one of those stories that makes you think "what the hell have I done? I gotta take it up a notch." Steve Duin at the Origonian did a great story on it. You should read it. $100,000.00 in bills, and most people don't just have that laying around. Karl traded his childhood to let another kid have a good one. Bravo.

I've been letting my not-so-impressive collectibles go as well. The coins are all but gone, the comics in progress. It's sad but also kinda liberating. The motivation here too is for a kid - setting up a 529 so I have a prayer of getting my kid through college. I realize these words don't belong on the same page as the Kesel's story, of course.

I keep it fun and interesting. Everything goes up on eBay for a penny open. I'm not a dealer dangling carrots - if something underperforms, hey, I most likely have a very happy buyer with a great new home for that book. That's half the fun. The other half is my kid Mira has dad's sense of cool (or lack of, depending how you see it, which is fine with me). When I recently let my small Daredevil run go, I showed them to her. There was no number 1, but there was a number 2, and Mira just like dad thought that DD versus Electro cover by Kirby was pretty damn cool. So I said, "that one's yours kid, put it in your box". I let her start her own box of memories, hanging on to some of the coolest gems a little longer.

Me and the kid reading comic books

I've got one DD left - number 8, VF+. I should slab it, but will probably just throw it up next week. Daredevil Number 4 I just mailed off to Grant Geissman, who I'm pretty sure bid and won the book based solely on me putting "art by E.C. great Joe Orlando" in the subject line. Grant brought back a great moment in time for me - the dinner at ComicCon 2000 where some genius went through the incredible effort to assemble the still-living E.C. creators one last time. I remember Grant, a great musician, and Russ Cochran getting up and playing some tribute songs, I think I sat next to Steve Borock, and just soaked it all up, knowing this could never happen again. Feldstein, Williamson, Davis, Torres, Elder, Kurtzman? Who else? I forget, they were all there, it was awesome. Even Al is gone now, another victim of the cruel Alzheimer's Disease. Bill Stout did a very touching memorial for Al, something else you should read. I consider myself very fortunate to have this memory.

Thanks, we'll see you all next month.

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