Smile alert: Karl Kesel "I'm selling my past to gain a new future."

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This super sweet story about artist Karl Kesel and his wife adopting a baby and then selling his Silver Age comics collection to pay for medical bills is a great way to end the week. The Kesels had been assigned a drug affected baby and this meant their child was born with a methadone addiction and has to be hospitalized for six weeks:

Roger Slifer update and auction

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Lobo-co-creator, Roger Slifer. Slifer, who was struck by a hit-and-run white sedan in Santa Monica, Calif., on June 23, remains hospitalized and faces a very long recovery. As of last Friday, he was moved to Barlow Respiratory Hospital, a facility that specializes in respiratory issues. Slifer still cannot breathe on his own, but it is hoped that in 3-6 weeks he’ll be able to do that, and can start rehab in 3-6 months. Slifer’s cousin, Emma, has further updates on his medical condition on Facebook.

SDCC 12: CBLDF has launch party, new member kit

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As always, our pals at the CBLDF will be offering fantastic member benefits, throwing a great party and fighting to keep our speech free. Saturday’s art auction includes some of their best items yet, with art by Paul Pope, Walt Simonson, Billy Tucci, and more.

SDCC 12: Lego Brick artist recreates Jim Lee painting in Lego

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Basically if you go to the Darkness and Light gallery on 5th Street on Friday you will see Lego builder recreating a Jim Lee painting in Legos.

You don’t see that every day. No sir.

Roger Slifer Update: Hero Initiative accepting donations

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Sad news. Writer Roger Slifer is still in a coma following a hit and run accident two weeks ago. Jim Salicrup has been updating his condition on Facebook, and on Sunday posted this from a friend of Slifer’s:

Robert Washington's words from the grave: "Have a backup plan."

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Just before his death a few days ago, former comics writer Robert L. Washington III gave an interview to CBR that makes for very sobering reading.

Tony DeZuniga having health and money issues

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Legendary Filipino creator Tony DeZuniga recently had a severe stroke, and he is currently in critical condition. And his family does not have health insurance—yeah, this stuff happens in the Philippines, too. HIs wife Tina wrote of the details in the link below.

To do, tonight, Seattle: Bowling for the Hero Initiative

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Hero Initiative is the non-profit organization that aids comic creators in medical and financial need—and if you’ve been reading the Beat lately you know that they are more needed than ever. Tonight, as part of the Emerald City Comicon, they are having a bowling fundraiser which sounds like a great time for a great cause, as they say. Although spots have already been auctioned off, you can still go watch the fun:

Nice art: Snag this exclusive THE MASSIVE print ONLY THIS WEEKEND

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The CBLDF is offering this swell poster for THE MASSIVE by Brian Wood and Kristian Donaldson as member thank you. BUT ONLY THIS WEEKEND! So hurry if u want to get this charmingly model kit-evoking poster.

Help Gary Friedrich—new donation site set up

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We’ve been meaning to write up the disgusting legal maneuver that has left 69-year-old Gary Friedrich owing Marvel $17,000 after a failed attempt to get some ownership of Ghost Rider, a character he co-created back in the ’70s. In a story first reported here by Torsten, Marvel/Disney filed a countersuit for copyright infringement based on Friedrich’s convention appearances selling Ghost Rider-related merchandise. As Daniel Best wrote:

DC, WB team for WE CAN BE HEROES campaign to fight famine in Africa

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Superheroes have often stepped up to campaign for charities, but this morning’s announcement of Warner’s new WE CAN BE HEROES initiative has set the bar pretty high. A multi-pronged campaign spearheaded by DC Entertainment and WB has committed several million dollars to teaming with three charities to fight starvation in the Horn of Africa, where 13 million people are currently at risk due to drought and war. In addition to selling merchandise, DC Entertainment will match donations dollar for dollar up to $1 million.

Alan Moore joins David Lloyd on Occupy Comics project

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Alan Moore will contribute a prose essay to the Occupy Comics project currently running on Kickstarter. He joins David Lloyd on the roster of the project which will record the Occupy Movement in comics — their V FOR VENDETTA comic has been an inspiration for the protesters with the Guy Fawkes mask from the comics showing up around the globe.

Exclusive: Robertson, Goldman, and Amanda Palmer join Occupy Comics

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While comics pundits continue to debate (well, really beat down) Frank Miller over his ornery comments about the Occupy Wall Street movement, Occupy Comics continues to ramp up, with the addition of contributions from Darick Robertson, Dan Goldman, and musician Amanda Palmer , just three new high profile contributors with, we’re told, more to come.

The project has a Kickstarter page , and is already $1000 away from their goal of funding comics coverage of the protest movement. Susan Cagle, Charlie Adlard, Molly Crabapple, Joseph Michael Lisner, Steve Niles, Tim Seeley, Ben Templesmith, and others are already on board.

The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund announces new directors

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The Canadian comics free speech organization known as the CLLDF (Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund) has been mostly dormant for a while, but they have reactivated as part of the CBLDF case involving an American who faces charges over images found on his laptop by Canadian border inspectors. They’ve incorporated and added two Canadians retailers to their board, Jay Bardyla of Edmonton, Alberta; and Jennifer Haines of Guelph, Ontario.

They recently held one fundraising event, and another is planned for the 11th at The Kozmik Zoo.

Brabner launches Kickstarter campaign for Harvey Pekar library statue

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Since his death last summer, there’s been much talk about honoring the late Harvey Pekar in his native Cleveland with a statue.

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Pekar’s widow Joyce Brabner, was uncomfortable with the idea of a heroic monument, so in conjuction with some local artists they’ve come up with a more populist memorial: a statue at the Cleveland Heights library that would also serve as a place where people can read and make comics.

Steve Rude is out of jail but you can stil help him — UPDATED

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Well, you won’t need to help bail him out, but on his Facebook page, artist Steve Rude’s wife, Jaynellle reports that the artist was arrested over a dispute with neighbors.