Friday, July 17, 2009

John Ostrander Needs You!

One of the absolute best writers to come out of the 1980s is none other than John Ostrander. A former Chicago actor who had thought of becoming a Catholic priest, Ostrander showed a facility for writing stories that went a bit deeper than your run-of-the-mill comicbook fare. His insightful characterization, excellent plotting, and naturalistic dialogue kept his comics on my "must read" list for many years.

He co-created and wrote well-remembered characters like Grimjack and Dynamo Joe for First. For DC he plotted Legends (essentially re-booting the entire DC universe after the original Crisis on Infinite Earths), wrote Firestorm, contributed to Wasteland (which helped pave the way for the types of comics DC would produce in its Vertigo line), helped revamp the Suicide Squad and Manhunter, and created such memorable and important characters as Amanda Waller and (along with his late wife, Kim Yale) Barbara Gordon's Oracle persona.

If you didn't read Ostrander comics in the 80s, you just didn't know your comics, dude! Not only did Ostrander write awesome comics, but he stuck with them. He didn't do an "arc" here and there and move on to "put his mark" on every character a company published. He wrote every Grimjack and Dynamo Joe story. He stayed on Firestorm for nearly 50 consecutive issues. Suicide Squad was his baby for its entire 66 issue run. A true talent and a real pro, through and through.

From the 90s on, Ostrander has continued to be an influential and popular comicbook author. His 90s run on The Spectre is legendary and would be enough to keep him in the comicbook hall of fame, but he ain't stoppin', still going on mags like Star Wars: Legacy from Dark Horse (nearing 50 issues on that awesome mag).

John Ostrander has given comics fans tons of enjoyment, it goes without saying. But right now, John really needs our help. John has been battling glaucoma and has undergone very expensive treatments in order to keep his sight. His insurance (no surprise) won't cover all of the costs he's incurring, so fandom is coming to his aid through a group called Comix4Sight. Comix4Sight is holding auctions at various comic-cons and has set up a website with info on how to donate items for auction--along with a link to where you can just plain ol' send money. Please visit the Comix4Sight page and do what you can to help John in his time of need.

1 comment:

Crowley ( said...

I'm a Spanish comic (and cinema fan) who has discover your blog today. I think it's very interesting and I'm going to follow you. And this post is very sad. Ostrander is a great writer who made me dream a lot of times in my youth. I'm going to link your page in my blog if you don't mind for people of my country could discover your blog. I invite you to visit my blog.

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

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As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1980s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!