Rebuilding a Lost Collection

As so many of you know, Len Wein’s house burned down recently and he’s starting to put the pieces of his professional life back together. His pal, and mine, Mark Evanier has begun organizing a drive to collect copies of Len’s written work to replace the ones lost.

He writes:

Hey, let’s rebuild Len Wein’s comic book collection!  But we don’t want just any old comics here.  We want the ones Len wrote and/or edited.

You know Len Wein.  Award-winning comic book person.  Co-creator of Swamp Thing and Wolverine and various other X-Men.  Editor of Watchmen.  Writer, at one time or other, of all the major characters: Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Hulk, you name it.  That Len Wein.  A great guy.

On April 6, 2009, a fire destroyed most of the home he was sharing with his wife Chris and their son Michael.  As Len tells us, Chris was out when it happened.  The men were home and asleep.  He awoke to find the world in flames around him and he managed to get himself out and to save Michael, as well.  Sadly, their beloved dog Sheba perished that day.

So did Len’s collection of books and toys and games and artwork and those things we accumulate that help define and enrich our lives.  You have stuff.  He had stuff.  Insurance will fix the house but many things, including his comics, were not covered.  Some of us thought it would be grand if his friends and fans pitched in to help him recreate those shelves of the comic books he’s worked on.

Here’s the plan: We’ve compiled a list of the comics Len needs to reacquire.  We’re updating it from time to time as comics are pledged or received.   (It’s a PDF file, which means you need to have Adobe Reader.)  The list will be updated often.

Check your collection for duplicates.  If Len’s given you some moments of reading pleasure, you might even want to buy him some of these issues.  A few may be pricey but he’s written so many, you may find a stack in the bargain bins.

We’ve set up a special e-mail address for communications relating to this.  It’s…
comix4len@povonline.com

If you have something you can donate, write us and tell us it’s on the way.  And then send it to this address:

We’re asking you to let us know what you’re sending in order to minimize duplication.  If we do somehow wind up with more than one copy of something, we may try to trade it for something we need.  Please don’t send anything on the basis of “Return it if you can’t use it.”  It’s going to take enough effort just to log all this stuff in and store it ’til Len’s home is rebuilt.  Whatever you send becomes property of Len Wein.  And we are making no representation that any donations are in any way tax-deductible.

We also need volunteers to collect donations of comics (not money) at conventions.  At each major comic con, we’d like to have someone — preferably, someone who’s already getting a table — who’ll agree to accept whatever comics Wein fans want to give and to ship them all to us.  Info on who’ll be making these collections and where will be posted over at www.newsfromme.com, along with other updates on the project.

And thanks in advance for everything.

My webmaster, Glenn, is already culling through boxes of my comic books to help out – see what you can do.

5 comments

  • Arthur Stone

    Yay, another bailout! Sure, why not, I mean, who is needier than Len Wein? Unemployed people about to lose their homes? Nah. People suffering from cancer or other diseases? Nah. Kids in shelters for abused women? Nah.

    If Len Wein had any heart at all he would donate everything that the bleeding hearts send to a needy cause.

    Why hasn’t Mark Evanier organized any donation drives for people who are truly disadvantaged? Because there’s no publicity in it for him, that’s why.

    Suckers…..

  • Glenn Hauman

    Umm… Len did lose most of his house. In a fire. Maybe you heard?

  • Mike Espo

    If you aren’t to cheap to buy insurance, the insurance companies reimburse you for things you have lost in a fire. Maybe you heard? Seriously, aren’t there more worthwhile causes to donate comics to?

  • Glenn Hauman

    I normally don’t respond to sock puppets– “Arthur” and “Mike” are posting from the same IP address, 68.63.239.91, which marks him as a Comcast subscriber from New Jersey, and sure, I could be more specific than that– but what the hell.

    They had insurance, which will fix the house– but many things, including his comics, were not covered.

    And setting aside the things that cannot be replaced (like, say, the original art from Giant Size X-Men #1, or autographs from people now deceased) it’s just a massive job to track down over 800 issues. And that’s only what he wrote, not even what he edited.

    But you know what? A lot of people who are donating to Len and Chris are friends of theirs– Bob is, I am– and we’re helping out friends in their time of need. Many other people are fans and might like to help out somebody whose work they’ve appreciated over the years.

    As far as what Mark does for charity, he does plenty, but he does it anonymously– a concept which “Arthur” or “Mike” is obviously familiar with.

  • Tyson Durst

    Sorry to hear about their dog and everything else.

    What is it with comic creators having their apartments or homes wiped out in fires? Yikes.

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