Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Brushes With Greatness, part one

When I was 18 or so, I saw an ad in (I think) the Comics Journal. It advertised the opportunity to join a new club that was started by none other than the legendary artist Wally Wood. For $15, a mere pittance, you could receive copies of his newest, self-published works, a membership card, a newsletter updating you on upcoming projects, and the coup de grace, an original Wood sketch of your choice. I couldn't resist; I signed up immediately and sent my check for fifteen bucks. Being an aspiring comic book artist, I couldn't resist the opportunity to write one of my art heroes...I told him of my ambitions and asked if he would be willing to review some samples of my stuff. Oh the chutzpah of 18. Anyway, below you can read his reply, as well as see the envelope, membership card, and cancelled check.

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Needless to say, Woody was a far better artist than he was a prognosticator. What I eventually received was the latest collections of Sally Forth, the Wizard King, and Cannon, all B&W and gorgeously drawn. What I didn't receive was my frigging original sketch. Oh well, sobered by the tone of his response, I never got around to sending him any of my art...too bad, I understand he was in failing health by then and probably could have used the laugh. A couple of years later, he was dead, but I have still held on to all the swag I got as a member of the Friends of Odkin and wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China.