I received one of those alerts yesterday that someone had tagged me in a Facebook photo. Usually I am a tad panicked, as some of my more nefarious pranks have been recorded on film. When I clicked on it, I was pleasantly surprised to see this:
You see, despite Clydene’s health struggles (failing kidneys), her heart is and always has been behind the creators and artists (and their support team, the oft-forgotten spouses and life partners). Clydene has been a ceaseless, ardent supporter and coordinator for Artist Alley at #SDCC for as long as I’ve been attending (which is 15 years now), but she started in 1989 (you know, back before Comic-Con was “cool.”). She has also been a wonderful friend to me, personally, and to Dave. Clydene NEEDS a kidney, due to her long battle with diabetes. Here is a link to ongoing fund-raiser for Clydene, to help with her ongoing medical bills not covered by insurance, and information about her, beautifully written by artist Mark Brooks, ICYMI:
“I received a message from Clydene Nee over the weekend letting me know of a very difficult time she is going through at the moment. As many of my fellow comic creators know, Clydene has been the face and hands of Artist Alley at San Diego Comic Comic Con International since 1989 as the Artist Alley Coordinator. While Comic Con has made various decisions regarding Artist Alley both good and bad over the years, Clydene has been an advocate for the artists and always gone out of her way to accommodate many of us even on short notice. All the while doing it as a volunteer without pay and using a week of her personal vacation time from work to make sure Artist Alley runs smoothly. She’s a true friend of the industry and of artists in particular. She’s given of herself often times thanklessly for the artists and people she loves for free and always with a smile on her face.
“As many of you are aware, Clydene has had a few health problems over the years most evident this past Comic Con when she was moving through artist alley with the aid of a motorized scooter. Around Thanksgiving this year things unfortunately took a turn for the worse with Clydene falling into Kidney Failure and having to have emergency surgery to have a tunnel catheter put into her chest to feed tubes into her heart for dialysis. Her levels were so high that her bone marrow was no longer producing red blood cells and she was in full renal failure. She is hoping to have the tubes removed this week due to the danger of them causing a heart attack or developing a clot.
“After a second surgery to graft fistulas to her body for ongoing dialysis, she placed herself on the kidney transplant list. Unfortunately her insurance deems kidney transplants as elective surgery and will only partially cover the very expensive surgery. Adding insult to injury is the 3 times a week she has to receive dialysis treatment at a whopping $3000 a pop. The wait time for a kidney transplant can be months or even years meaning she could be receiving these treatments for a while. She been forced to move to a smaller apartment closer to the hospital and maintain her job since going on any sort of disability would make the transplant unobtainable. So Clydene, through all this, is having to keep up with her day to day job just so she can have some of her treatment covered through insurance and be able to eat and keep a roof over her head. Even with all this, Clydene will have massive medical bills that she will be struggling with for a log time to come even once this hurdle is overcome. She has kept all of this private and is just now telling her friends about her situation.
“As someone who has had more than one favor done for him by Clydene over the years, I feel the need to give back in some way. While I will be helping out financially, I wanted to reach out to all the artists and fans who have been helped by Clydene and ask for any amount of help you could give in her time of need. Even a small amount will make a world of difference to someone who has been so selfless to all of us. And to any and all fans that have walked the aisles of Artist Alley and enjoyed meeting your favorite illustrator and checking out all the pretty artwork, I encourage you to help out someone that was instrumental in making it such a great experience. We’ve set a modest goal of $3000.00 BUT I AM HOPING WE CAN GO FAR BEYOND OUR GOAL. 100% of all funds raised will go to Clydene to help out with her medical bills.
Thank you in advance for your support!
A Little About Clydene:
Clydene has been with Comic Con International since 1979 as a division head and unpaid volunteer. She began as a projectionist but took over Artist Alley in 1989 as its coordinator and has been doing it every year since. She also coordinated the live auction from 1989 to 2009. In 2009 she began as the head coordinator for the how-to sessions held upstairs in the convention center for all artistic hopefuls to come and learn hands on from seasoned pros like Jim Lee, Greg Horowitz and Adam Hughes. She also spent 7 years as a colorist working for Image, Dark Horse, Malibu and Universal. Her biggest notable accomplishment was doing color studies for Spawn at its inception where Todd McFarlane finally settled on the red and black color scheme Clydene had submitted.