This Comic Book Wife Thanks YOU, Clydene Nee

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:

Clydene Nee showering the artists'  support team with love.

Clydene Nee showering the artists’ support team with love.

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:

My longtime friend, SDCC Artists Alley Coordinator Clydene Nee.

My longtime friend, SDCC Artists Alley Coordinator Clydene Nee.

“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.

“If you would like to send good thoughts to Clydene you can contact her through her Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/clydene.nee
or on Twitter at  https://twitter.com/clydene326.”

Thank you in advance for your support!
-Mark Brooks  

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.

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That Time I Wrote for Newsarama

Every once in a while, I’ll get pulled into a project for Dave, like that time he informed me at breakfast on a Monday morning that the manuscript for his autobiography IDW wanted to publish was was due by end of business day on Friday. (Good thing they were on California time!) I dropped everything and camped out in his studio with my laptop and wrote all but the Foreword and about 10 pages written by his BFF Steve Smith.

The book I wrote in technically less than 5 days. 5 lbs. of Art & Text.

The 358-page book I (mostly) wrote in 5 days… 5 lbs. of Art & Text.

But I digress. Before #SDCC one year, Newsarama was looking for a fun hook, and I’m like a heat-seeking missile for the silly and the ridiculous, so I suggested writing Dave doing an interview with Alien and Predator in an L.A. White Castle. I pitched it because Dave was renowned for painting Alien and Predator’s images over the years, and this particular summer the first AVP film was coming out, so it was timely. Dave had earned his Eisner Award for Aliens: Tribes. (The Eisner is like the Oscars of the comic book field, for the uninitiated reading this).

Alien v. Predator by Dave Dorman

Alien v. Predator by Dave Dorman

So, I wrote it. Mind you, some of my comedic pacing is thrown off by the forced promotional mentions, and some of my grosser humor got cut, but I am posting it here for you today, in all of its sick & wrong glory:

DAVE DORMAN INTERVIEWS ALIEN and PREDATOR in a WHITE CASTLE

Back Story: Renowned illustrator Dave Dorman, Alien and Predator are old friends, dating back 15 years ago to the days when Dorman was painting Alien v. Predator pieces to please the Dark Horse fans…today the threesome reunites for a pre-Comic-Con interview in this Newsarama exclusive.

POV: We see the famed illustrator and two of his favorite creatures lunching at a local White Castle.

Dave Dorman: Hi guys. Thanks for wearing pants today.

Alien & Predator (in unison): Ditto.

Dave Dorman: Let’s Q&A. How did you like being depicted as warring nemeses in your new film, Alien v. Predator?

Alien: Well, the fans have been dying to see me kick Predator’s ass in a live action piece…

Predator, interrupting: Hold on a ****in’ minute. Whose ass did they want to see getting kicked by who?

Alien, continuing: I believe the correct word is whom…but Dave, you were the first one who actually depicted us dukin’ it out 15 years ago in your painting for Dark Horse Presents #36. It was that first fight cover in the swamp, remember?

Predator: That’s right! You made us fly down to your Florida studio and pose under all of those hot lights. In the middle of summer, no less! That was the modeling job from hell. Just for that, you’re buying lunch today. And I’ll take an extra sack of sliders for the flight home.

Dave Dorman: Nada, Rasta-boy; you can afford to pay your own way! But that particular cover has been one of the most popular from my fans–and yours. You have to admit, Predator, you seemed to enjoy posing with that hot babe on the cover I did for Alien v. Predator #4.

Predator: Nah, she didn’t do it for me. Though I did like that slinky, latex costume.

POV: We see Predator struggling to fit a milkshake straw into his etiquette-unfriendly mouth.

Dave Dorman: Havin’ some trouble, Predator? Let me help.

POV: Dorman’s hand shakes nervously as he pours the vanilla milkshake into Predator’s gaping pie hole.

Dave Dorman: Hey guys, remember when I worked on those designs for that first attempt at the Alien v. Predator movie 12 years ago? Did I ever show you my hybrid Predalien character?

POV: We see Dorman revealing the Predalien illustration to an astounded Alien and Predator.

Predator (sniffs with disdain): That is sick and wrong…unnatural. Not to mention chromosomally impossible.

Alien (lighting a cigarette): Humans shouldn’t be playing God with the mother race.

POV: Predator slaps the cigarette out of Alien’s mouth and his long claws rake against Alien’s jaw. A few drops of blood drip onto White Castle’s table, hissing as they burn steaming holes through it, then the floor.

Predator: Alien, how many times do I have to tell you? There’s no smoking in California restaurants! Besides I didn’t bring my inhaler.

Alien: Thanks, pal. There goes my goddam product placement cash from the tobacco industry.

Dave Dorman: You know, Alien, I have this persistent rust stain in my toilet and I’ll bet a few drops of your blood would take it right out.

Predator: I’m bettin’ it’s not a rust stain…

Dave Dorman (indignant): Nice. And to think I painted your flattering side in that jail scene for the Predator: Race War piece!

Alien: He doesn’t have a good side. He’s a ****in’ four-toothed freak!

Predator (growling): Wrap it up, Dorman. I’m not sitting much longer with this slimed up gene pool abortion.

Dave Dorman: Right. So, guys, what do you think of my WASTED LANDS series?

Alien: I got your RAIL graphic novel, which definitely had some slick Schuiten and European influences, but my agent’s been hanging onto my complimentary copy of THE UNINVITED. He wants some cool beach reading in case Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman ever invite him over to their private Malibu sands.

Dave Dorman (offering Alien his book): Ah, well here’s an extra copy for you.

Alien: Thanks, man.

Predator: I thought the artwork and the stories kicked ass–just like I do with Alien on a regular basis–HAH!–however, I noticed you didn’t write any parts for me or Alien into your new series.

Alien: Yeah, we’re a little hurt. Remember, I helped you win that Eisner Award for your graphic story album Aliens: Tribes. Nice work with writer Steve Bissette…

Dave Dorman: I’d include you guys in a New York minute, but you have that contractual thing happenin’ with your movie studio. Since you liked the artwork, I’ll forward both of you my “Tales of the Wasted Lands” from Atomeka Press, which is a collection of three Wasted Lands stories with a color portfolio coming out in October.

Predator: Cool. Let me leave you with my home address this time so my agent doesn’t permanently borrow my copy.

Alien: What else ya’ got cookin’, paint-boy?

Dave Dorman: Promise not to get pissed?

Alien: I’m not promising anything except for some seriously stale White Castle farts in your van for the ride back to the studio.

Dave Dorman: Okay, let me reiterate, I would have written you in if I could…

Predator (nods, knowingly) to Alien: He’s stalling…

Dave Dorman: Well…it’s a new Wasted Lands sci- fi action adventure novel, featuring my popular character Iguana, called…just don’t get mad, guys… “A Thousand Angry Teeth.”

Alien hisses (dripping with slime and sarcasm): Gee, I wonder who inspired that title?

Predator to Alien: Last time I checked with the dentist, you weren’t the only one with a mouthful of sharp teeth, you cocky bastard!

Alien (revealing menacing, dripping teeth, slowly rising up from his chair): That****in’ does it!

Dave Dorman: Hey, look!!! Isn’t that Harold and Kumar at the White Castle drive thru’?!?

POV: Alien and Predator–both cursed with short attention spans–look toward the drive thru’ window, distracted just long enough for Dorman’s quick get-away. Dorman flips them some cab money as he casually exits the fine dining establishment, relishing the fact that his van will be Alien fart-free for the drive home.

Approaching sirens wail, tables overturn, plate glass windows shatter and fry jockeys quiver beneath the stainless steel counter at the White Castle as Alien and Predator stage their own private, kick-ass sequel. Were it not for the 20th Century Fox-licensed monsters, it would definitely resemble a scene from Dorman’s action-packed sci-fi series, The Wasted Lands. Don’t believe it? See for yourself: http://wastedlands.com.