Former ‘Superboy’ Writer Karl Kesel Sells Classic Comics Collection To Pay Son’s Medical Bills
If you polled the pool of regular ComicsAlliance contributors for a complete list of their all-time favorite comics, there’s a high probability that Karl Kesel would be in some way responsible for the creation of at least some of those works. We’ll get into that a little later, but what you need to know up front that is that Kesel is what people in the business call “awesome” and by all accounts a “solid bro,” who is prepared to make a sacrifice that few of us could imagine: selling his Silver Age Marvel Comics collection.
Why, you ask, would someone do such a thing? Perhaps taking a cue from the superheroes he wrote and drew so earnestly, Kesel is putting up his childhood treasures to help pay for the medical expenses of his newly adopted son, who was born to a mother who was in treatment for heroin addiction. The baby is home and healthy now, but even with insurance the family’s medical expenses could be as high as $50,000.Working with Tom Grummett, Kesel is responsible for the Superboy of the 1990s, a fan-favorite character who endured until DC Comics rebooted him last year (Kesel and Grummett’s second, Kirby-infused run on Superboy is the definitive Boy of Steel, in my view). Inking the pencils of Mike Weiringo and advising writer Mark Waid, Kesel helped bring us what some fans regard as the greatest Fantastic Four comics since the originals by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. A personal favorite of mine is Kesel’s work as a writer on the underrated and very funny Harley Quinn ongoing series, which featured gorgeous artwork by Terry and Rachel Dodson and introduced the animated Batman villain to the DC Universe. Perhaps the most beloved of Kesel’s work is the Spider-Boy one-shot, an amalgam of DC’s Superboy and Marvel’s Spider-Man, which he wrote and inked with Mike Weiringo. Kesel’s list of credits goes on.
As testified by friends like Steve Lieber and Mark Waid, Karl Kesel is a very decent fellow, and it’s hardly a surprise that he and his wife Myrna would adopt a newborn baby in need of a loving family. But while little Isaac is home and healthy now, he was born to a mother who was in treatment for heroin addiction, which necessitated the child’s lengthy detoxification in the hospital. The family is insured, but the bill for Issac’s treatment still might be as high as $50,000, so Kesel is doing what for many comics fans is all but unthinkable: selling his Silver Age Marvel Comics collection. Obviously it’s necessary and thoroughly decent, especially when explained in Kesel’s own words:
“I’m giving away some of my childhood, but we get a whole new childhood in return.”
You can learn more about the Kesels’ situation in the video below and this interview with Steve Sunu at Comic Book Resources. You may inspect Karl’s collection and purchase items at Blast Off Comics, which is updating frequently with new comics from Kesel’s massive collection.