John Ostrander is a writer who has done an incredible amount of work in this business, and entertained and enlightened readers for more than two decades. Grimjack, Munden’s Bar, Star Wars, The Kents…you name it, he’s done it. And not just space filling make work…John CARES about the reader…and it shows on every page.

He’s also had glaucoma for over two decades, and needs an operation to save his eyesight. An expensive operation.

Please note, John has insurance. But, in the parlance of the time, he’s “underinsured.” His insurance isn’t going to pay for the treatments he needs.

So his friends are getting together. A benefit auction will be held at the Chicago Comic-Con (Formerly Wizard World Chicago) to benefit John. There’s more info on his treatment and the benefit at the above link. And more in a press release from Mike Gold, reprinted below.

John is a friend and a friend of comics. In these times, we all sort of have to look out for each other. Give a few dollars. It’s the cost of a coffee for a man’s sight.

An auction will be held at the Chicago Comic-Con (nee Wizard World Chicago) the evening of Saturday, August 8, 2009 to raise funds for comics veteran John Ostrander, who is undergoing a series of operations and medical treatments to fight off blindness.

Recently, John underwent a series of operations that might have saved his remaining eyesight. Progress has been made but he faces considerably more treatment in the months ahead.

To help Ostrander cover his costs, a committee has been organized called Comix4Sight. Solicitations for the benefit auction have gone out, and the response from the comics community has been overwhelming.

“The cost of John’s procedures has been astronomical, and are only partially covered by insurance. And by ‘partially,’ I’m being polite,” committee co-chairperson Mike Gold disclosed. “John has to go up to Boston repeatedly for treatment, and on two occasions thus far he had to spend a week there for the actual surgery.

“Like so many other Americans John is without sufficient medical coverage to cover these types of expenses; sadly, his insurance will expire in about a year,” Gold noted. “With the assistance of Peter Katz and Wizard Entertainment, Adriane Nash, Mike Raub and I have organized a benefit auction to raise funds for John’s medical expenses. We will be having this auction Saturday night at the Chicago Comic Con to be held at the Rosemont Convention Center near O’Hare Field on August 6th through 9th.”

Original art, signed scripts, comics memorabilia, autographed books and similar items are being donated to the auction. “Within the first 24 hours we’ve received pledges of contributions including original art and signed books by Gail Simone, Howard Chaykin, David Lloyd, Dave Sim, Norm Breyfogle, Dick Giordano, Dennis O’Neil, Hilary Barta, Kevin Van Hook, Mark Badger, Michael Davis, Rick Stasi, Paul Gulacy, Joe Landsdale, and, of course, John’s GrimJack collaborator Timothy Truman. We’re getting commitments and contributions every day,” committee co-chairperson Adriane Nash stated.

“We’ve set up a website – – that will be carrying updated information about both the benefit and the auction items,” Nash continued. “We’ll also be posting the results of the auction, and any items that came in too late for the benefit will be auctioned off at the site. We will donate any excess revenue to other comics professionals suffering from major vision issues or to The Hero Initiative.”

Monetary contributions would also be gratefully accepted by check or through PayPal at Individuals and corporations interested in making contributions should send them to:

Mike Gold and Adriane Nash


304 Main Avenue, #194

Norwalk, CT 06851


  1. Man, I feel for him. My sight has been going bad over the last year and it sucks. Lucky for me, I’ve finally gotten an insurance plan that will cover glasses, but for a while there, I just had to live with it. When I get off work, I’ll go over to the site and see what I can do to help. No one should have to lose their vision in this day and age.

  2. I plan to donate, having glaucoma myself (in my case, it’s easily treated with eyedrops twice a day) it really hits home.

    Heidi, It’s Mike GOLD not Mike God, although I could excuse the misnomer as he is doing the lord’s work:)

  3. Thank you for posting this. Folks, it’s really easy to go and donate via Paypal and you’ll feel good about it.

    Best wishes, Mr. Ostrander, and thanks for Grimjack and all the other stories!

  4. I was just at the Superman Celebration with John in Illinois, and a kinder, nicer, smarter guy you could never hope to meet.

    Please take a moment and look at the link,

    and see if you can possibly help John Ostrander, one of the best writers
    this business has ever had.

    And thank goodness for people like Adriane and Mike!

    Gail Simone

  5. Just chiming in to thank those putting together something for Mr. Ostrander. Great cause for a great guy.

  6. link fixed.

    The legion of fanboys who clamor for the return of Suicide Squad should all give a few dollars.

    John did a store signing where I worked a few years ago and was great to everyone.

  7. John Ostrander was one of the first comics scribes of whom I considered myself a bona fide fan. On new comics day, I had a habit of putting the comic I was most looking forward to reading at the bottom of the stack so I could savor it last; his Suicide Squad was always my bottom-of-the-stack book those weeks it shipped.

    I loved–and still do!–the proto-Vertigo horror-ish anthology series he did with Del Close WASTELAND, which has some of my absolute favorite comics stories of all time. (Ostrander’s Sonnet LXVI, done to Shakespeare’s 66th Sonnet for one.)

    And his cold war era work on Firestorm, and the nuanced storytelling of Hawkworld that was so good it made folks set aside all the continuity problems, and Spectre, and GrimJack…yeah, I owe Ostrander for a lot of reading pleasure. I’ve scraped together something for a Paypal donation, and hope it does a little way toward doing a lot of good for him.

  8. John gave Jim Corrigan one of the best treatments a Golden Age hero ever got, so it’s only fair that fans of the JSA give back to John.

  9. The Spectre is my all time favorite series followed by Suicide Squad. I was moved to a lot of self exploration with the Spectre and would say that it influenced who I am as a person.

  10. While it did not have the critical acclaim of other work of John’s, I had the privilege of working with him on Quicksilver back in 1998, and got to know him as a wonderfully kind person. John was always very nice to me, at a time when writers did not always necessarily regard inkers as part of the creative process. To his credit, and my gratitude, John always included me in plotting sessions, and was an extremely gracious teammate.

    While my wife’s illness prevents me from contributing monetarily at this time, I will be looking through my original art for something to contribute to the cause. We’ve received so much support from this incredibly generous industry in our time of need, and it’s only right to give back to a friend. I only hope that whatever contribution I can make will help put things over the top for John. I know firsthand how difficult medical expenses can be, and I hope enough money can be raised to make this operation happen.

    Rich Faber

  11. I’m definitely contributing. John has written some of my favorite comic book series, and it’s time I gave a little somethin’ back to him.