If you look on the categories of the Beat (I know, unlikely) you’ll see one for Cryptozoology – in the early days of this site, sightings of weird critters was one of our little hobbies and we often referred to the work of Loren Coleman, one of the world’s foremost cryptozoologists and the founder of the International Cryptology Museum in Portland, ME. He’s definitely one of those indispensable human repositories of arcane knowledge.
It seems Coleman has had some health problems of late and his friend, Artist Steve Bissette is offering some artwork to draw attention to a fundraiser to help him pay for treatment. Bissette has explained this on his FB page and I’ll excerpt it a bit since it isn’t a public post – but the short version is if you support Coleman’s GoFuneMe, Bissette will send you some art, and fittingly some of it is Swamp Thing themed. Bissette has posted some examples of the art he sending and I think you’ll agree it is good stuff.
One wishes one could do something for EVERYONE, but we’re only human—I can only do so much—and given all the pleasure I’ve gotten since the late 1970s from reading the writings of the great Loren Coleman, and for our friendship in recent years, and knowing of the life-saving surgery he had in 2016 that he is still struggling to pay for, I am dedicating the coming days to doing what I can to assist in the effort to at least help somehow in clearing those debts.
Loren is also the only cryptozoologist to co-star in a SWAMP THING story; hence, I will be offering some Swamp Thing and ST & Sasquatch sketches, so keep your eyes peeled!
I first read Loren Coleman’s work with the late 1970s publication of two books, ‘The Unidentified’ and ‘Creatures of the Outer Edge,’ both co-authored by Jerome Clark. I still have those paperbacks, and copies of most of everything Loren has written/published since. Thanks to mutual friend Joseph Citro, I got to meet Loren some years ago, and have visited two incarnations of his International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine, and look forward to going again in 2017 to see its new (permanent) home.
Loren Coleman had life-saving surgery earlier this year, but the cost of that life-saving surgery has become a crushing debtload threatening Loren’s home, health, and well-being. Since I’ve quite literally drawn from Loren’s work—his cryptozoological texts, research, and museum—it’s only appropriate I apply my skills with pencil, pen, ink, and paper to this effort to aid in Loren’s fundraising, to offset any way possible the massive debt. NO ONE should face the loss of home, hearth, health due to health care costs—but Loren and his family ARE facing just that.
I launched this fundraising effort yesterday, on Christmas Eve, and will continue these efforts throughout the rest of December. I will be posting prints, special offers on SRB books, and some original sketches-for-sale of my favorite cryptozoological creatures and characters.
This is how it’s going to work:
1. If you see a sketch, print, book, or offer you want to jump on, PM me here on Facebook immediately. Prints and books will be available to many; sketches are one-of-a-kind, first come, first to donate, first served.
2. Your payment for that goodie will be made in the form of a donation to Loren’s health care fundraising effort, payment to https://www.gofundme.com/lorens-medical-fund —once I confirm that donation has been received, the good or goods are yours.
3. Your (nominal) payment for shipment costs (Priority Mail) will be made to my Paypal account, since I am seeing to all shipments, which can also be personalized to you or yours.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.