Len Wein Improving After Surgery

Continued best wishes to Len Wein who is in the early stages of recovery from his multiple bypass heart surgery on February 10.

Craig Miller told me, when we spoke for a moment this morning at Gallifrey One, that Len has been able to sit up in his hospital bed.

I don’t know whether Len has left the ICU. He was still there on February 12 according to his wife, Christine Valada.

And Len wishes his dog could visit —

Len Wein Hospitalized

Lein Wein on February 6. Photograph by M.C. Valada.

Lein Wein on February 6. Photograph by M.C. Valada.

Wolverine and Swamp Thing creator Len Wein, recently hospitalized with chest pains, will undergo triple bypass heart surgery on February 10.

Writer Gillian Horvath has been passing the word, calling on people to offer “your prayers, your white light, your Yops of any kind. Len can use it all.

“Like when Martha Jones saved the world by getting everyone on Earth to think of The Doctor all at once.”

That’s Not A Collectible, That’s a Paycheck

The last few years of Ray Bradbury’s life coincided with the first years of this blog, which is how I learned there was a corner of the publishing industry that thrived on mining his files to find material he’d written for Hollywood that had never been produced, or was drafted for some other purpose and never reached the public, that could be turned into a profitable small press project. New Bradbury material was always in demand.

Harlan Ellison is another writer with deep files who’s kept that Midas touch. The latest example is Ellison’s contribution to DC Comics’ Batman ’66 project based on an unproduced outline for the Adam West Batman series. Ellison’s episode would have introduced Two-Face.

Alex Ross cover for he Two-Face issue of Batman '66

Alex Ross cover for he Two-Face issue of Batman ’66

Len Wein told ComicsAlliance how the project came together:

ComicsAlliance: …Did you work from a full script, a pitch that never got used for the series…

Len Wein: It is an adaptation of a lost outline. Harlan Ellison – the legendary Harlan Ellison, I should say – had done an outline for this show back in the ’60s, which for reasons not important here, never got produced, and he’d put it in a drawer and forgotten about it.

So, several months ago he was cleaning out his files and went, “Oh my god, this old thing… Hey wait, DC’s doing a book on this [Batman ’66], maybe I can sell them the outline!” And he called up and said, “I’ve got this outline for an episode, are you guys interested?” and they all went, “Sure, yeah, uh-huh!” because, after all, it’s Harlan. So he sold them the outline, and called me up – Harlan’s my oldest friend, we’ve been buddies for forty-odd years – and he told me what I just told you, and said that now they needed to get somebody to script it. And I said, “I’m available!” So he said great, he called DC, they called me up and said, “you wanna do this?” and I said, “you bet.”

And then my dear old friend [José Luis] Garcia-López, one of the great artists in the history of the biz, got involved as penciller. And it started to snowball from there, it became this A-List thing. Joe Prado called up and said, “I hear there’s a Garcia-López job that needs inking” and we went, “sure, it’s yours.” Alex Sinclair called up and said, “I hear there’s this special thing going on that needs coloring.” And then Alex Ross calls up and goes, “You mind if I paint a cover for this?” And it just became this insane project.

See the complete interview here.

Help Rebuild Len Wein’s Comic Collection

Rebuild Len Wein's Comic Collection

When Len Wein and Christine Valada’s home burned on April 6, as Craig Miller explained, “The master bedroom and bath were burned out. The walls still stand but everything inside, including the ceiling, is gone. Nearby rooms had extreme heat and smoke damage and smoke damage runs throughout. DVDs, artwork, awards, etc. are gone forever.”

Wein’s friend Mark Evanier realized that even though insurance should provide the money to restore the house, many things, including Wein’s comics, were not covered.  Evanier thought it was a particular shame that Wein had lost the collection of comics he himself had worked on – and Evanier knew that, at least, could be fixed:

Some of us thought it would be grand if his friends and fans pitched in to help him recreate those shelves of the comic books he’s worked on.

So the crusade as been launched. At the “Let’s Rebuild Len Wein’s Comic Book Collection Project” site there is a frequently-updated PDF list of what they want, with lineouts of what’s been received. It looks as if half of the needed titles have already been secured, but dozens more are still being sought.

[Thanks to David Klaus for the link.]

Valada, Wein Home Burns

Christine Valada and Len Wein’s home burned to the ground on Monday. The escaped with Mike, but their dog was killed.

Harlan Ellison was over there turning the ashes with a shovel, trying to help them find anything left. (See Ellison’s long post from April 6.)

The fire was apparently caused by a power surge that shorted out a wall heater.

[Thanks to David Klaus for the story.]