Word has come out today that the Southern California Comic Art Professional Society will be launching an ongoing series of eBay auctions of original comic art. Its goal is to raise funds for medical care for Sharon Sakai, the wife of respected cartoonist and longtime society member Stan Sakai, creator of the samurai rabbit Usagi Yojimbo. Sharon has been battling a debilitating brain tumor for some time; after an extended hospital stay and convalescence, she is currently at home, but her condition requires 24-hour care and medicine that costs more than the Sakai's insurance covers.
The auctions will be conducted through eBay.com beginning on Thursday, March 6, with a new set of auctions every following Thursday. Each auction, sold under the seller name of "CAPSauction", will be ten days in length with twenty to forty items in each set of auctions. The donations of original artwork and collectibles (including newly created art unique to this event, vintage comic book pages, comic strips, illustrations, animation art, limited edition statues, and IDW Artist's editions books) number over three hundred with new items arriving every day.
Many of the pieces featuring Usagi Yojimbo will appear in a new oversized hardcover book from Dark Horse, The Sakai Project: Artists Celebrate Thirty Years Of Usagi Yojimbo, which will be released on July 23, 2014. All proceeds from this book will go to Stan and Sharon Sakai. Much of the custom art created for this book will also be sold as a part of the online auctions.
Contributors include: Adam Hughes, Alex Maleev, Arthur Adams, Batton Lash, Eric Powell, Jan Duursema, Jerry Ordway, Jordi Bernet, Matt Groening, Michael Allred, Mike Mignola, Paul Gulacy, Sanjuliàn, Scott Shaw!, Jim Steranko, Tim Sale, William Stout, Bill Sienkiewicz, Cameron Stewart, Dan Brereton, Daniel Parsons, Dave Gibbons, Dean Yeagle, Doug Sneyd, Dustin Nguyen, Bill Morrison, Tone Rodriguez, Sergio Aragonés, Fabio Moon, Francisco Francavilla, Gene Ha, Geof Darrow, Gilbert Hernandez, Jack Davis, James O'Barr, Kevin Eastman, Jeff Lemire, Jeff Smith, Kazu Kibuishi, Liam Sharp, Tom Richmond, Michael Jantze, Olivia, Oscar Martin, Paul Chadwick, Richard Corben, Tom Mandrake, Walter Simonson, Charles Vess, Dan Spiegle, J. Scott Campbell and many more.
These fund-raising auctions will be promoted through ComicArtFans.com, and the Comic Art Professional Society Facebook page where you will be able to see updated information such as when certain pieces will be auctioned.
Given the sordid history of the relations of comic publishers and artists/creators in the past, it's wonderful to see both Dark Horse and the community of artists come together to help support one of their own.