Update: William Messner-Loebs is working again! Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word!
William Messner-Loebs, writer on Flash from 1988 to 1992 and Impulse from 1997 to 1999, fell on hard times recently. He couldn’t find any comic book work from 2000 to 2005, possibly because of leadership changes at DC and Marvel, and it’s hard for him to get other employment because he only has one arm.
A January 2005 story in The Detroit News brought his plight to the attention of comics fans and professionals, who rallied around him and his wife with benefit auctions, petitions to hire him, a benefit sketchbook, and even a couple of jobs: Aardwolf Publishing hired him for The Three Tenors: Offkey, a graphic novel released in July 2005, and DC Comics hired him to write a guest issue of Green Arrow which hit the shelves in August 2005.
Matters have improved considerably. Work is coming in, and he and his wife have bought a house. As of October 2006, he is working on two novels and an unspecified project for Marvel.
So what can you, as a fan, do to help?
The best ways to help him are to buy his books. Good sales figures should encourage publishers to keep hiring him. He’s got five books out right now: The Three Tenors: Offkey the Heroes and Villains benefit sketchbook, Green Arrow #53, a reprint book, Welcome to Heaven, Dr. Franklin, and Sinnamon: Grrl vs. the World. Coming up are a second Green Arrow story, two novels set in 19th century Michigan, and a project with Mike Deodato, Jr. for Marvel. Update: Additionally, a Journey story appears in Many Happy Returns, due in March 2008.
- Detroit News:Artist in Howell faces adversity with a smile (Jan. 20, 2005)
- Newsarama: Bill Messner-Loebs: Down But Not Out (Jan. 2005)
- Comic Book Wife: Smiling in the Face of Adversity [archive.org] and You Gotta Have Heart [archive.org] (one of the Loebs’ friends, Jan. 2005)
- Newsarama: Cockrum, Messner-Loebs, & Meth—Aardwolf’s Three Tenors
- Silver Bullet Comics: Past Masters: Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Fanboys (Feb. 2005)
- Silver Bullet Comics: Messner-Loebs Art Auction and Tribute Sketch Book (March 2005)
- Golden Valley Gazette: Interview with Bill Messner-Loebs (Dec. 2005)
- Detroit News: Back to drawing board: Brighton cartoonist-writer is creating again (Oct. 10, 2006)
Books by William Messner-Loebs
- Äardwolf Publishing: order The Three Tenors: Offkey (released July 2005)
- TwoMorrows Publishing: order Heroes And Villains: The William Messner-Loebs Benefit Sketchbook (July 2005)
- Green Arrow #53 (August 2005)
- Welcome to Heaven, Dr. Franklin (February 2006)
- ComiXPress: order Sinnamon: GRRL vs World #1 (Catfish Comics, Februrary 2006)
- Many Happy Returns contains a new Journey story (About Comics, March 2008)
- BOOM! Studios will be releasing The Necronomicon starting in August 2008
- Find William Messner-Loebs’ books on Amazon
- Petition: We’ll read comics by Bill Loebs
- The Hero Initiative (formerly A.C.T.O.R.: A Commitment To Our Roots)