When I was a kid, the “Timespirits” comic book — which was published by Marvel (under the “Epic Comics” imprint) and only lasted nine issues — was very special to me. I read the too-few issues again and again, captivated by the rather trippy time-travel adventures and by Tom Yeates’ artwork.
Timespirits was probably the first comic book I read in which nearly all the important characters (including the ghost of Jimmi Hendrix, extremely well drawn by Tom Yeates), and both the protagonists, were people of color. That’s still damned rare nowadays, but it was virtually unknown in the 1980s.
I haven’t read Timespirits in years (it’s long out of print, alas, although apparently Image is working on a trade paperback reprint), and I don’t know how well they’d hold up. But I remember them fondly, so I was sad to find out that Steve Perry, the writer of Timespirits (and also a writer on the old “Thundercats” TV show), is having troubles he won’t recover from.
I got a lovely thank you note from Steve Perry, but the contents break my heart:
I want you to know I am so very grateful to you for being so kind, generous and wonderful — my own fate is pretty iffy and I care most about my five year old. He has been with me 24/7 all his life, and even more so since his mother left a year ago because she could not deal with the discovery that I had cancer. Now that it has returned, the future is pretty raw, and while Leo and I face homelessness again, your kindness will be forever appreciated. Thank you so very, very much.
He also says he’s still trying to get his electricity back on. In case it wasn’t clear from my last post, Steve is dying of bladder cancer. And on top of that, he has no home and is trying to look after a young child. No one should have to go through all this in the last months of their life. So, again, I’m asking you to send a donation, however small, to his PayPal account (sandramaples48 @ yahoo.com). Some of you boosted the signal on this, and a lot of you went ‘eh, nothing to do with me’. Which is sad, really, because anyone can end up with cancer, and anyone could end up homeless too.
Well, if I can’t incentivise you any other way, I will give a free copy of any of my ebooks – self-published or not, including the one which I can’t officially give you – to anyone who sends me a receipt for their Paypal donation of at least $10 to Steve. Redact your real name, but I want to see proof. Forward it to me at [email protected] and tell me the book you want.
Feel free to repost this message.
I’ll offer a similar deal: If you’re one of the first five people to email me a copy of their Paypal receipt, showing a donation of $40 or more to Steve Perry, I’ll mail you a hand-drawn sketch of the Hereville character of your choice — or even a Thundercat, if you prefer — on good-quality paper. (I’ll update this post once the offer is closed — so if you can read this, then the offer’s still open!).