I know this blog is a little later than usual but I've had a pretty amazing week! I got to create something special for an amazing little boy! I got to meet Anthony Smith, a real hero!
Here's his mom's original letter to editor supreme, Bill Rosemann:
Hi there -
I am the mom of a super hero mad 4 year old. He lives and breathes super heroes, he also has been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder - mosaic trisomy 22. The good news is that his physical challenges are workable, he is mentally perfect, and while he will be having a heart surgery this summer - he is on the mend. The challenge that he will face for his entire life are his hearing impairments. He has no ear, and a complete hearing loss on his right side and mild loss on his left. He currently wears 2 hearing aids.
Today as he was getting dressed I was putting on his "Blue Ear," the aid he wears on his left ear. He did not want to put it on, he told me super heroes do not wear blue ears. To get myself out of a bind I told him that sure they do - in fact Captain America has one under his mask. After repeated questioning he believed me - but I was wondering - maybe you have an intern, or someone who would like a challenge - could you make a little guy's day by drawing him a hearing impaired super hero?
Thanks for considering this - I am likely to get stuck in your spam filter - but you never know - have a great day - I am attaching a picture of Anthony so you can see one of your dedicated customers.
Then another superstar editor, Lauren Sankovitch passed the letter on to me asking if I wanted to come up with something.
I was so moved by the story, there was no way I WASN'T going to draw something! As I was reading Anthony's story, the name for his device just kept sticking out to me. "Blue Ear." It just sounded like a super hero name. All that was missing was the, "The" in front of it. So I went home and drew out a few sketches of what "The Blue Ear" would look like. From the story, I knew Anthony didn't want to wear his device, so I wanted to make sure that The Blue Ear's listening device was very prominent and very important to his ability as a super hero. I even tried to write all the captions in a way which would focus on how important it is for the Blue Ear to wear his device. Hopefully, Anthony would also realize how important it is for him to wear it everyday as well!
Here was my drawing:
I was so happy to find out that Anthony liked the piece of artwork I created for him. He was the person I was most worried about pleasing. If everyone at work liked it but he hated it, then I would've felt like I let him down. And I don't think my artwork has had as much an impact on his life as he had on mine. He is a four year-old little boy who has to deal with such a hardship everyday, and his first thought was he didn't want to wear his device because he wanted to be a super hero. He wasn't even worried about his hearing condition, he just thought super heroes didn't wear hearing devices. That to me is what makes Anthony amazing because now that he knows that, yes, there are heroes who wear hearing devices, he doesn't see any other obstacles in his way of achieving his goal to be a hero. But being able to face his situation with such courage, already makes him a hero to me!
This story then got picked up by the media. It made it in to some news sites and even on TV. While it's been a bit crazy seeing something I created on TV, it's completely awesome seeing Anthony's story being broadcast to the world.
I'm so fortunate to work at MARVEL, the place that creates the greatest comic book super heroes. It's a great place to spend the time between meeting REAL life heroes like Anthony Smith!
And since Marvel is THE #1 place for comics, just because I was on the news DOESN'T mean I get a break! So here are this week's featured trades:
MARVEL UNIVERSE SPIDER-MAN: AMAZING FANTASY
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL.1: BEHIND THE MASK
MOON KNIGHT BY BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS & ALEX MALEEV VOL.1
AVENGERS: THE MANY FACES OF HENRY PYM
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL.7
UNCANNY X-FORCE VOL.3: THE DARK ANGEL SAGA BOOK 1
THE STAND VOL.3: SOUL SURVIVORS
DEADPOOL VOL.9: INSTITUTIONALIZED
STRIKEFORCE: MORITURI VOL.3
And Check Marvel's Release calendar (LINK) for even more upcoming TRADES.
Special thanks to Bill Rosemann, Lauren Sankovitch, Manny Mederos (who also provided a great piece of art: LINK), Arune Singh, MARVEL, Christina D'Allesandro...and especially to Anthony Smith for inspiring so many of us!
See you next week,
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[Edited By Moderator]