Grace is teaming up with The Lustgarten Foundation in their battle against pancreatic cancer.
Grace, perhaps best known as the artist on the comic L’il Depressed Boy, is donating all 20 pages of original art from Image’s Burn the Orphanage: Reign of Terror #1 to support research into the insidious disease.
The series of auctions end May 17 and are titled Compassion vs. Cancer.
With only a 6 percent survival rate, pancreatic cancer affects an average of one in 68 people. We were moved by Grace’s effort and asked him about it last night:
Dan Greenfield: What prompted you to do this?
Sina Grace: A friend I went to high school with passed away last month from cancer. … I can’t really describe just how powerless the struggle is to watch people grieve, it’s an inconsolable feeling. Not really knowing how to deal with my own grief, I did what I always do: internalized and put 100 percent of my energy into my work.
Growing up, I have lost a handful of family friends specifically to pancreatic cancer, so it’s the cause I feel oddly connected to.
At the end of the day, that’s all I have to give to larger causes. I don’t make a million bucks doing creator-owned comics, so my time and my art are the assets I have to give back.
How did you go about setting it up?
I had worked with Lustgarten before, about two years ago, maybe? My guy there, Wes, has been a huge champion for the cause, and we worked together to donate the cover of my graphic novel, Not My Bag to pancreatic cancer research. When you know and trust an organization, things move a lot faster.
We spent a few weeks planning the best way to approach the auctions, and worked with the wonderful folks at Image Comics to get timing just right, so that when the book came out, we had a blurb in the comic, a press release out to retailers, and the auctions up and ready to go. The folks at Lustgarten were able to manage all the money stuff, so I could focus 100 percent on making sure we spread the word as best we could.
What kind of support have you been getting for this?
To date, everyone has been super rad and supportive in promoting the auction. Actually, I’m a little overwhelmed by some of the pick-up we’ve gotten from all these awesome websites I had no connection with. I love that social media can be a tool for progress and change, and that these media outlets are reaching thousands of eyes on a topic that is fueled by compassion. My dream is that more of these types of campaigns pop up. … That would make me feel like we accomplished something bigger than ourselves.
Do you plan on doing this again?
Ultimately, I’d love to get to a place where I have some evergreen product on my site that always goes to charity, or some kind of ongoing thing. … I’m working on it. There are a lot of great ways to engage with Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, so it’s been on my mind, for sure.
Here’s how you can get involved
The auctions all started between $10 and $25, allowing fans of all income brackets a chance to participate. All proceeds from the auctions will go to the Lustgarten Foundation to fund and support research into the biological mechanisms and clinical strategies related to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer, as well as facilitating dialogue and public awareness for pancreatic cancer patients, their families, and friends.
Burn the Orphanage is a video game-loving action series from Grace and Daniel Freedman. Issue #1 of the Reign of Terror story arc has just debuted.
To place your bid, visit: http://www.compassionvscancer.com to view all of the auctions, which, again, will remain open until May 17.
To learn more about The Lustgarten Foundation and how 100 percent of donations go to research, please visit www.lustgarten.org.
For more about Grace, visit his site at www.sinagrace.com, and follow @SinaGrace on all social media.