AN APPEAL TO HELP DAVE SIMONS
FROM DANIEL BEST
Not many people know this but a fair while back artist Dave Simons was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Throughout the entire ordeal Dave kept working as best he could and was his usual bright and cheerful self. Such is the measure of the man that he didn't tell all that many people, but he didn't shy away from it either. Most people around him knew his condition and knew that he had good days and bad days. If you spoke to Dave, or interacted with him at a convention, then you'd probably not been aware of his condition from the way he presented himself.
Dave isn't one for wanting people to treat him differently because of what he was going through, nor did he want sympathy – all he wanted was good friends, good conversations and to keep working as long and as hard as he could. He underwent a series of treatments, including chemotherapy, and came through the other side apparently cured. The treatments took their toll though, both physically and financially. Slowly but surely Dave pulled himself back up off the ropes and managed to secure commissions and also comic book work, his greatest love, as he was assigned a semi-regular stint with the title Army Of Darkness
(which pays peanuts really), along with sketching various Red Sonja
covers for Dynamic Forces
to use as one-off variants and drawing over 1,500 trading cards for various Rittenhouse
trading card sets. With the latter, Dave's true nature came to the fore when he began to recommend artists that he knew to Rittenhouse so that they could also find some steady, paying work.
Recently Dave and I have been talking, via the internet, on an almost daily basis. Over the past few weeks he'd been complaining, quietly, about an occurrence of bursitis which was restricting his ability to draw for long periods of time. During one of his check ups he mentioned it and got it looked at. The news wasn't good. In fact the worst kind – what Dave thought was bursitis is actually a tumour. The cancer has also spread to other parts of his body and the diagnosis is grim. "The doctors tell me that now I'm officially "incurable"," says Dave, "The silver lining is that they can keep me alive for some time to come. I'll have to go thru a much heavier regimen of radiation and chemotherapy than was originally thought and will have to have a port installed."
Thankfully the bulk of Dave's medical costs are covered due to Dave having being part of the Coast Guard
in his youth and he receives excellent medical care from the Veteran's Administration Hospital
. However the day to day costs, his bills such as utilities, phone, internet and rent, are a struggle and won't become any easier as Dave's condition worsens. Dave won't ask for help, he's not that kind of a guy. So I'll ask, not on behalf of him, but for him. Dave's bills will be increasing – he hasn't got a regular comic book gig and, unlike the artists of today, he didn't work on a title that made him millions of dollars. The immediate concern is taking care of Dave's day to day needs, and that means paying his bills so he can concentrate on improving the quality of his life. How can this be done?
Three ways – you can donate cash to Dave directly via PayPal
at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
No amount is too small, no amount is too big. If you want to remain anonymous, you can PayPal either myself (at Jet_blaq@bigpond.com
) or Bob Shaw (at email@example.com
) and we'll get the cash to Dave, every cent of it.
The second way is to donate items for a series of on-going auctions designed to benefit Dave. This can be pages of original art, sketches, comic books, signed items such as prints or books, anything that people might have lying around that could be of value then feel free to send it to Dave's art rep, Bob Shaw
. We've established an eBay account solely to assist Dave; auctions will be going up as items come in and all the money will be going directly to Dave.
Items can be sent directly to Bob at the following address:
PO Box 650
Derry, NH 03038
The third way is to contact Dave and commission him to draw you something and pay him. This way Dave remains active and you get a damn fine piece of art in return.
If you have any questions then feel free to email me (at firstname.lastname@example.org
) or Bob (at email@example.com
) and we'll answer them as best we can. If you want to send Dave a message then again, email and I'll make sure Dave gets it, otherwise, if you're on Facebook, join the Dave Simons Appreciation Society and send your thoughts to Dave directly. Let's all chip in and help Dave, as a way of saying thanks for all the joy he's brought over the decades via his art. Dave is a guy who gives so much and asks for very little, now let's all dig deep and give Dave his due.