As we've reported and discussed here on Bleeding Cool extensively, the award-winning pop culture photographer and writer of the successfully Kickstarted Shmuck anthology featuring 22 top indie cartoonists, Seth Kushner was suddenly diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia at the age of 40 this spring, and was immediately hospitalized. He underwent several rounds of chemo to wipe out the illness in preparation for a bone marrow transplant, and it's been a long year already for Seth with the majority of his time spent in the hospital since.
During that time, he's been keeping himself admirably busy working on comics stories, drawing superheroes for his young son Jackson, and helping support various Delete Blood Cancer drives happening in New York. He's even helped create a comic and set of characters to benefit the charity and spread the word about blood cancer awareness.
Prominent members of the comics community from Jimmy Palmiotti to Dan Slott have been helping keep Seth's spirits up through visits and phone calls, and the Brooklyn-based comics scene of which Seth has been an integral part have been visiting him and keeping in touch to monitor his progress. After a brief stint of time at home in July preparing for a transplant, Seth returned to the hospital to ready for the procedure only to receive bad news: his Leukemia was no longer in remission and he had to go through yet more chemo before he would be ready for the transplant.
It's been a time of great courage and patience for Seth, during which he's inspired us all with his tenacity and spirit. Being away from his family has no doubt been the hardest thing for Seth, but now he faces the inevitable hardship of financial strain from months off of freelance work and mounting hospital bills. Friends have been talking for some time about the need for a benefit event to help Seth through this time, and that day is soon to arrive.
On August 26th, a bevvy of comics professionals and friends will be hosting a "Save Our Schmuck Benefit" for Seth Kushner in Brooklyn at Union Hall. The event will be produced by Jeff Newelt and co-produced by HEEB Magazine, of which Seth has been a frequent supporter and contributor. It will be an evening of live comix performances, comedy, and music in celebration of Seth and his enduring spirit.
Performers will include:
The comics community has rallied around Seth, and this is a great opportunity to turn up physically and make a difference in Seth's life as well as make a stand against this illness that affects millions of people in the world each year. It's a great way to raise Seth's spirit as he continues to wait for the transplant he needs to return to his creative professional life and family, and we certainly hope the arts community will heed this call and make a point of supporting a guy who's done remarkable things to draw attention to comics and the creative community in New York and his native Brooklyn.
If you aren't able to make the Benefit event, you can still make a difference in the fight against blood cancer by supporting Delete Blood Cancer. You can complete a registration form and swab the inside of your cheek and in less than five minutes, you can potentially save a life. Visit Delete Blood Cancer to learn more.
You can also support Seth's treatment and recovery directly by visiting his newly established gofundme page, as well as helping his family out in this time of need.
Some of Seth's works include:
Seth Kushner is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, NY, where he and his wife, Terra are raising their five year old son. A renowned photographer, his work has appeared in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, L'Uomo Vogue, Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker and other publications. Published books include, The Brooklynites, Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics and upcoming New York Comics.
Seth is co-founder of TRIP CITY, home to his CulturePOP photocomix and Schmuck comics. In 2013, Seth co-founded HANG DAI Editions an independent publishing imprint.