Friday, August 01, 2008


Hello dears,

Remember the accident I described in "Goodbye To Comics?" The one I was uninsured for?

Well, I paid off a relatively good portion of it over the years, but that involved draining out my personal savings to zero.

I still owe $2900, and I have to pay $500 by next week.

Which is fine. I mean, I really can't afford any of this, but it's going to be fine.

I've reduced my hours at my current job to give me more room to breathe with my writing, and taken on an extra marketing freelance gig. In a couple of months, when everything kicks in, I should be fine. But the next month is going to be brutal. And I will be paying medical insurance out-of-pocket, so that's a bit more stress.

I don't like being in debt. I never planned to be in debt. I never planned to have this insane accident.

I don't like borrowing money. I don't like credit. I want to start a family. I want a fresh start.

This is all to say, that I'm selling off everything of value -- that is not directly related to my job or my writing or is really special to me -- on eBay. Starting next week.

Don't feel sorry for me. Some people, many people, are in far far far worse shape than I am. But as I said, I don't like being in debt. I do think it is bullshit that people have their lives and finances gutted because of accidents outside their control -- that while they are still in the hospital bed they are being asked for how many bandages they used so they can itemize those bandages on your bill. Yes, they actually fucking do that.

Really, this is just a hanging dread that's carried over from a couple of years ago. I'm going to face it head-on and make the sacrifices and put it to bed in as positive a way as I can think of. And I'm going to clear out my medical debts and come out of this better than before.

So when the auction starts, if you want to check it out and buy anything...

That's all I'm saying. Have a good weekend!


  1. Good luck starting fresh but I'll warn ya that it's just about impossible to have a family without carrying some medical debt. (Sorry to be a Negative Nancy or Pessimestic Pete.) The bloodwork just to get my daughter the okay to go to kindergarten was 90 bucks and this with some pretty gook insurance. If a needle breaks skin, hello debt.

    On the upside, it's always good to sell off some stuff to make room for new stuff and it's always fun to look at the old items as you box them up for ebay. Good luck on the fresh start. I'm lookng forward seeing a new C&D on the racks at the funny book shop.

  2. Anonymous2:07 PM

    Let us know as soon as the stuff is up. I think I speak for most of us out here in OS land in saying that we can't wait to help! --Craig

  3. When I had big hospital bills-- for facial reconstruction-- I was lucky, since I was a "special victim" & the city gave me some dough.

  4. As others have said, good luck and hope you can sort everything out.

    As far as the auctions go, would you be willing to ship to the UK or is a "US only" kinda deal?

    Good luck either way :)

  5. you should set up a paypal account and could come up with several ways to get your $500-

    you could ask users to send you money
    you could have them pay for you to blog about whatever fucked up thing they can come up with
    you could have them pay for a story that you would write, just a short story


    im sure you could come up with some kind of creative venture that your users would pay for.

    as many hits that you get, a dollar a person would add up really quickly.

    use your online presence to your advantage.

    you can even show items that you are about to sell, and say, "i dont want to sell this, i love it," and have a counter to see how much you can raise to not sell it, then if you don't raise your goal per that item, you can sell it.

    or something i dont know, you are creative, get to thinking, so that way you dont have to sell your stuffs.

  6. If buying booze for you when next we meet will help, then I'm in!

  7. eBay is a godsend. It would be nice if the US joined the rest of the civilized world in providing health insurance so that the population wouldn't live in constant fear of illness.

  8. Holy fuck. That's why I'm glad we have a free health service in the UK.
    Make sure you tell us when you're auctioning stuff and if you'll ship to the uk I'm sure I'll find stuff I want to purchase. :)
    And Sammy the K's ideas are good one. Seriously, I bet loads of people would donate a few dollars to you and it would all stack up.

  9. I'd second @sammy.the.k's thoughts.

  10. Anonymous4:39 PM

    hmmm good ideas for paypal! better yet, you could "pre-sell" autographed copies of C+D (maybe even get Irene to sign them as well) and send them out when it gets published. I bet the OS readers would cough up dough for that! Just don't sell the golden carrot award.... :)

  11. Heh. I just thought of something else you have the power to give away in exchange for money, albeit not too quickly. You can sell off the occasional character names in C&D.

    - random one-time appearance: $5
    - one-book guest: $20
    - multi-episode guest: $50
    - villain: $100

    I for one would be first in line to be a small-time, one-shot villain in the Marvel Universe. I mean, as you can see from my avatar, I'm already a true hero in the DCU.

  12. Hi, I'm a daily reader of "Occasional Superheroine" from Belgium and it's amazing that the healthcare system in the U.S. sucks so terribly, even for persons with insurance. Here in Belgium a whole lot gets paid back and with my insurance, that doesn't cost a fraction of what it costs in the states, I don't have to pay a thing.
    I won't rub it in too much and say that you have all my sympathy.
    Let us know under what name you're selling, maybe we can get the prices much higher.

  13. In a similar situation several years back, I sold the bulk of my comics collection to a local dealer who was also a personal friend. It was difficult, but it was the right thing to do (especially as a single father of three!) It sounds like you're being responsible with your debt, and that's an admirable thing.

    Oh, and six years later, I'm debt-free except for my mortgage. That feeling you're going to have when you finish paying off that $2900 is extremely satisfying. Good luck!

  14. Man, that sucks. I'm no stranger to debt myself, and I hate having it hanging over my head. My wife and I just had the whole "pay down the debt vs put money in savings" conversation.

    But at least you know money is coming in, and that the really tight spot is of finite duration. That's a definite comfort.

    I'll keep my eyes peeled for the auction items, but in the meantime, how about a donation? :)

  15. That sucks... I hope you really do come out better than before, I also think the US should be flooded by riots of people demanding the universality of health care and insurance.
    hope you do well, and can't wait to get my hands on the cloak and dagger stuff

  16. Hey everyone,
    I'll have more detailed comments tomorrow because I admit I socked away a few drinks at dinner tonight because I was so stressed out, but you all are wonderful & thank you for the support.

    Those that donated -- I'll have a more coherent response tomorrow, but I am very touched and honored and I will find a way to make this up to you with the very best blog I can do.

    I got a few gems in the auction stuff, and a bunch of oddball items that you may like.

    Basically I figure that anything that's not in my immediate office on display should go. I'm not gonna sock away collectibles in closets anymore or stuff like that. I think you need to enjoy what you have or pass it on to others to enjoy.

    Again, thanks everyone & I will have more detailed stuff to say tomorrow.You rock.

    And Peter, I will probably take you up on that next time we all meet up! :-)

  17. Good luck, Val. Poverty sucks, but it sounds like you're tackling it head-on.

  18. Oh wow... good luck with that! Everyone once in a while the highs (Cloak and Dagger) come along holding hands with some lows (debt). I don't know if it's particularly helpful to note that obvious little... er... whatever it is.

    Just good luck! It will work out. It will!

  19. Yes others are far more in debt. I owe nearly 200,000 for example and there is no particular indication I'll be able to pay it at present.

    Sadly, eBay is not really an option for adult-level debt.

  20. Re R A POrter's comment:
    *raises hand* I would very very gladly pay possibly stupid money to get my name in a Cloak and Dagger comic. By stupid money I mean possibly up to $200. To me that's daft, but richer people may pay more. It'd be a massively popular thing to auction I reckon.

  21. Anonymous6:19 PM

    Occasional lurker here -- love your blog, have my own debt problems, but would look for your ebay auction if I knew where to find it. What's your ebay membername?

  22. Sorry to read this, Val, and I'll help in whatever way I can. Your readers should know that this is an excellent reason to vote for Democrats, even the crummy ones, straight down the ticket (on the Working Families party line if you live in New York State).

  23. Hey, where is your ebay store!?