Any creator who's exhibited in Artists Alley at Comic-Con International over the past 24 years is undoubtedly familiar with Clydene Nee, who in the words of Mark Brooks is "the face and hands" of the area and "a true friend of the industry and of artists in particular." An unpaid volunteer for the annual event since 1979, Nee has in recent years experienced a series of health problems, requiring her at last year's con to oversee Artists Alley from a motorized scooter.
When she emailed Brooks over the weekend about a particularly difficult few months, involving kidney failure, emergency surgery, renal failure, dialysis and the need for a kidney transplant, the artist launched a campaign on GoFundMe to help Nee with her mounting medical expenses. (Nee has explained more about her situation today on her Facebook page, writing, "I am sorry to say I will not get better until I get a transplant. I am in what is called End Stage Renal Disease. My kidneys have failed and I am on dialysis 3 times a week.")
"As someone who has had more than one favor done for him by Clydene over the years, I feel the need to give back in some way," Brooks wrote. "While I will be helping out financially, I wanted to reach out to all the artists and fans who have been helped by Clydene and ask for any amount of help you could give in her time of need. Even a small amount will make a world of difference to someone who has been so selfless to all of us. And to any and all fans that have walked the aisles of Artist Alley and enjoyed meeting your favorite illustrator and checking out all the pretty artwork, I encourage you to help out someone that was instrumental in making it such a great experience."
Brooks initially set a modest $3,000 goal (GoFundMe requires a set amount); however, within 20 hours, the campaign has already raised more than twice that, with donations from the likes of Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Steve Lieber, Leinil Yu, Bob Schreck, Colleen Doran, John Layman, Kaare Andrews and Cat Staggs.
" Thanks so much to all the folks that have donated," Brooks wrote in an update. "I know all your funds will be going to easing Clydene's burden and hopefully making her time a bit more bearable."