Monday, July 13, 2009

Giving back to the man who gave us an Oracle

I'm not sure how many of you know the name John Ostrander. He, along with his wife, are responsible for - among many other things - Barbara Gordon being Oracle.

To quote Wikipedia and Gail Simone . . .

"Following the release of the graphic novel, comic book editor and writer Kim Yale discussed how distasteful she found the treatment of Barbara Gordon with her husband, fellow comic writer John Ostrander. Rather than allow the character to fall into obscurity, the two decided to revive her as a character living with a disability." - Wikipedia's entry on Barbara Gordon

"Kim Yale and John Ostrander picked up the character and made her into a brilliant master computer operator and one of the most fascinating characters in comics." - Gail Simone

And coming from Gail Simone, well, 'nuff said.

Also, he's the mind behind the classic comic book known as Suicide Squad. Deadshot and Amanda Waller wouldn't be running around the DCU being awesome (or at least awesomely morally ambiguous). Essentially? Without John Ostrander, we'd have had no Birds of Prey. No Checkmate. No Secret Six.

Hell, innumerable other additions to the DCU would be non-existent without his influence.

Tragically, the man who helped create and champion the world's first superheroine living proudly with a disability now needs your help. Thanks to Kevin Church, I've learned that Mr. Ostrander is currently losing his sight to glaucoma. One can only imagine how crippling this is for someone who works in the field of graphic novels. Luckily, you can help him keep his sight.

Look, guys, I know times are tough right now but it's the man who helped create Oracle and Amanda Waller. Hell, I'm having Ramen for dinner most of this week. That said, I still managed to at least throw a measly dollar his way today. Please, help out Mr. Ostrander with a donation, however small. Sorry to preach at you but it's just the right thing to do.

One last quote, this time from John Ostrander himself on Oracle:

". . . we knew that others with disabilities might look at her [Oracle] and feel good reading about her . . . These shouldn't be stories about a disabled person; they are stories about a compelling fascinating character who HAPPENS to be in a wheelchair and I think that's correct. Barbara isn't her handicap; there's more to her than that."

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