Known for his Emmy-winning roles playing curmudgeons, ranging from Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Carl in the Pixar film UP, actor Ed Asner's true character is that of a philanthropist and loving father who shared his passion for comic books with his children.
Earlier this year, the legendary actor and founders Matt and Navah Asner opened The Ed Asner Family Center, to offer a host of programs, classes and therapy dedicated to promoting self-confidence in differently abled individuals. They plan to open in their new location in November.
On Oct. 17, Heritage Auctions is hosting The Ed Asner Family Center Original Comic Art Charity Auction at HA.com/Asner. Today’s leading comic book artists, including Kevin Nowlan, Alex Ross, Jim Lee and more, have donated high-profile work for the online auction.
“The Asner family have always been comic book fans,” said Matt Asner, Ed Asner’s son and President of The Ed Asner Family Center. “We thought, ‘What can we do to raise the eyebrows of people and highlight creativity?’ We are incredibly excited about doing an original art sale. The Ed Asner Center represents unleashing creativity, and what better way of illustrating this than the world of comics?”
Matt Asner said the core values and programming of the Center are based around creation of an environment that shows the limitless potential of children with different levels of ability, including autism, Down syndrome and developmental delays. “The arts are so important for instilling self confidence in people,” he said.
Matt Asner still remembers his father taking him to newsstands and bookstores while his father was a star on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. “I still remember the first comic book my father ever bought me,” Matt Asner said. "It was an Avengers reprint from 1970. He sees the great, creative atmosphere around comics. He gets it. He saw the creativity, the art and writing involved, and appreciated it.
“We are honored to have 70 pieces of original art from some of the brightest stars in comics in this special auction that we feel could only be done through Heritage,” Asner adds.
Artists donated both individual work and collaborations, including:
Alex Ross; Adam Kubert, Tom Derenick, Danny Miki, Scott Hanna and Lary Stucker; Brent Anderson; Adam Hughes; Colleen Doran; Barry Crain; Dan Jurgens; Karine Charlebois; Cully Hamner; Eric Powell; Geof Darrow; Jerry Ordway; Jim Lee; Tom Raney and Scott Hanna; Jim Valentino and Steve Montano; José Luis García-López; Kelley Jones and Kevin Nowlan; John Cassaday; Mark Bagley and Andrew Hennessy; John Heebink and Aaron McClellan; Phil Hester; John Heebink and Fred Fredericks; Howard Chaykin; José Luis García-López; Lee Weeks; Karl Kesel; Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz; Michael Allred; Aaron Lopresti; Eduardo Risso; John Romita Jr.; Michael Cho; Barry Kitson; Bobby Rubio; Mike Hawthorne; Philip Tan; Steve Lieber, Mark McKenna and Robin Riggs; Mike Norton; Nicoletta Ceccoli; Ryan Sook; Ryan Stegman; Sandy Jarrell; Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna; Howard Porter and John Dell; Tom Everhart; Shawn Martinbrough; Adam Kubert; Sanford Greene; Sam Kieth; Jeff Parker; Tom Derenick; Mostafa Moussa; Danny Miki; Chris Samnee; Scott Hanna and Lary Stucker; Charles Schulz; Paul Pelletier and Sandra Hope; Bill Sienkiewicz; Igor Kordey and Scott Hanna; Paul Smith; Fabio Napoleoni; John Heebink and Don Hudson; Kelley Jones; Scot Eaton and Andrew Hennessy and Kevin Nowlan.
“We are very thankful for the contributions of these artists and the time and friendship of Kevin Nowlan,” Matt Asner said. “Kevin was Superman, Batman and Doctor Strange on this project. We also wish to thank Albert Moy, Spencer Beck, Animazing Gallery and Kurt Busiek for their contributions, as well.”
Select highlights include, Nowlan’s original cover art to Doctor Strange #19 (Marvel, 2017), the original cover art by Lee from Scooby Apocalypse #3 (DC, 2016) and variant cover original art by Cassaday for Captain America: Reborn #6 (Marvel, 2003), published in the popular six-issue series.
Bidding opens Oct. 3 for The Ed Asner Family Center Original Comic Art Charity Auction and concludes Oct. 17 at HA.com/Asner. The Center also offers donors several giving levels and even explains how contributions support various programming. Donations may be made at EdAsnerFamilyCenter.org.