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UPDATED: Do something nice for a comics fan who could use a little niceness.

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of tales of people ripping off comics dealers, stealing original art from cons, forgeries and bootlegging and so on. But this particular incident is the lowest thing I think I’ve ever heard of.

You may have already heard of the tale of Mike Meyer, in St. Louis. If not, you can read about it here.

The short version is that Mike is a guy who’s been on a special-needs disability pension for the last twenty years. He supplements that meager income by working part-time at a fast-food place. The one thing that he really cherished was his Superman collection. Comics, action figures, that kind of thing.

A former co-worker of his at the fast-food place got wind of the collection and figured Mike would be an easy mark. He cultivated a friendship with Mike in order to wangle an invitation to see the collection. Once he’d cased the place… he looted it.

I’ve seen a lot of really unscrupulous people in and around comics over the last thirty years. I daresay you have too, if you have spent any time around the convention circuit or the fan community in general. But even so, I hardly can conceive of the level of sheer douchebaggery involved in preying on a mentally disabled person in order to steal the one thing in his life that brings him real joy.

My friend Rick over at His Name Is Studd thought that maybe we could put together some sort of replace-the-collection effort, much like Mark Evanier did when Len Wein lost his collection when his home burned down in the California wildfires a couple of years ago. So he got hold of the reporter that did the story and she put him in touch with a relative of Mike’s.

What he told Rick was that the police are on it, they know who the thief is and they are still hoping to recover the collection. But, he added, what would really be nice would be if people sent some kind of a card or something, ideally something with Superman on it. Even a little homemade fan art doodle. Whatever.

Great Art is not necessary. Seriously, it's the thought that counts.

Here is the address:

Mike Meyer c/o Bill Smith
7041 Kingsbury Blvd.
St. Louis, Mo. 63130

I, for one, would like a chance to show Mike and his family that not all comics fans are greedy predatory creeps, and I’m hoping you will too. It’s a few minutes out of your day and some postage. Why not take a little time and do something nice for a guy whose only crime was thinking he’d met a fellow fan instead of a thieving soulless asshole?

UPDATE:
I have been getting some very cool links to blogs from people who are doing drawings for Mike and they are just too awesome not to share. Some of these are buried in the comments below but I think the links should be up here where people can see them.

St. Louis station KPLR Channel 11 found the story, and that video is up here, complete with an interview with Mike and information about the comics retailer that’s spearheading a book drive.

Comics Alliance has an update here. Also with video.

Lots of retailers are getting the word out and chipping in, too. A couple I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere are Midtown Comics, in New York City; Coast City Comics in Portland, Maine; Astro-Zombies in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop in Cleveland, Ohio (Siegel and Shuster’s hometown REPRESENT!) and Paper Windows Booksellers right here in my hometown of Seattle.

And DigiCon, “the Digital Comics Convention,” did a live online drawing event from 5pm to 9pm on Sunday, September 11th.

The gallery of cards and fan art I decided deserved its own post. That is now here.

And bless you all. Superman would be proud.

113 Comments

a nice gesture and perfect to show mike that just because some low life decided that his super man joy had to be used to line that thieving assholes pocket that there is still good people to trust.

I’m going to be posting this wherever I can to help <3

your so nice vampy! i going to definitely send this poor guy some love

Just like Vampy, I’m doing what I can to spread the word. No other comic fan like Mike should ever have to go through something terrible like this. Words alone cannot express how saddened I am of this. I hope that lowlife snake that stole his Superman collection gets what he deserves. Hang in there Mike!

I hope that thief gets what he deserves, but more than that; that Mike gets all the love and support HE deserves! Internet Vigilante Mode: ACTIVE.

Let’s show Mike he’s got some Super-Friends! ;)

I hope they catch the fucker!

Aw this made me cry. Both because of that creep who’s dead inside and because of the effort being taken to turn a crappy situation around into something positive. T_T
Cool, I’m game for this. I’ll also try to help spread the word.

Good of you to do this, Greg.
I have to say, I’m not really a violent person, and I oppose things like corporeal punishment and torture, but when I hear about specific cases like this it really makes my blood boil – and wish that once this guy is caught he gets publicly flogged or something similar…

Am I the only person who thinks printing this poor guy’s address on the internet isn’t such a great idea? As the article proves there are some real assholes out there.

I would presume that the address in question is that of the Bill Smith mentioned in the “in care of” part of the address.

There is a drive to help Mike rebuild his collection. Over at the Collector Society Message Boards there is a tread of books that people are sending to Mike.

http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=5067928&Board=4&fpart=all&gonew=1#UNREAD

Feel free to join and help a good cause.

Oh man! that is horrible what happened to mike…I really hope they catch the prick and lock him up!!!!

I’ll see if I have anything I can send to mike….anyway it’s like the symbol shows…hope!

Hang in there,Mike!

Am I the only person who thinks printing this poor guy’s address on the internet isn’t such a great idea? As the article proves there are some real assholes out there.

Brian’s right. This is the address Rick got from the family that they wanted to be used, and I assume mail will be screened. It is NOT Mike’s address.

As of last night, according to Rick, the family isn’t looking for replacement books yet, but I’ve got a bunch set aside here myself for him if that changes. Collectors Society has the master list here of books that have already been pledged if you want to avoid duplication.

The asshole who did this has just redefined the word “scum.” I hope there’s a special place in hell waiting for him.

Gotta figure out something good to send to Mike.

Point me in the direction of the guy that did this to the young man and I promise he’ll be begging to return the collection in under 10 minutes!

Any statement from DC? Sure would be nice if they could kick him some cool exclusive Superman swag.

I wish I had something superman to send out to him but I have always been more of a marvel person but I am going to put some kind of card together to send out to him, it really sucks that there are people out there who only want to take advantage of those out there that are disadvantaged. They better catch this crook

Thanks for doing this article, and thanks for not making too big a deal out of the guy’s disability. The article actually treats him like a human being and not a pity case.

Superman's Dancin' For Blue Jeans

September 8, 2011 at 10:40 am

I think Warner Bros./DC Comics should get involved here and give Mike a REALLY COOL GIFT he can treasure for the rest of his life: A visit to the set of Man Of Steel! Think of how cool that’d be for him! To visit the set, maybe even get a walk-on part/place him as an extra in a scene. He’d be able to watch Man Of Steel and see himself in a Superman movie! Also let him meet Henry Cavill (in full costume, no less) and get his picture taken.
WB/DC should really step-up on this and make it happen, in my opinion.

It really is a shame that things like this happen. Hopefully his collection can be returned to him soon. I’m thinking of doing an original piece of art to send his way, so even if he does get his stuff back he’ll have something new to add to it. It’s really nice that so many people are willing to help !

Superman's Dancin' For Blue Jeans

September 8, 2011 at 10:44 am

@Ray: I’m an artist too. Thinking of something to send the guy as well, in the way of a Superman piece.

Well, damn if that didn’t make me cry for a good five minutes straight. Ray, Superman’s Dancin’, it’s good of ya to send something his way,. I’m no artist, but I’m tempted to send him a little doodle or something, just to show support. It won’t be as valuable as any piece in his collection, but it’s gotta be worth something, right?

Only one solution for this prick: PHANTOM ZONE… nuff said

thanks for posting this, i’ve got a drawing in the mail for him :)

Superman's Dancin' For Blue Jeans

September 8, 2011 at 11:39 am

@Tyler: Right you are, man! Would show Mike how many more people are out there in the fan community that actually care about what occurred. That not everyone in this world is someone out to take advantage.

I’m loving this great show of support among the fan community!
In an industry where more often than not (on the internet), all we read online are debates over comics, trolls with issues that unleash for some strange sense of self-entitled douchey fun (LOL!), and the constant debate over comic book price tags, it’s incredibly cool to see the fans band together this way.

The Man Of Steel would be proud, if he were real. ;)

Just sent a Supes button through Amazon. Be on the look out. Should arrive by the end of this week or early next week.

I definately want to send somthing to this poor fan. Stealing is bad in genral but taking advantage of someone in his condition is down right evil. I’m not a fantastic artist but I’m going to send him a drawing. I really hope they can get his collection back, if not all at least some.

I was thinking about Mike and what could be done for his collection. So glad to see others have done some research. Count me in! I’ll start working on a special custom for Mike, hopefully for next week.

Sending out to my “comic connections”… one response (from a DC artist) gotten so far!

I’d like to send this guy a couple of Superman t-shirts. He looks pretty hefty…any idea what size he might wear? 4X? 5X? I don’t have old Superman stuff (haven’t collected in years), but I would love to send him a couple of t-shirts. I can get those on Ebay (they claim they’re licensed shirts). Having a t-shirt with his hero’s insignia on it should make him smile, a little.

By the way, no relation to this “Gary” jerk! I just happen to have the same last name as this thief’s first name!

Greg, you remain a wonderful guy. I will boost the signal!

Tammy

Hey guys I just posted the piece I did for Mike on my blog. Gonna send it out to him tomorrow. You can check it out at raywegnerart.blogspot.com if you like. Hopefully he’s getting lots of stuff sent his way !!!

I’m really awestruck and moved at how much response this is getting. Bless you all, and thank you.

According to Mike’s family, they have a solid lead on the guy– he’s actually named Gerry, not Gary– and the Granite City cops are on it. Still no word on whether or not they’ve actually got him or if the stuff is intact (I’m hoping that the internet furor hasn’t caused Gerry to dump it all in a panic) but I’ll put up an update when I hear something.

But in any case, I’m delighted to see so much support from the comics community. We all have horror stories of Fans Behaving Badly — so it’s nice to be reminded of the big picture; that as a group, generally we’re pretty nice people.

And I’d love to take credit but it’s Rick D. over at Studd that did the heavy lifting on this. He tracked down the reporter and talked to the family. All I did was add Jonah’s megaphone to it.

As someone with the last name of “Gary”, I sure would like to see “Gerry” get his, so I hope this lead pans out. Thank you for the update. (And once again, anyone know Mike’s size? 3X? 4X? 5X? Remember the t-shirts I want to send!)

Thanks, and if Mike gets to read this or have it read to him, please tell him I hope he doesn’t lose his faith in humanity. He doesn’t know me and I don’t know him, but I can feel his broken heart all the way to the East Coast, where I live.

“The spirit of Superman is great to have around.” – Brandon Routh.

Sorry for being unclear, but yes that address is not Mike’s, it’s his brothers and he will be screening everything that comes in.

Also it really truly gives me hope to see just how many people here and in other places have responded.

Thanks again.

Wait, wait, wait…how do we know this “in care of Bill Smith” isn’t the guy that ripped him off in the first place with some elaborate scheme to get more stuff from the situation?

Robert: I spoke to the reporter who wrote the original story and she is who put me in touch with Mike’s family.

Bill is Bill.

I know it wasn’t part of Mike’s old collection, but I just bought him a copy of the new Jim Lee variant Action #1. I added it to the list over at the Collectors Society boards.

Keep up the good work, everyone!

@Marc,
Thank you, your donation has been added to the list.

I was just crushed by this, really hit me where it counts. I’m going to put something together, for what it’s worth. The world can be so cruel, it’s great to see this outpouring of kindness.

THIS is why I am proud to be a part of the comic book community!

[…] story posted on Comic Book Resources today describes Mike Meyer, a guy who’s been on a special-needs disability pension for the last […]

It’s disgusting that this happened, but it’s heartening to see such an outpouring of generosity from good-hearted people. I don’t have any older Superman comics, but I’ll look through my comics and see what I can send.

Great idea! Getting my office on this.

God, that’s purely disgusting and vile. I’ll do my best to find some good stuff to send his way.

I hope they catch the scumbag responsible.

I just sent a drawing of superman to Mike. I hope he gets his stuff back!

http://mikemakesart.blogspot.com/2011/09/may-justice-be-served.html

My hubby just found out today and he’s pissed about. (I found out days ago, but he’s been sick so I didn’t tell him). We both hope someone makes this piece of scum eat his own teeth. We’ll be seeing what we can dig up and/or make to send him. I KNOW we have something that can go to the cause.

[…] to all the fans who have been touched by this story and are trying to help out. And thanks to Comics Should Be Good! where I initially read […]

I have a special needs child so this hits really close to home.

I know hes getting my Adventures of Superman Annual #11, a sketch and what ever else I find that i think he would like.

Crap didn’t see the pledge list. Oh well 2 copies wont hurt.

My blog on the Edmonton Journal’s website, Button Mash, is generally about video games, but this story touched me enough that I had to write about it. Hopefully it’ll help spread the word some more. http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2011/09/09/off-topic-for-a-good-cause-lets-cheer-mike-up/

[…] created this image for Mike Meyers of St. Louis. You can read his story here. I was really hurt by what happened to Mike and wanted to put a little good out there as so many […]

Not that I am trying to promote my own stuff with this, but I thought Mike might be interested in knowing that during the DigiCon, a virtual comic convention, we will be doing a “Superman for Mike” session on Sunday September 11th from 5PM-9PM EST. During that time, all of the artists that are apart of the DigiCon will be drawing Superman (is it “Supermen” at that point?) to send off to Mike. I’m letting you know in case you would like to log on and watch people draw for him live.

On a side note, I know I am not alone when I say the comic community is incredibly sad to see stuff like this happen Mike and we will all do what we can to make it up to you.

Our hearts go out to Mike! we are inspired by the “replace-the-collection” effort that Greg mentioned, and we will immediately be donating $150.00 worth of Superman comics and merchandise, including a copy of Justice League #1 signed by Jim Lee and Geoff Johns.

We’ve also posted a call to action on our blog to encourage others to donate: http://blog.midtowncomics.com/stolen-superman-collection-call-action/4288/

It’s times like this where we can show that world what a comic community can really do!

I went through all my boxes and pulled out all the duplicate copies of various Superman comics that I’ve collected over the years and I’m sending them Mike’s way today. Whether he gets his collection back or not I hope it makes him feel at least a little bit better and maybe show him that not everyone in the world is a villain like this douche bag that preyed upon him.

http://robdeene.blogspot.com/2011/09/you-too-can-be-superman.html

Here is a link for the current list that members of the Collectors Society Boards have pledged to Mike. Take a look and add to the list if you like.

http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Board=4&Number=5073780&Searchpage=1&Main=233853&Words=&topic=0&Search=true#Post5073780

What a disgrace this whole mess is! I truly hope the culprit gets his ass handed to him.
Here’s my contribution for Mike. The original’s on it’s way in the mail:
http://theeelbog.blogspot.com/2011/09/superman-for-super-man.html

Cheers!

Albuquerque’s best comic shop Astro-Zombies donated some back issues and we shipped them out today. Thanks for letting us know about this, we are stoked we could help out!

It is quite horrible what happened to Mike. Here is hoping that the love reaches him. I am not very good at superheros but I am going to give it a try and draw him something.

I’m sending him the Superman Sketchcard seen in this sheet of PSCs:

[img]http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2011/210/9/b/dc_sketchcard_sampler_3_by_bright_raven-d423kbq.jpg[/img]

Okay, that didn’t work. Not sure how to post the image.

So link:

http://bright-raven.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d423kbq

I’ve got Mike’s back on this. I may lack a good Superman image for support, but I can think of someone who’ll do just as fine: Optimus Prime.

I really feel for him, and would love to do my bit and share some superman love! =D
Only problem is, I live in UK so postage is a bit long winded from here, and I dont have a printer…
Im gunna do an illustration for him today.
Could someone contact me from my blog and arrange to print and sent it from America?

Thank you! I really want to do my bit for him =D

In fact.. heres my entry now.
I may be able to get mine printed and hopefully sent of by Tuesday..

http://zestydoesthings.blogspot.com/2011/09/may-justice-strike-true.html
May justice strike true!

I just heard that someone stole Superman’s entire collection of mike Smith memorbillia… Superman is very upset over it…weird coincidence. I have seen this on t.v. they did an interview with mike smith about his loss. They asked him how he was feeling and he said” I LIKE DA SUPERMAN….”

You fuckers made me cry… Such a pretty gesture. I’ll draw something for Mike too, for sure.

[…] Holden put the word out on his blog about a call to arms for the Internets about a guy named Mike. Mike is a special-needs pensioneer who spends his days […]

A message from Mike was posted on Facebook by another friend of his…

From Mike: I want to Thank you my new found friends. It’s almost as if you all formed a fan club which should be referred to as “Supermen/women United” and this dark cloud that was over me has disappeared and the sky is clear. You are certainly applying the scripture Matthew 7 vrs 12. On the other hand this Gerry who is a no good buzzered like predator is applying the traits in the scripture of 2nd Timothy 3 vrs 2 to 4 and he will not enter into the Kingdom. Thank you very much for your support it has been very encouraging. On the other hand if my stuff is returned to me I will inform you. Special note “I would like to see George Reeves on a postage stamp.

Also word is out that the first set of packages and cards have begun to arrive.

Comic fans rock.

randypan the goatboy

September 11, 2011 at 5:26 am

uhhhhh. Deep Mike…

The word on this story has made it to Arizona. I dug through and mailed the Superman comics that I had to Mike. I am so proud of the way everyone has kicked in to replace his collection. If each of us send him a few things, just think what we can do!

These are all awesome. I’m going to continue to edit in the original art pieces people send me for another couple of days at least. If it keeps growing, I might split them off into their own post.

Superman's Dancin' For Blue Jeans

September 12, 2011 at 11:38 am

Hey Cool! Jon Bogdanov did something up!
Would like to see more former Superman artists do some sketches for him too! ;)

Hey Mike! I’m sorry that you lost your collection to a bad person. There’s still lots of good people in the world. Here’s something I made for you. Hope it helps you feel better about the world.Superman is Force for Good. I hope I linked that properly.

Hi There!

I was just wondering where I should send my artwork to (hoping to do something on canvas)?

Cheers

Ahmed, the address is listed in the column above. Same one–

Mike Meyer c/o Bill Smith
7041 Kingsbury Blvd.
St. Louis, Mo. 63130

Greg,
Is the address above the same one I could send some Superman themed things to. I have a huge collection of figurines and other things that I never look at. I would like to send Mike some of my stuff, he would probably appreciate it more.

Also, I can’t draw to save my life, but I am a huge Superman fan, my dad has a huge collection and that’s how it started. So for Mike, here is a picture of the Tat that I have on my arm.

http://imgur.com/4azTz

Is the address above the same one I could send some Superman themed things to.

Yes, absolutely, that is THE address that we were given…. there are comics retailers collecting stuff to send and so on but that’s the address that is GUARANTEED to get stuff to Mike.

Hi, here’s my drawing for Mike. May justice prevail!

Highlighted this at the beginning of my weekly vlog, but wanted to end my TamTUesday with a color sketch for Mike :D

http://campl.us/eRp1

Hey I was wondering if it would be okay for me to do up a Superman sprite for this guy. I know it isn’t much, but I’d like to do what I can.

I know it isn’t much, but I’d like to do what I can.

I’m sure that it would be welcome. I know a lot of people are sending some serious loot, but all that the family ASKED for was a card or a letter, maybe with Superman on it. That’s IT. So everything counts.

[…] This story is as infuriating as it is inspiring. Mike Meyer, a mentally disabled man from St. Louis, had his beloved collection of Superman comics and memorabilia stolen by a man pretending to be his friend. He’d been collecting for over thirty years. That’s the infuriating part. […]

[…] Également, Dimanche, il y a avait un évènement dans lequel les artistes devaient dessiner Superman en direct afin de supporter Mike Meyer, un américain aux facultés mentales affaiblies, qui s’est fait voler presque toute sa collection Superman (milliers de livres, figurines, etc..) évaluées à plusieurs milliers de dollars. Un collègue de travail a exploité sa faiblesse afin de lui volé des sa collection. Vous pouvez lire toute l’histoire (en anglais) en suivant ce lien. […]

[…] Also on Sunday, all artist present had to draw Superman in order to support Mike Meyer, an American with a mental disability, got the majority of his amazing Superman collection robbed by a colleague who tricked him in becoming friends. You can read more to the story by clicking here. […]

I was also part of The Digi Con this past weekend, and here’s what I did for this great cause:

http://www.thedrunkenfools.com/2011/09/14/superdrunk/

http://twitpic.com/6krw55 Sent a little something for Mike, wishing him the best of luck getting that asshole

I got something posted here on my Deviantart for him. Can somebody tell me where to mail it to (I am from Europe, so mailing it would be kinda slow) link to the work: http://yavaho155.deviantart.com/#/d49u6oa

I don’t know if this helps in anyway, but here is a sprite edit I did of a Superman sprite. http://oi56.tinypic.com/mim2ko.jpg

Twitchy Dolphin Flix is sending a copy of Funny Books
http://twitchydolphin.com/funnybooks/

I’m only finding out about this now, since my life’s been a little chaotic after Hurricane Irene hit the island. And man, I’m shocked- both at what happened and at the outpouring of compassion that resulted.

I’ve become very cynical about the world of comics over the years. Not without reason, mind. But things like these help to remind one that comics are still full of fans and creators who DO give a damn. Thanks, Greg, and everybody else. :)

[…] in Granite City, Illinois. have arrested a man suspected of stealing thousands of dollars worth of Superman memorabilia from a mentally disabled collector in St. Louis. Better still, they were able to recover the […]

Superman's Dancin' For Blue Jeans

September 16, 2011 at 6:55 pm

SUPER-NEWS TO END THE DAY!!!!! TRUTH AND JUSTICE SERVED!!!

Here’s a story page of Superman Vs. Brainiac that I sent off to Mike in the mail just this morning!

http://i719.photobucket.com/albums/ww192/EquisX/SupermanVsBrainiac-Colors-Resized.jpg

And here’s an extra colored sketch that I sent to him of Superman with some of the other Justice League Of America!

http://i719.photobucket.com/albums/ww192/EquisX/JusticeLeagueOfAmericaColoredSketch-Resized.jpg

—“Look! Up In The Sky!!!” ;)

Eeeee Christine I love yours!!!!

[…] his massive Superman collection of comics and memorabilia. It is a really sad story, but it is amazing how the community is responding and it has a happy ending as the thief was caught over the […]

[…] After this news broke, it traveled faster than a locomotive to comic book news sites, among them Comic Book Resources and Comics Alliance, where the outreach to help Meyer replace his stolen collection has been truly […]

[…] Also on Sunday, all artist present had to draw Superman in order to support Mike Meyer, an American with a mental disability, got the majority of his amazing Superman collection robbed by a colleague who tricked him in becoming friends. You can read more to the story by clicking here. […]

[…] Illinois man who stole thousands of dollars worth of Superman memorabilia from a mentally disabled collector in late … has been sentenced to six years in […]

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