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Apocrypha Entertainment Presents:

If you saw Josh Medors in a bar, you might do your level best to avoid him for fear of pissing him off. From the strong muscular frame, to the intricate tattoos running up his arms, he’s not exactly what you picture when you think “comicbook artist.” He’s more what you might picture when you think “badass dude.”

And he certainly isn’t what you might picture when you think about someone battling a serious illness.

But the fact is that he is exactly that. A year ago, Medors was diagnosed with a cancer on his spinal column that was so rare that there were no treatments. And being a freelance artist, he had no insurance. The comics community rallied around him, culminating in a benefit auction at Emerald City Comic-Con last spring. I interviewed Medors last April to see how he was doing, but hadn’t really heard any scuttlebutt about his current situation since. Fortunately, he was able to make it out for the Phoenix Comicon in late January and I was able to meet the man in person. And chat with him again and get an update about his health status.

MM: Josh, you look good!

JM: Thanks. I really appreciate all the support and interest about what was going on. It was amazing how the comics community came together for me. I mean, it was at the right time and everything just came together. The options I found myself with, the stuff people sent me… I’ve had people send me sketch pencils and sketchbooks. I had one guy send me some collectible Wolverine stuff.

It’s just really nice; I never expected the outpouring that came from everybody. It’s great to be working- I wish every job field could be like this. It’s bad that I have to go through what I’m going through of course, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else, but I wish everyone could experience what it’s like to have a community come together behind them like they have for me. It’s amazing.

MM: That’s great! So you’re working- what are you working on these days?

JM: SWAMP DEMON for Frazetta Comics is out now, published by Image. Right now I’m working on another Frazetta book with Josh Ortega- it’s the Sorcerer from the classic paintings. And also the Swamp Demon book tied into DEATH DEALER and had a bunch of the Death Dealer stuff in it- it was the only one of the four one-shots that did. The Sorcerer also ties into Death Dealer as well which is one of the reasons Ortega and I teamed up again.

I’m also scheduled to do THE NIGHT STALKER, a book with Steve Niles, and also another book that was written by Frazetta, Jr. That’ll be a two-part deal instead of just a one-shot. So I’m real excited about that, to be working with Frazetta Jr. I’m in contact with him through Jay Fotos. It’s just surreal; I grew up loving Frazetta’s artwork and now he approves all my stuff.

MM: So you’re looking good and working hard. How are you feeling?

JM: It’s off and on. Some days I feel great, some days are kind of rough. It depends on when I have my chemo. I went to so many hospitals- all these hospitals that claimed they specialized in rare cancers and rare treatments- and gone through a lot of trouble. Thank God for my mom and my wife; they’ve helped contact all these people for me and half of them have turned me down. They’ve said “Sorry, there’s nothing we can do for you- there’s no treatment on record for your type of cancer.” It’s unfortunate that my cancer is that rare. The doctor that I’m at now- thank God I found him, because he’s an amazing oncologist- he says he’s only seen maybe a total of two people with this kind of cancer and I’m one of them.

It’s really just according to the chemo. The doctor I’m at now is at The James Center in Columbus, Ohio, which is kind of weird. I found someone willing to treat me (so close to home). We’re trying different chemos; the first chemo we tried, I had surgery and they drilled a hole in my skull and inserted a port where a tube went down to my brain and then they did a (chemo) reservoir on the top of my head where they inject the chemo. What they were actually doing was chemo on my spinal fluid. But I had a bad reaction to that and ended up in the hospital for a few weeks. So right now we’re switching chemos to see what’s working. The one I’m on now is a little easier on me and seems to be doing okay. I’m actually going in next week to get scanned and see how it’s working. So I’m nervous about that.

I’m out here at this comic-con because I had to get out of the house! I was feeling pretty good. My mom and my wife were pretty much against me coming out, but I had to go. I’m feeling okay, I did this show the first two years they had it, and I said “I’m going back out.”

MM: They might be jealous of you because you’re in good weather!

JM: Oh yeah! I left 18 degrees in Columbus, Ohio to come out to 75 degree weather!

MM: It’s good to see you, Josh. You look great- you look like a man who’s kicking ass and moving forward. Your schedule’s full- I think your fans are going to be pleased about that. Thanks again for your time!

JM: Thanks so much. And thanks to everybody out there for everything they’ve done for me. I really appreciate it! 

Marc Mason

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