Cliff interviewed by SBC regarding Balm in Gilead 8/27/06

Clifford Meth: Working to help Israel’s Children

by Kevin Noel Olson
Aug. 27, 2006

Clifford Meth drops Balm in Gilead project to aid Israel's children of all creeds

KEVIN NOEL OLSON: Clifford, can you tell us a bit about what will be included in Balm in Gilead?

CLIFFORD METH: I’ve invited a number of leading comics and science-fiction writers, as well as some of the most respected comics illustrators, to participate in this project, so you’ll be getting top-flight stories and artwork.

KNO: Where did the idea for this anthology arise?

CM: Eric Mahr, the president of Mahrwood who lives in Jerusalem, wanted to do a project that would directly benefit the many children who’ve been impacted by the war in northern Israel, so he contacted me. He envisioned a comics-related project and I expanded the idea into its current form.

KNO: How were you able to involve the creators?

CM: I called them and asked them to participate. I have a friendship or working relationship with a number of these creators. Jeffrey Jones and I had long been discussing doing something together; Stan Lee has been a friend of mine for many years; Neal Adams and I spearheaded several charity projects together... It’s the kind of project that doesn’t take much prodding to get people to participate. We’re talking about helping children who are victims of war. I only had one creator tell me "no" and that’s because of the political implications of helping Israeli children. Frankly, I was shocked by her naiveté. The children in Haifa are Jews, Christians and Muslims. This has no political implications whatsoever.

KNO: What is the goal of this project?

CM: Creatively, I'd like to provide an eventful book--one that people will find an enjoyable reading experience. Politically, there’s no goal. Financially, we hope to raise money and make a small difference in the lives of some children.

KNO: What distribution channels are available to get the proceeds to the beneficiaries?

CM: The book will be distributed through the usual channels. I believe that Mahrwood Press is taking direct orders at their website,, but comics shops will be able to order the book via Diamond and I suspect it will be available in most Barnes and Noble and Borders bookstores.

KNO: Do you have support from other governmental or private agencies?

CM: We’re not seeking any. We’re simply donating all proceeds from the book to the Heart and Soul Organization in Israel. They will distribute the monies.

KNO: Please, give us any remaining thoughts on the Balm in Gilead project that may not have been covered.

CM: Well, I saw some ignorant criticism of the book on some idiot’s message board; something to the effect of, "Who is doing something for the kids in Lebanon?" I propose that anyone smug enough to say, "Someone oughta do something" about ANYthing get off their lardy posterior and do something themselves. As I said, the children benefiting from this effort are from multiple religions--not that that should matter; they just happen to be on the Israeli side of the border. But the Heart and Soul Organization does not see color nor race nor religion when distributing aid--they just see people. Now, if you really want to ponder something, ask yourself if Muslim charities in that region have that same mandate? Or better yet, ask them.

KNO: Thank you for sharing this information Clifford. It’s great to know we can all do something positive in an area where much seems so extremely negative. Thanks to all the creators working on the book for making it so simple and enjoyable to help in an area where it’s needed by those we always call our future; the children.

For more information, visit: and the Heart and Soul Organization here:

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