PHILADELPHIA — Author Neil Gaiman's poem "100 Words," which is illustrated by DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, is being made available for digital download.

DC Comics said Wednesday that the seven-page work by the pair can be downloaded through its DC comics app for mobile devices and on its website for 99 cents. All of DC's proceeds from the sale of the comic will go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The original was published as part of the fund's 2010 annual comic, and copies were only available in a limited edition afterward on Gaiman's website.

Lee said that the chance to offer the illustrated poem was a chance to bring Gaiman's work to a wider audience. Gaiman's comic scrips have included critically-lauded runs on "The Sandman," ''Black Orchid" and "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?"

"This was a unique opportunity for the two of us to collaborate together and I'm thrilled that the story is now available for even more fans in this format," Lee said in a statement.

Gaiman, whose published works include "American Gods" and "The Graveyard Book," among others, said he was asked to write a 100-word poem about death.

"And I did. I tried to make it honest and, given the word limit, simple and true," he said in a statement.

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"Jim Lee took my poem and illustrated it, in a beautiful pencil style, turned it into a comic, as a limited edition print that was published by Neverwear for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and it made people happy," Gaiman added. "Most people haven't seen '100 Words.' I love that there's now an opportunity for everybody to see what Jim and I did, all up close and digital. And I'm thrilled that DC Comics is publishing it for such a good cause."

The New York-based Defense Fund is a non-profit group founded to protect First Amendment rights of the comics art form and the associated community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers.



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