|The 1986 shame campaign|
For the record, I really enjoyed Iron Man 3 and can't believe how implausible Man of Steel was.
Most comic fans are completely unaware, however, of the hardships faced by virtually all comics professionals in their later years. I can't call them retirement years because very few comic artists actually get to retire. Working as freelancers in an industry without a union has left very little in the way of a nest egg or retirement fund for most of the people that wrote, drew, inked, colored or lettered the best comics of the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ages. When considering that most of those creators toiled for low page rates with no chance at ownership and no royalties while building a multi-billion-dollar industry, it's especially despicable. And even contemporary artists were likely to be uninsured until Obamacare went into legislation, which meant bankruptcy and premature death in the face of any serious medical issues. Natural disasters or any other unexpected expense can mean instant unemployment for them just as it can for the rest of us.
|Pang-ju: created in Korea, |
but manufactured in Japan
The Hero Initiative is the first ever federally chartered not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping comic book veterans. Through Hero Initiative, financial aid is available for comic creators who may need assistance with the necessities of life or simply a helping hand back into the comics industry. It's a chance to give back to the people who have given us so much enjoyment. The fund disbursement committee includes Hall of Fame creators Howard Chaykin, Denny O'Neil, John Romita, Sr., Walt Simonson, Roy Thomas, Jim Valentino, and George Perez–who drew me this awesome Robin portrait. The suggested donation for sketches was $40.00, but I tossed a Franklin in the bowl to guilt the crowd around me into giving more than just the minimum for such a worthy cause. George has done well and given back to those less fortunate. He's gregarious and still enthusiastic about comics, fans, & life in general, and his run on New Teen Titans has much to do with Robin / Nightwing being my favorite character of all time. He called me a "Graysonite" with a smile and I nodded proudly.