With six decades of work under his belt, Russ Heath is arguably one of the most important creators in comics. It was his art that was, to put it charitably, "adapted" by Roy Lichtenstein for the pop art pieces that made him famous. Of course, as is unfortunately so often the case for hard-working creators in comics, while Lichtenstein made millions lightboxing panels Heath had drawn in the pages of DC's romance and war comics, Heath himself never saw a dime, despite continuing a career that saw him become one of the most respected elder statesmen of the industry.
Now, at the age of 84, Heath has written and drawn a short comic (with colors and lettering by Darwyn Cooke) about his experience not only with Lichtenstein, but with the Hero Initiative and how they've helped his life as well.
Now in its third year, the Kirby4Heroes campaign headed up by Jack Kirby's granddaughter, Jilian Kirby, is setting its sights a little higher.
It's increasing its fundraising goal, which benefits comics creator non-profit group the Hero Initiative, from $10,000 to $15,000, and is aiming to get even more artists and comics shops involved in the effort. It's also been endorsed by ComicsPRO, the trade organization for comic retailers, according to the LA Times' Hero Complex.
If you weren’t aware of it before the past few weeks, even a passing interest in the recent Internet comics community likely informed you of the medical-expense-related plight a high-profile pair of comic book creators have been experiencing . First, there was Stan Sakai, the creator of Usagi Yojimbo, in dire straits because of an extended hospital stay for his wife, Sharon. Then there’s Bill Mantlo, the co-creator of Rocket Raccoon, who was severely injured in a skating accident 22 years ago and has required full-time care ever since. (He’s been under care for two decades, but Rocket's appearance in the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie has brought him back into the public eye.)
Both of these men have had to turn to donations from fans and colleagues to help with their considerable expenses, and those people have made admirable efforts to help these creative artists whose work has brightened their lives. Generosity is a good thing. But it shouldn’t have to be this way.
A week from today would have been Jack Kirby's 96th birthday.
To celebrate, the Hero Initiative has recruited more than 40 artists to "Wake Up and Draw" a birthday card to Jack next Wednesday. The art will be available to view in a gallery at ComicArtFans.com and will later be auctioned off to support the charity, which helps comics creators with financial needs. Meanwhile, the King's granddaughter, Jillian Kirby, has recruited comic book stores around the country to donate some of the proceeds from their sales that day to The Hero Initiative as well.
For Monkeybrain Comics, Thanksgiving is more than just the fourth Thursday of November and an excuse to eat some turkey and watch the Macy's parade. The digital comics imprint - Home to such titles as Bandette, Edison Rex and The October Girl - is taking the entire month of November to give thanks to comics creators who have paved the way before them by donating its profits for the month to the Hero Initiative.Monkeybrain co-founder Chris Roberson explained the decision
Fundraising: Jillian Kirby, the 16-year-old granddaughter of Jack Kirby, announces Kirby4Heroes, a fundraising effort for the Hero Initiative, in honor of The King of Comics' August 28 birthday at Hero Complex.
TV: NBC is developing a live action adaptation of Adam Beechen and Manny Bello's
The comic book community was distressed to learn last week that the late Robert Washington III, best known as for co-writing the original appearances of the pioneering teen superhero Static for Milestone Media and DC Comics, faced the possibility of being buried in an unmarked grave site for indigent New Yorkers -- a consequence of the very dire financial circumstances he found himself in at the time of his death earlier in June. A successful Hero Initiative campaign was mounted to raise funds to give Washington a proper funeral, and he was laid to rest on Monday with his surviving family
Last week saw the passing of Robert L. Washington III, the longtime comic book writer perhaps best known as the co-writer of the original appearances of the Milestone Media/DC Comics character Static, at the age of 47. To make the situation more tragic, Washington's financial situation at the time of his death may mean that his burial won't b
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