Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Hero Initiative is looking for a few good video crews!

The Hero Initiative is on the lookout for production companies/producers/videographers who would be willing to tape Hero events at cons across the country and interview comics professionals.

Companies need to be a top-to-bottom operation. You’ll need to shoot, edit and deliver pro shot materials on your own, with minimal (but critical) direction from The Hero Initiative.

If you’d like to volunteer your time, please submit a resume and/or send us a link to your demo reel.

We are looking for coverage in the following markets:
• Manhattan/Long Island (needed ASAP)
• Columbus, OH (needed ASAP)
• Brighton, MI (50 mi. W of Detroit; needed ASAP)
• Phoenix/Mesa, AZ (for convention 23-25 JAN)
• Orlando, FL (for convention 27 FEB-MAR 1)

Please direct all inquiries, resumes and demos to Brian Pulido at: TalesTold@cox.net

Friday, December 19, 2008

And Hulk 100 at Comic Bug in L.A.!


It's official: NO PARTY IS COMPLETE until you have Hulk balloons!
The Gamma-Boogie crew at The Comic Bug in scenic Manhattan Beach, CA hosted another of our Hulk 100 Project events with SIX stellar artists!Left to right, the above, Joe Benitez (he's there; look close!), Scott Koblish, Aaron Sowd, and Joe Rubinstein.
And above, Joe, Bill Morrison and Tone Rodriguez.

There were snacks, drinks, drawings, books, and torn-up purple pants. Per usual, the Comic Bug crew rolled out the green carpet in inimitable, infectious style.

And if you haven't picked up a copy of The Hulk 100 Project yet, well, you're just an ol' fuddy-duddy.

Jim McLauchlin

P.S. All pics courtesy our pal Scott Ludwig.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hulk 100 Project at Paradise Comics, Toronto!


Our pals at Paradise Comics in Toronto, Ontario were lucky enough to host one of our Hulk 100 Project launch events! And folks smart enough to show up got some super-cool sketches, such as this beaut above from cover artist Dale Keown!

The whole artist crew on hand was (l-r) Agnes Garbowska, Francis Manapul, Leonard Kirk, and Dale Keown. Thanks much to all!

For those of you wondering what that small, Tribble-like thing is in Anges' lap, it's the real star of the show…
Otis the dog!

And if you haven't picked up a copy of The Hulk 100 Project yet, shame on you. It's mean, green, and gamma-fortified. You can get it in softcover flavor at $10, or limited edition hardcover (only 500 copies made!) at $19.99. Do it today, you'll make Thunderbolt Ross happy.

Jim McLauchlin

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Hero Initiative on Twitter!

Now you can follow The Hero Initiative on Twitter!
You'll see News Stories, Auctions, and other Hero Announcements...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving thanks, vol. 2

Last year right ’bout this time, we wrote of a specific Hero Initiative instance where we helped out a certain comic creator. The story rather resonated with folks, and tho’ it’s a year in the past by now, it still has a poignant ring to it, especially so in the “comments” section. Check it out right now if ya want.

I had resolved several months ago to revisit that bit for this year, but play the flip side. I ended that column by thanking, “all who have donated their money, time, effort and energies.” Now we’re perpetually thankful to our board members, our many volunteers, and the myriad stores and convention staffs that help us out. But these are a few other folks who have given of time, effort, and energies above and beyond the call, expecting nothing in return. Hell, they’re not even expecting this li’l shout-out, so forgive them if they blush.

In no particular order:

Graham Crackers Comics (did we mention nine convenient Chicagoland locations?): Convention center drayage is a bitch. Most fans don’t know, but most convention centers charge “drayage fees” for shipping something direct to the convention center. It’s a handling charge The Local Municipality Memorial Center With Or Without Corporate Sponsor tacks on, ’cause you’re using their loading dock and, well…you need your stuff. These fees can easily reach thousands of dollars.
Walk the stuff in yourself, however, and drayage is zero. For Wizard World Chicago, probably our biggest and most profitable fundraising venue, the crew at Graham Crackers Comics has always been kind enough to be our shipping point. We send them the stuff, they store it, they bring it to the con…and they save us perhaps thousands of bucks. It’s added work, but they do it with a smile. When you speak of them, speak well of them.

Lauren Becker at Warp 9 Comics: Shipping is a bitch. Seriously, you can go freakin’ broke on freight if you’re not careful. And shipping companies don’t much care if they’re hauling alternators for Toyotas or medicine to New Orleans after Katrina—it’s all just weight to them. Again, unchecked, this can be a massive expense.
It just so happened that many of the cons Hero did in 2008 were the same as those attended by Warp 9 Comics of Clawson, MI. Lauren Becker of Warp 9 gallantly offered to haul much Hero product between stops so that we wouldn’t have to pay for shipping, and in the process, saved us a lot of bucks. Much appreciated.

Adam Beechen: You might know him as the writer of Countdown, Teen Titans or Robin at DC Comics. I know him as the guy who made Big Sunday big for Hero in 2008.
“Big Sunday” is a citywide community service event in Los Angeles, where over 50,000 people might cook meals at a homeless shelter, lay sod to create a park for kids to play in, or bathe basset hounds at a dog rescue facility to help prep puppies for adoption. Adam ran donation jars to comic stores all over L.A., and helped drum up donations for The Hero Initiative. He did this all on his own; wasn’t even asked. He didn’t pick up the ball and run with it. He created the ball. And he turned an any ol’ Sunday into a great day for us.

Peter Dixon of Paradise Comics: Peter owns a store in Toronto, Paradise Comics, and runs the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon every year. You might see him on the con circuit in the US, as he’s always on the move, buying and selling books and drumming up guests for his convention. He also contributes generously to Hero, and not just in dough (tho’ he kicks in a lotta that, too). Peter is one of the friendliest faces you’ll ever find, and whenever the booth staff needs a concessions run, Peter’s there with hot dogs and Cokes. When there’s a minor mountain of crap to be packed up at the end of a show, you’ll turn around, and there’s Peter with a tape gun. No matter what need pops up, he’s seemingly always there to fill it, and does so with a smile on his face every time.

Bill Cox, he of the kickass ComicArtFans.com: Hero’s Website hosting happens at a cost to us of zero. In going through cost line-items (see: drayage, shipping, etc.) the more you can eliminate, the more you have left for genuine “program services.” Bill takes care of our Web needs, with ZERO problems, delays, or tech fubars of any sort, and allows us instant and worldwide communication at the low, low price of “free.”

The secret Marvel triumvirate of Tim Dillon, Jon Ennis and Mike Pasciullo: A lot—lot, lot, lot, lot, LOT—of the nickels we’ve been able to put in the coffers over that last year have been generated through programs with Marvel Comics. No matter if it’s The Hulk 100 Project, the Mike Wieringo What If? book, or a Marvel Apes variant cover, there are print dates to hit, shipping to manage, approvals to be met and paperwork to be completed. And the stealth crew who help us with this at Marvel are Dillon, Ennis and Pasciullo. Their names don’t scream at you from the credits of your favorite comics, and I’ve never—thankfully—seen them in spandex, but trust me: They’re the unseen glue that holds a lot together at Marvel, and their work is much appreciated.

A couple things occur to me as I quickly review this list. First, I now understand “The Stan Lee Answer.” You know how it is: Someone will ask Stan who his favorite artist to work with was, and he’ll say to the effect of “Oh, they’re all my favorites.” It’s tough to single out anyone, and you ALWAYS run the risk of forgetting someone you shoulda mentioned. As I’ve probably done here. So hey—if you’re reading and I’ve neglected to mention you, all apologies. You’re all my favorites, okay?

Secondly, as I do some (almost) year-end accounting, it looks like we’ve been able to disburse another $81,000+ to a number of comic creators in medical or financial need so far in 2008…and the year ain’t over yet. Some, such as Gene Colan, Josh Medors, or Scott Rosema, you’ve very likely heard about. Others wish to keep their private business private, and we respect those wishes. But I know they’re ALL thankful.

And that itself is something to be thankful for.

Jim McLauchlin

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

DOUBLE-signed and numbered


A nice bonus for folks ordering the Stan’s Soapbox: The Collection signed-and-numbered limited edition hardcover. It ain’t just signed by Stan Lee. It’ll also be signed by John Romita Sr.

John was kind enough to give us use of this GREAT Stan drawing he did, which will be placed inside the front cover of all 100 signed-and-numbered copies. BOTH Stan and John will sign.

And yes, Virginia, that’s 100 copies, moving fast. If you’ve already reserved yours…you’re a smart cookie! If not, may I suggest you immediately truck over here to grab one? Hey, I just did!

Jim McLauchlin

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Last three Hulks Nov. 3

Cully Hamner.
Ed McGuinness.
Plus this beaut above from the team of Joe Quesada, Danny Miki, and Richard Isanove.
Plus one wonky surprise.

All via eBay.

Jim McLauchlin

Friday, October 31, 2008

HP Employees can be heroes too!

Be a hero for The Hero Initiative and sign up beginning Nov. 3rd, 2008 for the HP Charitable Giving Campaign and have HP match your cash donations to the Hero Initiative up to $1,000 annually.

The details look like this:

1) Cash matching is available to U.S. employees on a first-come, first-served basis AND only during the annual Charitable Giving Campaign (Nov1) until HP has met it’s $1,000,000 campaign commitment
2) Pledges are matched dollar for dollar up to $1,000 per employee per fiscal year
3) Cash pledging is ONLY available online at www.GivingStation.com/hp
4) Employee and match funds are distributed quarterly
5) Tax receipts are not available on the GivingStation because neither the GivingStation nor HP are charities. However, both organizations combined do provide sufficient information for gifts made via payroll. Use your GivingStation Pledge Confirmation and your HP Earnings Statement. HP instructs charities to receipt employees directly upon every distribution.

The process for donating cash looks like this:

1) Log in to www.GivingStation.com/hp
2) Click “Donate” in the lower left corner of the page
3) Click the “Charity Search” URL
4) Enter “Hero Initiative” in the “Charity Name” field
5) Once presented with the results, select “Hero Initiative” and look for your charity to appear in the right hand “Selected Charities” basket
6) Click “Next Step”
7) Enter pledge details
a. Pay types include: Credit Card, One-time payroll, On-going payroll, and Direct to Charity
b. ALL payroll gifts pledged during Campaign will begin deduction in January and distributed with Q1
c. Campaign Credit Card gifts will be charged within 24 hours and distributed in December
d. Anonymous gifts CANNOT be receipted
e. GivingStation calculates your available match amount
8) Review and submit your pledge
9) Print and retain your pledge confirmation for your records

The Hero Initiative thanks you for your support!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hulk Smash Bigger Book!

Good news, Green-o-philes! The Hulk 100 Project, originally advertised and solicited at 128 pages, was full to burstin', so we upped it a tad to 136 pages! And it's still the same ol' $10.

A few extra pages have allowed us to add a couple things as well, including…
• An intro from veteran—and that's putting it mildly!—Incredible Hulk writerPeter David; and
• A real-science explanation of how Bruce Banner's pants stay on when he Hulks out from Dr. James Kakalios, author of The Physics of Superheroes

If you don't truck to your favorite comic store immediately and reserve a copy, well…then you're just a fuddy-duddy.

Jim McLauchlin

Friday, October 24, 2008

Final Hulks…on/about Nov. 3


We have only three original Hulk covers left, and will be looking to auction ’em off (along with what I believe will be an unexpected surprise!) on or about November 3. Meantime, whet your appitites on two of the three remaining, from Erudite Ed McGuinness, and Captivating Cully Hamner!

Jim McLauchlin

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Three things!

Phil Hester will be Hero's special guest at the upcoming Wizard World Texas con, and you can get a super-cool Hester-drawn Darkness #7 WWTX exclusive at the con. More info here.

The guys at Mid-Ohio con are about he nicest folks you'll find. There's an auction of post-con stuff now benefiting both The Hero Initiative and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Eat it up like candy. For it is sweet.

Our pals at MySpace have a preview of our soon-to-be-famous Stan's Soapbox: The Collection book, featuring Paul Dini's comments on Stan The Man. The book is in-stores 19 NOV, and if you haven't reserved your copy yet, you may be shut out. Fairly warned be thee…

Jim McLauchlin

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stan's Soapbox, now in hardcover flavor



Stan's Soapbox: The Collection, our 144-page tome collecting ALL Stan Lee's kickass "Soapboxes" from 1967-1980, will be in stores on November 19. It's available in softcover at $14.99.

Or, if you're more of a hardcover nature, please be advised: A special limited edition hardcover will be available at $35 as well. The hardcover is limited to ONLY 250 copies, so we suggest you preorder NOW at Atomic Comics. Or if ya like your books signed, a mere 100 of the 250 hardcovers will be available autographed by Stan the Man himself at $99 per. Eat ’em up like candy.

Jim McLauchlin

Art Parade


Collector Ron Sonenthal walked away with this super-cool Cameron Stewart-Darwyn Cooke-David Bullock Wonder Woman-Bats-and-Supes piece as part of one of our auctions at San Diego Comic Con this year. Moral to the story: You oughtta bid in our auctions.

Jim McLauchlin

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Hulks via Marvel and CBR


Late-arriving covers available at Marvel's website here.

And at Comic Book Resources here.

After you scope these, there are approximately four left out there unseen by human eyes. They'll be a-’comin.

There are approximately 20 left unsold. Oh, what the heck—let's auction five of them right now.

For those of you scoring at home, the beauty above is by Craig Hamilton, and is up for auction now.

Jim McLauchlin

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Monkey, monkey, monkey!


The fine folks at Marvel Comics have allowed us access to this great Mike Wieringo Daregorilla cover, which has been inked up by Karl Kesel and colorized by Tom Smith. It's now a Hero-exclusive variant on Marvel Apes #1. It's limited to only 3000 copies, and available right freakin' now at Atomic Comics. Go grab one if you're feeling simian.


Jim McLauchlin

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Easy Money! (For Hero…)


I shop at Ralphs when I get groceries. Just do. Started eight years ago when I moved to sunny L.A., and I’ve been a loyalist ever since (okay, I do hit a Trader Joe’s once in a while as well…). But anyway:

One supercool thing about Ralphs is the Ralphs Rewards card. It’s your standard grocery store “club card” that gets you discounts and whatnot. But you can ALSO register it with a Ralphs-approved charity, and EVERY time you shop and use the card, Ralphs will kick in a small percentage to the charity of your choice. It costs you, the consumer, NOTHING. It’s just Ralphs kicking in a couple bucks to good causes. See where I’m going with this?

Yes, The Hero Initiative is one of those Ralphs-approved charities, and since Ralphs just switched over from Ralphs Club cards to Ralphs Rewards, we need YOU to re-register your card for Hero, which is easy as pie (tho’ not quite as tasty):

1) Hit the link at:
http://www5.kroger.com/EnterpriseLoyaltyWeb/crenrollment?divId=703

2) Enter our NPO # (non-profit organization #), which is 80680. It’s under our corporate name, “A Commitment To Our Roots.” It’s okay, don’t let that throw ya!

3) Fill out the rest of your info.

4) Now go get a pie.

Seriously, folks, if you do this once, we get a few nickels every time you shop, and multiplied by a San Diego Comic-Con full of people, it’s the best, easiest way we’ve found to raise funds. Totally painless. And hot dammit, you need bologna and Q-Tips anyway!

That’s that. You can do this anytime—I suggest right now!—but the official changeover from Ralphs Club to Ralphs Rewards happens Sep. 1, and the rolls get cleared, and we go back down to ZERO participants unless you sign up. You can do it now and it WILL be in effect for Sep. 1. So do it today, and enjoy that pie!

This applies to Ralphs, Foods Co. and Food 4 Less stores in Southern California, Nevada, Illinois, and Indiana. So if you’re in those necks of those woods, hop to it. I thank you kindly.

Jim McLauchlin

Friday, August 22, 2008

Food and Art


Chad Shipley (left) was the winner of the Atomic Comics War Heroes auction, and won lunch with Tony Harris (center) and Mark Millar (right). He even got a super-cool Tony Harris sketch!
Moral: It pays to bid in Hero Initiative auctions.

Jim McLauchlin

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hero Gamer Usebars and Message Board Sigs!



Hero Initiative message board "signatures" or Gamer Userbars can now be downloaded at:

http://www.heroinitiative.org/images/Body/LinkBanners/HeroCard_340x40.jpg
http://www.heroinitiative.org/images/Body/LinkBanners/hero_userbar.gif

They're small, unobtrusive, calorie-free, and help spread the word about Hero if you use ’em and link to:
www.HeroInitiative.org

If you have questions, please don't ask me. I'm half a step above a caveman. Contact Dauntless Derek Thorson at:
derek.thorson@gmail.com

Thanks!

Jim McLauchlin

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Well another HeroesCon has come and gone and as always we have to thank Shelton and Dustin for donating space and helping the Hero Initiative for have a fantastic show and helping us raise money for a great cause. If it wasn’t for convention organizers like Shelton we couldn’t do this so thank you so very much.

Now on to the news!

First off we had some of the greatest artists pay a visit to the booth including Ron Wilson, Matt Wagner, Steve Epting (who was a little under the weather) and none other than Darwyn Cooke. All of these artists donated there time at the show and helped us raise money so I just want to say a big thank you to all. Also without the help of our many volunteers this would also be impossible. So thanks to Tony, Lynette, Susan, Gary and Chris for helping us have a great show.


We also released the ne Mike Wieringo What If tribute book and if you don’t have a copy yet you really need to pick it up. This is about what if this was the Fantastic Four team and the artwork is rather spectacular. Shelton and Todd Dezago even put together a tribute party for Mike at the Fuel restaurant across the street from the convention just so a few friends could get together and tell a few stories and just remember Mike the way he would have wanted us to. We also had an art auction and auctioned off a few pieces of the artwork from the What If book and we should be auctioning the rest at a future date but the artwork was just mind boggling.

We did have one little snafu we were almost arrested for what I guess would be solicitation since we didn’t realize we were doing our auction on private property and we were told to stop what we were doing because it was illegal. Now of course Todd didn’t help much here because he kept saying “The Man is here to take us away” so of course it’s hard to talk when you are laughing at Todd. But we did get it figured out and continued with the auction which was a huge success.

Then Saturday we had one of two 13-man signings at the Hero Booth and we had some where in the neighborhood of 200 people standing in line that stretched all of the way to the entrance and we got all of them through the line in about 55 minutes so thanks to everyone one involved including my great set of volunteers that helped run everything so smoothly.

While they were running the 13-Man signing at the booth I had the pleasure of running up stairs to a panel where Mr. Van Allen Plexico editor of the book Avengers Assemble published by White Rocket Books was there to present a check for $1200.00 to me for the Hero Initiative fund. This was the proceeds from the sell of this book which you can pick up at Barnes and Noble or online at Amazon.com. This book covers 5 decades of the world mightiest heroes and just my opinion is a great read.
So the show was a great success and I am already looking forward to next year.

Thanks









Monday, May 12, 2008

And no, actually, it didn't rain.

Just back from the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, where a splendid time was had by all! The folks who put the con on truly care, and it shows. They treat the talent there as good as anywhere I've seen, and that warmth radiates back to the fans. If you get a chance next year, I recommend you go—and if you do, take the Underground tour as well. It is super-cool.

Things were thronged pretty much all weekend, such as when Bill Willingham was in attendance to do some sketches (Hero volunteer Paris in background).

Things got especially busy when Mighty Mike Oeming swung by on Sunday afternoon to arm-wrestle the crowd. For $20, you could challenge Mike. If you won, you got your choice of ANY original Powers page Mike had brought to the con with him! Even if you lost, you got a super-swell autographed Mice Templar print. Skottie Young sketches in the foreground here, and note the spiffy 1969 Jim Bouton Seattle Pilots replica jersey sported by yours truly:
Oeming took on all comers, including the Queen of Hearts:

And big, burly, Seattle-looking guys:

Mike took on 20 opponents, and went 14 wins, five losses and one tie. Last year, he REALLY cleaned up, but this year, folks came back looking for revenge. Seriously. There were guys who were still pissed from last year that Mike beat ’em.

And of course, the first 50 of our Hulk #1 covers were on display. See:
http://heroinitiative.org/NewsDetail.asp?NewsId=118
for full info, and take note: ALL 100 WILL BE ON DISPLAY FOR THE FIRST (AND ONLY) time at Wizard World Chicago this year, June 26-29.
Special steel-belted radial thanks to the writers and artists who showed up to help us: Whilce Portacio, Skottie Young, Mike Oeming, Karl Kesel, Jimmy Cheung, Matt Haley, Gail Simone, Bill Willingham, Dan DiDio, Mike Choi and Jeff Parker.

And above all, thanks to the volunteers who worked their butts off to keep me sane: Brian, Paris, and Chris.

All photos by our photo-buddy, Gabe.

And no, it didn't rain the whole time we were there.

Jim McLauchlin

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mike Wieringo book: 20/25 JUN


Casey Jones has penciled the final page to be completed for June's What If? The Fantastic Four Tribute to Mike Wieringo. That makes the final creative lineup (I think!) Mike Wieringo, Jeff Parker, Art Adams, Paul Renaud, Stuart Immonen, Cully Hamner, Alan Davis, Casey Jones, David Williams, Sanford Greene, Humberto Ramos, Skottie Young, Mike Allred, Barry Kitson, Paul Mounts, Val Staples, Nate Piekos and Nathan Massengill. The 48-page book will feature the 27-page What If? story that Mike started before his untimely passing, and additional tributes from some of his many friends.

It's a June-solicited book, which will first be available at Heroescon in Charlotte, NC June 20-22. It's be in stores the Wednesday after, June 25. There are 11 participants in the book who will be at Heroescon, so look for a massive, 11-man signing opportunity as well.

Jim McLauchlin

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Tad More on FOOG, TOO!

Just for the sake of posterity, I figured I'd show a bit of the design work that was going into FOOG, TOO! (Or Friends Of Ol' Gerber, Too!). We were looking to do a few fundraising items under the FOOG, TOO! banner that would help Ol' Gerber in his convalescence, and be some nice general items for The Hero Initiative as well. These were two prototypes for FOOG, TOO! buttons.

FOOG, TOO! was, of course, scuttled when Steve passed away. It was, of course, being done hand-in-hand with Steve. I show these now only on the advice and consent of Mary Skrenes, Steve's longtime friend and writing partner. Just figured it would be a crying shame if these designs never saw the light of day.

All design work was being done de nada by Kathleen and Dana, the fine, fine folks at Fishbrain Graphic Design. Their Website is HireFishbrain.com, and yes, you should.

Jim McLauchlin

Monday, March 17, 2008

2nd Annual Hero Bowlathon Video Link....

Okay if you have problems with the other link to view the bowlathon video please try this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXYvOG3NmOA

Chris

Saturday, March 15, 2008

2nd Annual Hero Bowlathon @ MegaCon

Well I believe there was fun for everyone and I believe Tex had more than most. I have pictures of all of the winners listed below and also a link to a short video on my You Tube site. Below you will see the artwork each person won plus we had a raffle drawing for other prizes as well.


I want to say thanks to everyone for coming out and helping us raise a little money and a big thanks to the talent that showed up Chris (Kingpin) Moreno and Mark (The Rocket) Texeira and man can these guys bowl I think they should quit their day jobs and hit the PBA tour and maybe not I love their artwork way to much.

I believe everyone had their fill of bowling and pizza so hopefully we can do this again and make it bigger and better next year. So who wants to take me on?

Women 18 and older winner with artist J.M. Linsner

Men 18 and older winner with Amanda Conner.

This is the winner of the 18 and younger title Tyler Kordos with Stan Sakai.


Here is a picture of the entire crew well at least what is left of them.


When I say there wasn't much left I mean it.



Hope everyone had as much fun as I did and I look forward to seeing you all in the near future at another convention soon. Below is a link to my You Tube site where you can veiw the video from the bowling.

http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=genfan1

Chris (The Bowler) Klamer

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lunches, Sketches, and Duckies, oh my!

The Hero Initiative booth proved to be *the* place to be at this year’s MegaCon in Orlando! With nothing but the best in top notch talent, fun events, and tons of new merchandise, the booth was busy from open to close.

On Friday, lucky fans who had won eBay lunch auctions had the privilege to sit down one-on-one with Stan Sakai, Joseph Michael Linsner, Dick Giordano, Chuck Dixon, and John Romita, Jr. These artists were all happy to meet with their fans, chat over tasty turkey wrap lookin-things, and sketch the fan’s choice of characters as a memento of the occasion. On the convention floor, the booth hosted Josh Blaylock, Jeremy Dale, Tone Rodriguez, and Chris Moreno, with a surprise visit from George Perez, who stopped by after his wife Carol’s belly-dancing class.


Joseph Michael Linsner with fan


Stan Sakai with fan


Chuck Dixon with fan


Dick Giordano with fan


John Romita, Jr. with fan and sketch


George Perez surprises everyone with a visit after Carol's class!

On Friday, Joe Quesada, Editor In Chief of Marvel Comics, a Hero Initative Board Member, the conventions’ Guest Of Honor, and all-around cool guy, was honored by receiving the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando's prestigious Sun Award. The honor, given to those "dedicated individuals who have contributed to the enrichment and overall growth of the region's culture, community outreach and economic, development," ranks as one of the institution's highest honors. On Saturday, the accolades continued as he was the recipient of a proclamation by the Mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer, who declared that March 8th would be known as Joe Quesada Day in honor of his work with charities such as the Hero Initiative!


Joe Quesada receiving his Sun Award

Friday night brought the second annual Hero Initiative Bowl-A-Thon, and the good times had by all guaranteed that this event will become a tradition at MegaCon. Chris Moreno, Mark Texiera, and others joined fans in an evening of bowling, pizza, and beer. While a few lucky fans took home sketches, signed books, or a bowling pin signed by convention attendee artists, everyone took home an evening of fun bowling side by side with their favorite artists and creators.


YAY BOWLING!

Saturday saw record crowds at the convention center, and most of the attendees stopped by to visit with Joe Quesada, Jeremy Dale, Josh Blaylock, Gary Friedrich, Herb Trimpe, Tone Rodriguez, and Chris Moreno. The fun continued into the afternoon, which found fans eagerly awaiting a signature or a sketch from John Romita, Jr. Also that afternoon, fans were only too happy to try and dunk Derek Donovan and Joe Quesada in the Hero Initiative dunk tank. Both of them took the plunge several times while they were in the tank! Fans able to dunk the artists were rewarded with their choice of a one-of-a-kind rubber duckie, personalized by an artist in attendance at the Con. Everyone who attempted to dunk the artists took home a variant cover Fantastic Four comic, provided by the Coliseum of Comics.


Joe Quesada bravely awaits his fate....


and emerges sopping wet after the first fan dunks him!


A host of one-of-a-kind duckies awaited fans who dunked Joe or Derek!

Sunday wrapped up the fun by making the Hero booth the hotspot of the convention floor. Joe Quesada, John Romita, Jr., and George Perez (in another surprise appearance) entertained fans throughout the morning, and then they made room for Adam Kubert, David Finch, Steve McNiven, Sanford Greene, Nathan Massengill, Josh Blaylock, and Jeremy Dale to finish out the afternoon.


John Romita Jr. signs for one of his fans...


and is all smiles for the camera!


David Finch does a sketch for a lucky fan


Adam Kubert is hard at work sketching for his fans.


A few of Adam's sketches in progress

Hot selling items at this convention were the brand-new 3-Minute Sketchbook and the Atomic Comics’ Hero Exclusive Cover for Red Hulk. Fans were also able to view two of Mike Weiringo’s final pages which were graciously loaned to Hero, as well as those same pages inked, as a special preview to the What If? Book ‘Ringo was working on at the time of his passing. Several artists donated their time and energy to finish the book in tribute. Marvel has donated the book to Hero Initiative, and it will be sold at its completion to benefit the charity.


One of 'Ringo's pages, inked and ready to go!

The other hot item this year was the first of the Hulk 100 Project covers, which were also on display. Fans will remember the Ultimate Spider-Man 100 Project last year, which met with such success that we’re doing it all over again with the Hulk! Did you miss out on the opportunity to own one of the one-of-a-kind Spider-Man covers? Not to worry, after all the books are collected, they will be scanned and compiled in a book similar to the Spider-Man covers, and then you’ll be able to bid on your favorite at upcoming conventions and on eBay. Keep your eyes peeled for the announcement, which will be made on www.heroinitiative.org!


A few of the Hulk covers that we had on display!

As a reminder, several artists collect donations for HERO at their booth throughout the year. So when you see some of them collecting for token autographs or sketches please donate graciously. Special thanks to Greg Horn who turned in his take of better than $1000 for 2007, and Arthur Suydam who accepted donations at his table for Hero as well. Greg Horn and Arthur Suydam are two of Hero Initiative's HEROES. Please thank them when you see them at the next Con.


Thanks to Arthur Suydam for his donation!

With that, we move onward to the next big event.. Wizard World LA!

Yay for comics!
Tabitha
& Kevin