Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Some good Josh Medors news all around

Josh Medors is a comic artist with an exceedingly rare form of cancer which has attacked his spinal cord. Hero has helped him out with some dough, and much-needed medical referrals and resources.

Recently, Josh was hospitalized again with a lung infection, resultant in part from a weakened immune system due to the chemotherapy he has to take. Chest tubes, ventilators, the whole nine.

We're happy to report things have taken a small turn for the better.

On June 26, Josh was released from the hospital and sent home!

June 27 was Josh's birthday.

On June 27, the eBay auction for Josh's Spider-Man cover to Alter Ego #105 sold for a whoppin' $2247. And ya know what? The very generous—and anonymous—winning bidder said, "Sounds like Josh could use the money. Why don't we just make it an even $3000?" And we did.

And today, June 29, signed prints of Josh's Spidey cover are available signed by both Josh alone or Josh and Stan Lee on Hero's eBay page.

The prints are also available single-signed and dual-signed courtesy our pals at Graham Crackers Comics as well.

Good news, Josh! Please keep gettin' better!


Jim McLauchlin

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dan Wickline and Phoenix Comicon rather kick ass


The letter pretty much says it all. Dan Wickline, comic writer and all-around great guy, held a writing workshop at the recently completed Phoenix Comicon, and folks ponied up $20 a pop to attend. Dough to Hero, and at the end of the day, another $580 landed in our coffers to help out comic creators in medical and financial need.

Thanks all around, and Hero plans even bigger and better at Phoenix Comicon in 2012. Look for us there!

Jim McLauchlin

Friday, June 24, 2011

Your quote of the day: “Guy drew like a dream.”

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Jackie Robinson, who once said that, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

Many others are eulogizing and chronicling the life of Gene Colan today, as well they should. Here are a few anecdotes that speak to the impact Gene Colan had on others’ lives, from some people you might not know.

Hero Initiative volunteer Wendi Freeman:
“I remember two years ago, and the greatest experience I could have had at San Diego Comic-Con was getting to hold Gene Colan's hand walking him back to his table from the Hero booth. Thank you so much for those moments, and for everything Hero does.”

Hero Initiative volunteer Ray Feighrey:
“Gene was extremely gracious to me when I was introduced to him a couple of years ago and he signed my Iron Man #1 print. That image that has great personal significance to me, as my Dad gave me a copy of Iron Man #1 for Christmas when I was a kid. I was a huge fan of Gene's, as you know, and he will be terribly missed.”


Hero Initiative volunteer Tony Tower:
“I had the great pleasure of interviewing Gene Colan for a Hero Initiative video back in early 2009. Along with my friends/crewmates Mike and Ethan, we traveled out to Gene’s home in Nassau County. Gene could not have been a more gracious host, and I think his humble, almost shocked gratitude at Hero’s support really comes through in the video.

“Our little trio really hit it off with Gene. He was quite the film aficionado, so throwing him in a room for a couple hours with three guys who work in TV (two of whom went to film school)…well, let’s just say there was a lot of classic movie talk in between the proper interview questions about Gene’s career and the good work of Hero. It certainly helped me get past any fannish nerves at talking with the guy who drew some of my favorite Captain America stories, or all the Batman comics I read as a kid, or THE image of Iron Man we all know so well:



“Flash-forward to that fall’s New York Comic Con. I was volunteering at the Hero Initiative table there, and was delighted to see that Gene had his own booth as well. Saturday was my day to look around the convention floor and shop, so I made a point of catching up with Gene. I later got an autograph from actor Robert Culp of Greatest American Hero fame (now sadly departed as well), and chatted briefly with him.

“Sunday morning I was on-duty at the Hero booth, and about 20 minutes before the show opened, Robert Culp was roaming the floor. He paused in front of our table, with a somewhat baffled expression on his face.

“’Morning, Mr. Culp. Good to see you again. Can I help you?’”

“Emphasizing his words in a distractingly Bill Maxwell-esque way, he replied, ‘Yeah. I don’t know what you’re doing here. What’s this all about?’”

“So I went into my version of The Hero Initiative spiel. Mr. Culp was quiet interested. He apparently was a cartoonist himself in his youth, and was conversant with the names of several comic book and comic strip artists from the 1950s and 1960s. Since that was the period he knew, I figured I’d give him a ‘f’rinstance’ from that era:

“’Well, one of the artists The Hero Initiative has been able to help is Gene Colan.’”

“Without missing a beat—‘Gene Colan? I remember Gene Colan’s art. Guy drew like a dream.’”

Remembering our discussion of film and actors, I had a feeling nothing would please Gene more than to know that Robert Culp was a fan. So I described where Gene’s table was, and told Mr. Culp how excited Gene would be to meet him. I would have walked him over myself, but was manning the Hero table alone just then and couldn’t get free.

A few hours later, I managed to slip away and check in with Gene, and asked if he’d had any interesting visitors that day…

“’I did. You know Robert Culp, from I SPY? He stopped by. Said he’d liked my art for a long time.” Gene paused. “’Gosh, that was nice to hear.’”

Gene Colan obviously had a lot of fans, me included. But I have to think that meeting was extra special for him. So in addition to all the other support The Hero Initiative provided Gene in his later years, it helped make that moment happen as well.


And one from a current comic artist, who chooses to remain anonymous:
“I have no idea how you're feeling right now. But the first thing I thought of when I heard the news was, damn, all of us, without exception, have to go sometime, but there has to…HAS TO…be a difference between dying with or without hope. And however you feel, Jim, I really hope you and everyone involved in the Hero Initiative eventually can feel a sense of pride, or happiness, or SOMETHING positive, for, at the VERY least but possibly MOST important, giving a man hope, especially through a time where I know in my heart people would need it most.

“I’m proud of you. I'm proud to consider you a friend.

“My thoughts are with you, for what they're worth.”



•••••••••••••••
And there we go. Let’s take this occasion to share some good thoughts all around, huh?

Jim McLauchlin

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hero Comics 2011 Hits at San Diego; then July 27!


The book, she is at the printer!

Hero Comics 2011, the labor of lots of love and some gristle that IDW Publishing's Scott Dunbier has spent way, way, way too many unpaid hours shepherding, is finally ready to spring fill-born ’pon an unsuspecting populace.

In addition to the knee-buckling reuniting of the original Sandman team of Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg and Sam Kieth we mentioned earlier
• There's an original Chew story by creators John Layman and Guillory
• We gots an original Elephantman story from Richard Starkings and Dougie Braithwaite
• Chris Ivy, Ralph Reese and Jason Craig tell their very personal stories of Hero Initiative
• And Sam Kieth tells his "behind the scenes" story of working together with Gaiman and Dringenberg again.

It's all wrapped in your choice of a killer J. Scott Campbell cover (above), or Adm Hughes cover (below). And did we mention there's a 1-in-10 black-and-white retailer incentive cover as well? Well, we just did.



Our giant, giant, GIANT thanks to IDW, and all the creators who participated to make this a great project. And we'd be VERY remiss if we didn't single out Thomas Cho and Trivision Company, who are printing the book FOR FREE; and Richard Starkings, John Roshell and the Comicraft crew, who lettered and designed the book de nada, and made it look great.

Now it's just up to you! Buy a copy! Hero Comics 2011 will be available at the Hero Initiative booth at the San Diego Comic Con July 20, and in stores July 27!

Jim McLauchlin

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Last call coming, 2011 Hero memberships!


Folks,
Hero Initiative memberships run on a calendar year, as we'd feel pretty poorly about takin' all your money for less than half a year. That said, the DEADLINE to get in on memberships for 2011 fast approaches: June 30, 2011!

If you're thinking about signing up, we suggest you do so QUICKLY! As a li'l reminder, one randomly selected 2011 member who sends us a pic will also win CUSTOM Walt Simonson art, a pretty nice prize, indeed. Last year's winner of John Romita art was certainly all smiles.

Don't get shut out! Order NOW before time runs out!

Jim McLauchlin

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Putting the band back together: Gaiman, Dringenberg, Kieth


When it comes to doing the impossible, there's a dude who doesn't really recognize that "impossible" exists. Ladies and gentlemen, there is only one Scott Dunbier. Accept no substitutes.

Scott is the ├╝ber-editor over at IDW publishing who has taken it upon himself to put together two Hero Comics anthologies. The 2011 version hits stores July 20 (yup, the same day the San Diego con opens), and includes, among other things, "My Last Landlady," a nine-page story that reunites the ORIGINAL Sandman team of Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg and Sam Kieth. Here, for the first time ever, a preview of the first two pages!

And below, one of the great Hero Comics 2011 covers, by our ol' pal Adam Hughes.



Enjoy!

Jim McLauchlin

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Take your left turn TO Albuquerque!


The Albuquerque Comic Expo is yet another kickass convention that's making it bone-simple to donate a couple of shillings to Hero!

Just order your tickets, and when you do, right at the top of their "cart" page is an option where you can optionally add a donation of $1-$10 to Hero. Do it today, you'll be glad you did! Dropping a nickel in our coffers has NEVER been easier…and then you get to go to the con and see Stan Lee, Ethan van Sciver, Gene Ha, Arthur Suydam and many, MANY more great folks.

Oh, yeah—you can also see Hero's special guest as well. More on that in a couple days.

Dates for the Albuquerque Comic Expo are June 24-26. Get you there!

Jim McLauchlin