Tag Archives: charity

On This Flash Appreciation Day, Be a Hero and Support the Hero Initiative

flash appreciation dayOn February 11, 2006 “Flash and Substance” debuted. It was the premiere episode of Justice League Unlimited and in it the Flash was honored for his heroism with a celebration dubbed “Flash Appreciation Day.” Every year since, fans of the Scarlet Speedster celebrate the day.

On the tenth anniversary of this episode, ourselves and eight other websites are paying honor not just to the Flash, but also helping raise awareness for his creators, and all of the comic creators in need of help. Today, we’re asking for you to help chip and help support The Hero Initiative.

Hero InitiativeFormed in 2000, the Hero Initiative is a nonprofit that helps as a “financial safety net” for comic creators. In 2001 it was officially a nonprofit and since then they’ve granted over $700,000 to over 50 comic vets helping with emergency medical aid, financial support, and an avenue back into paying work. As they say on their website, “it’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.”

Created during the Golden Age of comics in January 1940, The Flash first appeared in Flash Comics #1 published at the time by All-American Publications. Writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert have the credit and their creation is still known today, not just by his superhero alter ego, but his regular name of Jay Garrick, a character that has a prominent role on today’s television series The Flash.

But, there’s been many iterations and people who have donned the mask. The one that might be most familiar to people is the Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen. First appearing in Showcase #4 in October 1956, this second Flash was created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Carmine Infantino.

Kanigher is a name many comic fans are probably are unfamiliar with. Not as well known as Siegel, Shuster, Kane, or Finger, Kanigher ushered in the Silver Age of Comics and rebooted characters such as The Flash and Wonder Woman, he also created the Batman villain Poison Ivy and also the character Ragman (along with creator Joe Kubert), as well as a major impact on classic “war comics.” In 2014 Kanigher was recognized with the Bill Finger Award, 12 years after he had passed.

the_flash_creditInfantino had a long career, not just as a penciler, but also as DC Comics editorial director in the late 60s and DC Comics’ publisher in the 1970s. Infantino would also create another Flash, Wally West, as well as a large part of his supporting cast including Iris West, Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, Mirror Master, Gorilla Grodd, as well as Elongated Man and Batgirl. In 2004 he sued DC Comics and Time Warner for the rights of those characters, which he created while a freelancer. He withdrew the lawsuit shortly after as the case was settled out of court for an unknown sum.

And that gets us back to the Hero Initiative. Looking at the latest issue of The Flash, or the television series, you wouldn’t know the names Gardner Fox, Harry Lampert, Robert Kanigher, or Carmine Infantino. While their names are listed in IMDB, they have never benefited from the cross media explosion of the characters they created. In other words, while DC and Time Warner have made millions from the Flash, the creators behind him have not and never will.

It’s unfortunate that something like the Hero Initiative has to exist, creators should be treated fairly, but we live in reality not fantasy and there is a need. The concepts of creators rights were foreign, with it being the late 70s and 80s before they become a movement, and the idea of those creations being on the big or small or computer screen were decades away for some. Many never benefited from their creations while their bosses did. That’s reality.

Be a hero like the Flash, there’s a lot you can do to help creators, the easiest being chip in $5 and help support them. It’s a small thanks for the enjoyment they’ve given us.

Heroes vs. Mile High for Charity!

For those who might not know, there’s a rather big sporting event this weekend, the Super Bowl. The Carolina Panthers will be going against the Denver Broncos and with that match up, lots of bets will be flying all over.

Heroes and Mile High Comics are having some fun with it in the name of charity. Heroes announced in their newsletter:

Shelton has put together a fun and friendly wager with his pal Chuck Rozanski at Mile High Comics in Denver, CO. Since both our teams are playing in Super Bowl 50, we will both have auctions starting tonight and ending Monday with the losing city’s shop donating the proceeds to charity! We’re playing for Greg Olsen’s Heartest Yard and we’re auctioning off some very nice Deadpool books!

Both auctions start tonight and end Monday at 10PM Mountain Time. Check our Facebook and Twitter for direct links once the auctions are live!

We are putting up some key Deadpool issues with a bonus SuperPro Super Bowl Special!

Awesome to see them both doing this, and I hope folks join in on the fun and get some bids in.

Heroes Mile High Charity

Marvel’s Perlmutter Cuts $1M Check for Trump’s Veterans Fundraiser

marvel featuredThursday saw the latest Republican Presidential debate, but this one was controversial as candidate Donald Trump refused to attend due to his rampant sexism misogyny fear of Fox News‘ Megyn Kelly who was one of the moderators for the debate and he felt was mean unfair to him in the past.

Instead Trump held his own rally raising money for wounded veterans during the same time of the debate. It’s unknown WHAT charity that Trump’s fundraising will benefit, but that didn’t stop Marvel’s CEO Ike Perlmutter from committing $1 million to the fundraiser, which raised $6 million according to Trump himself. That was mostly from a small group of wealthy donors, including some felons. As far as folks can tell, the donations will go to the Donald J. Trump foundation, which has no history of being involved with veteran groups.

You can watch Trump announce Perlmutter’s donation a little after the 1 minute mark:

The Hollywood Reporter said when they broke the news:

“One of the great, great men of our country in terms of business and talent,” Trump said.

A rep for Perlmutter said: “The Perlmutters are thrilled to support their friend Donald Trump in his efforts to help veterans.”

The Perlmutters also donated $2 million to Marco Rubio’s campaign this season.

This isn’t the first time Perlmutter has been involved in Presidential politics. He also donated to Rudy Giuliani’s failed Presidential bid.


Earlier this week Marvel announced their teaming up with the Wounded Warrior Project to help raise awareness about issues facing veterans. That has issues unto itself, which we laid out, as the WWP has been accused of wasting money raised and benefiting employees.

So, when it comes to veterans and Marvel this week, they’re 0 for 2.

Dear Marvel. Do Your Research on the Wounded Warrior Project.

Raf Noboa y Rivera provides a guest post for Graphic Policy. Rafael Noboa y Rivera is a writer living in New York City. You can read more at rafaelnoboa.com, or follow him on Twitter at @noboa.

VenomSpaceKnight003_CoverThere’s probably no class of American more universally revered than the veteran. I know, I’m one. Pedestals abound on which we place women and men like me; monuments to the guilt and appreciation that the country feels for people who are at once known and unknown to us.

To support us; to thank us; to ameliorate the conscience and assuage the guilt, Americans contribute to all kinds of organizations that support veterans. These are known as veterans’ service organizations. Some of them you know: the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars. Some of them, not so much.

Then there’s the Wounded Warrior Project. You probably know about this one because of its nigh-inescapable presence on TV. Ads with cloying music; a celebrity earnestly asking you to care. Pictures of a vet in the fullness of health, followed by devastating video of that same veteran struggling to cope with the injuries caused by war. Then a pitch for funds to help.

Most Americans “know” veterans through our culture. Whether it’s someone like Nicholas Brodie in Homeland, Chris Kyle in American Sniper, or Steve McGarrett in Hawaii Five-O, depictions of veterans in popular culture begin to abound the further we seemingly get from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Comics are no different. Venom: Space Knight, for instance, features a Iraq veteran front-and-center. Not just any veteran, either: a veteran who is disabled, thanks to the wounds suffered in Iraq. Flash Thompson, the character in question, lost his legs in the war. His alter-ego, an alien symbiote, gives him not just strength but the ability to walk.

ww_1Because of that, Marvel Comics is joining with Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) in order to bring attention to the issues that veterans deal with. Their upcoming story arc focuses on Thompson’s struggle with learning how to use prostheses, as well as well as his daily struggles with life as a double-amputee.

I love the idea of Marvel using its phenomenal cultural might to garner veterans the help they need. I strongly dislike that they’re partnering with WWP to do that. Of all the organizations that Marvel could’ve picked, WWP is probably the worst.

WWP is notorious among veterans like me for doing very little to actually help us. The money they ask for in those ads? Very little of it winds up helping veterans. Most of it, in fact, goes towards either self-promotion (those cloying, saccharine TV ads) or internal support — salaries for their executive officers, lavish offices, that sort of thing.


It’s a shame, because there’s organizations out there that could totally use the help. Take the Fisher House, for instance. This is a network of comfort homes where families of veterans can stay at no cost whilst their veteran is receiving care from a VA or military medical center. Thompson’s family would qualify. I’m sure that the Fisher House would love the publicity.

Fisher House isn’t the only one. Team Rubicon’s gotten a lot of deserved plaudits for leveraging the expertise of veterans in helping communities get over disasters. The Pat Tillman Foundation, set up by the family of the former NFL star who died in a tragic friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan, runs a scholarship program for veterans. Its charge is building a diverse community of people who are committed to public service and helping others.

The list goes on — the Bob Woodruff Family Foundation. Operation Homefront. The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Swords to Plowshares. All of these charities actually do what the Wounded Warriors Project claims to do, and fails to actually accomplish — help veterans and their families.

Here’s the thing: it didn’t take a whole of effort to dig this information up. Criticism of WWP is fairly widespread, and goes back several years. Certainly, talking and engaging with communities of veterans reveals that information. Not only that, it helps point the way towards organizations that actually engage with veterans, and don’t just use them as props for personal gain.


I’m glad that Marvel is doing this. I’m looking forward to seeing how this particular storyline develops; it’s got the potential to depict veterans like me as humans in their fullness, rather than marbled figures on a pedestal, there to be venerated. I just wish that, fourteen years after we began fighting our latest war, Marvel had done their homework a little better. The beauty of it is that there’s always another story on the horizon, and another moment for redemption. Let’s hope they don’t let it pass by on the by.

Gen Con announces its Charity Partner for 2016

the pourhouseGen Con has selected The PourHouse as its Charity Partner for 2016. Each year, Gen Con partners with one charity, local to Indianapolis, hosting events intended to create donations for the partner organization. Opened in 2004, The PourHouse provides street outreach and peer advocacy for individuals experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis. Through community-style street outreach and a unique peer advocacy approach, The PourHouse helps people define and achieve their goals. You can read more about this partnership through Gen Con’s Charity Page.

This year the following Gen Con events will raise funds for the charity …

  • Ace of Aces XV Auction
  • Balloon Sculpture “Slay the Creature”
  • Cardhalla XVIII
  • Charity Auction
  • Mayfair Games

Last year, Gen Con’s programming generated more than $40,000 for the convention’s 2015 Charity Partner, The Julian Center. Since moving its convention to Indianapolis, Gen Con has raised more than $200,000 for local charities. From August 4 through 7, Gen Con again will serve as host to numerous charity events supporting The PourHouse, including the construction and demolition of a giant “Cardhalla” made of assembled trading cards, a charity auction, and many more.

Dynamite Launches Latest Charity Bundle

Want to enjoy holiday cheer AND some great comics!? Dynamite Entertainment is once again teaming up with StoryBundle to host an all-new comic book and graphic novel promotion hosting over 2,500 pages of horror and fantasy-inspired stories! The “Pay What You Want” model lets readers pay as little as $5, with a portion of the proceeds contributed to two very important charitable organizations, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Saved Whiskers Animal Rescue. The more YOU give, the more THEY receive! YOU’LL receive MORE as well, with bonus comics unlocked at the $15 and $20 thresholds!

StoryBundle is offering a fixed set of Dynamite comics featuring iconic characters ranging from Vampirella to Herbert West, Evil Ernie and more in each bundle, but available ONLY till Thursday December 31st! With over 2,500 total pages available, this promotion has something for both longtime fans and newcomers, all empowered to decide how much they want to pay for awesome graphic fiction.

The first tier of the all-new Dynamite StoryBundle, unlocked with a minimum purchase of $5, includes the following graphic novels:

  • Charlaine Harris’ Grave Sight #1
  • Evil Ernie Vol 2: The Rise Of Evil Ernie
  • Raise The Dead #1-4
  • Dark Shadows #10 – 15
  • Vampirella Vol 3: Throne Of Skulls

The second tier of the Dynamite StoryBundle, unlocked upon reaching a $15.00 threshold, includes the following collected editions, increasing the total page count to over:

  • Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Storm Front Vol 1
  • Lady Demon #1-4
  • Super Zombies #1-5
  • Alice Cooper Vol 1: Welcome To My Nightmare
  • Dead Irons

The third tier of the Dynamite StoryBundle, unlocked upon reaching a $20.00 threshold, includes the following collected editions, increasing the total page count to over 2,500:

  • Neil Gaiman’s The Last Temptation
  • Game Of Thrones #1-4
  • Purgatori #1-5
  • Reanimator #1-4
  • Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson: Moon Called Vol. 2
  • Cryptozoic Man Vol 1: Decapitation Strike
  • Living Corpse Omnibus
  • Dean Koontz’s Fear Nothing

Before the End of Year, Support the CBLDF

cbldfAll year round, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) works hard to protect the right to read. This year saw the most attacks on the freedom to read comics in a generation, including calls to ban graphic novels in schools and libraries, threatened legal actions, and unconstitutional legislation that endangers the rights of readers, creators, and retailers. CBLDF responded to all of these threats with timely direct assistance, expert legal action, and a deep, prevention-minded education program.

The CBLDF receives more than a quarter of their annual budget in the year-end gifts from supporters like you. If you are still finalizing your charitable giving plans, we ask you to please consider their worthy efforts. Donations to CBLDF are fully tax-deductible in the year they are given. Please help CBLDF continue their important work by making a donation today.

They can only do their important work because of the generosity of supporters.

They had a very busy 2015.

CBLDF does all of this work — and more — with a small dedicated staff.

One of the best ways you can support our work is by becoming a member today!

Funko to Support Marine Toys for Tots Foundation with $500,000 Toy Donation

Toys for Tots

Funko has announced that it will be providing over $500,000 worth of toys to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation this holiday season. This donation amounts to over 50,000 toys that will be distributed through the Toys for Tots campaign to less fortunate children.

It’s fantastic to see such a sizeable contribution from the toy industry, and we encourage all of you to donate a toy this season to make it a special one for a child.

he mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! What geeky things are folks doing this weekend?

While you decide on that, here’s some comic related news from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Mirror – This MP did an interview in front of a stack of graphic novels and everyone’s freaking out  – And the comic geeks continue to take over politics.

The Rainbow Hub – It’s Canon, Not Stucky That Needs to Go  – An interesting post on canon and shipping.

The Beat – Chip Zdarsky auctions rare Vader Down variant for Syrian refugees – Awesome to see.

Comic Vine – Donate to Comics for Soldiers – Help out with some charity.

The Nation – Finally, a Comic Series As Ridiculous as the 2016 GOP Field – Cool to see this series get some higher profile notice.

Arizona Sonora News – Feminism lost in comic books – An interesting read on women in comics.


Around the Tubes Reviews

The Rainbow Hub – Alias #11-12

The Rainbow Hub – All-New X-Men #1

CBR – Robin War #1

The Rainbow Hub – Rocket Girl #7

CBR – Sheriff of Babylon #1

CBR – Spidey #1

Talking Comics – The Totally Awesome Hulk #1

Support the CBLDF, Reading With Pictures, and the Hero Initiative this #GivingTuesday

giving-tuesdayThe holiday season us upon us and the end of the year is coming soon, and that means it’s the second year of #GivingTuesday, highlighting charities and the need to support them through donations (which often are tax-deductible). December is usually the most important fundraising month for charities. Graphic Policy is asking you to support three worthy causes, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), Reading With Pictures, and the Hero Initiative.

The CBLDF receives more than a quarter of their annual budget in the year-end gifts from supporters like you. If you are still finalizing your charitable giving plans, we ask you to please consider their worthy efforts. Donations to CBLDF are fully tax-deductible in the year they are given.  Please help CBLDF continue their important work by making a donation today, either by giving a holiday gift of a signed graphic novel, becoming a member, or making a tax-deductible cash contribution.

All year round, the CBLDF works hard to protect the right to read. Their efforts combat the rising tide of censorship facing students, educators, and libraries, and we continue to provide a valuable safety net for creators and retailers.

Donate any amount, and receive a special #GivingTuesday edition of CBLDF’s podcast featuring a vintage 1980s interview between Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore, discussing creativity, free expression, and the power of comics! All donors who contribute by 12:00 a.m. PST today will receive this very special item!

There’s a whole bunch of cool incentives based on your giving level. You can find out more about what the CBLDF has done this past year and make a contribution today.

Reading With Pictures has become a major player in the field of visual literacy. This year they have:

  • Launch Comics Uniting Nations, a global initative that has already reached thousands around the world
  • Spread the word of comic book literacy to teachers and children around the world
  • Joined the Literacenter, Chicago’s dedicated space for literacy
  • Presented at San Diego Comic Con, New York Comic Con, and many more!

You can contribute to Reading With Pictures here.

The Hero Initiative helps comic creators in need. Formed in 2000, the organization is a safety net for comic creators in need. The organization became a not-for-profit in 2001 and has since granted over $700,000 to over 50 comic book veterans who helped build the industry in to what it is today. Their own website sums it up the best.

Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays’ creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.

You can help them out and contribute today, and if you can’t give money, there’s affiliate links on their website which they will receive a portion.

Please donate so these three worthy organizations can continue their good works. If you have more suggestions of comic related non-profits that people can donate to, sound off in the comments below.

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