Help: The Hero Initiative Anthology features over one hundred creators contributing one-page stories about what “help” means during the COVID-19 pandemic. Running Kickstarter, the project will raise funds for The Hero Initiative. That organization aids comic professionals in need. You can also donate directly to The Hero Initiative through their website.
The Help anthology project started when state lockdowns for COVID-19 began, forcing many comic shops to close and creating a ripple effect throughout the comic industry, resulting in widespread business and job loss and book cancellations. Help became a way for creators to donate their time and skills to tell one-page stories on the theme of helping others, while ultimately serving to raise money for those in the community in need of help during the pandemic.
Comic book writer Omar Spahi and editor Hannah Means-Shannon teamed up to create the Help anthology and partnered with The Hero Initiative to raise money for comic professionals. This marks the first time The Hero Initiative has ever been involved in a Kickstarter campaign.
Even as conditions improve and publishing schedules become more robust, many people in the comic book industry have been affected by business and job loss, and the impact of that loss will linger. The hope is that even after this initial Kickstarter campaign is complete, this project continues to encourage charitable giving to help support the comic community.
The stories submitted for the anthology were open-hearted, examining what it means to help and how we experience aid and value it in comics. These stories span from fiction to non-fiction, some taking silent approaches, and some engaging in intimate monologues. This collection captures how comic creators felt, and continue to feel, about giving and receiving help within their community and world in a heartwarming and kind way, despite living through a time of crisis.
The Kickstarter campaign allows backers to choose from a number of tiers for rewards, including: $10 for a digital copy of HELP: The Hero Initiative Anthology, $25 for a softcover printed copy, $55 for a hardcover printed copy, with additional tiers onwards up to $1000 for original artwork from select creators of the anthology along with a hardcover copy of the book.
All proceeds from the sale of this graphic novel will support The Hero Initiative’s mission to help comic book creators in medical or financial need.
Help: The Hero Initiative Anthology is designed by Dezi Sienty and features a cover by Charlie Adlard. The anthology features the following contributing creators:
Serg Acuna, Ted Anderson, David Baillie, Nick Barber, Corinna Bechko, Steve Becker, John Bivens, David M. Booher, Conor Boyle, Lizzie Boyle, Nick Brokenshire, Mark Bouchard, Scott O. Brown, Erik Burnham, Caio Cacau, Dennis Calero, Jim Campbell, Mario Candelaria, Richard Case, Peejay Catacun, Michael W. Conrad, Gab Contreras, Joe Cooper, Joe Corallo, Alex Cormack, Jorge Corona, Marcelo Costa, CRANK!, Frank Cvetkovic, Nenad Cviticanin, Tony Donley, Siike Donnelly, Rich Douek, Dave Dwonch, Matt Emmons, Taylor Esposito, Scott Ewen, Eduardo Ferigato, Nick Filardi, Bob Fingerman, Tony Fleecs, Michael Jan Friedman, Antonio Fuso, Alfie Gallagher, Dillon Gemmill, Kieron Gillen, Sina Grace, Frank Gogol, Simon Gough, Mathew Groom, Gabriel Hardman, DC Hopkins, Matt Horak, Mike Isenberg, Van Jensen, Rich Johnston, Justin Jordan, Zack Kaplan, Joseph Keatinge. Gideon Kendall, Dearbhla Kelley, Lovern Kindzierski, D.J. Kirkbride, Adam P. Knave, Sean Konot, Piotr Kowalski, Ilias Kyriazis, Jonathan Lang, Christine Larsen, Janet Lee, John Lees, Fabian Lelay, Shawn Lee, Cath Lobo, Marissa Louise, Andrew MacLean, Andy MacDonald, James Maddox, Ariana Maher, Ryan Maniulit, Shaun Manning, Shanna Matuszak, Hannah Means-Shannon, Oliver Mertz, Joe Mulvey, Andrea Mutti, Micah Myers, Mike Norton, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Eric Palicki, Chas! Pangburn, David Pepose, Cris Peter, Troy Peteri, Fred Pham Chuong, Curt Pires, Sebastian Piriz, Ahmed Raafat, Cardinal Rae, Livio Ramondelli, Frank Reynoso, Sean Rinehart, Rafer Roberts, Fabrice Sapolsky, Erika Schnatz, Tim Seeley, Dezi Sienty, Brad Simpson, Arune Singh, Omar Spahi, Mark Stafford, Dave Stoll, Dane Styler, Dave Swartz, Keana Taire, Bryan Talbot, Fred Van Lente, Magdalene Visaggio, and Kelly Williams.