Image Comics has announced that recent Humble Bundles have generated over $140K in proceeds to benefit the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation. The organization provides assistance to employees and shop owners who have a demonstrated financial need arising from severe hardship and/or emergency circumstances.
Over $35K was raised to benefit Traveling Stories, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that seeks to empower kids to outsmart poverty by helping them fall in love with reading by the fourth grade. In a joint Bundle with multiple other publishers, over $4M was raised to benefit Race Forward, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and The Bail Project charities to support the Black community during the Black Lives Matter movement.
The “The Walking Dead by Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment” Bundle, “Creator Spotlight on Jonathan Hickman”, and the currently running “Image Comics Showcase” Bundle purchases all contributed to the total amount so far raised for Binc Foundation.
The “Image Comics Showcase” Bundle is live now and, in fewer than 24 hours, is already on track to be the highest ordered Image Central Humble Bundle in the past five years. Its proceeds will go toward Binc Foundation too, as well as to The Hero Initiative.
For more than twenty years, the Binc Foundation has helped bookstore and comic book store employees and owners who encounter unexpected financial crises. The Binc Foundation works to keep book people in their homes, in their jobs, and with their families – stabilizing the brick and mortar bookstore community. The Foundation is the only 501(c)(3) in the country dedicated exclusively to strengthening the book industry by supporting the people who work in bookstores and comics shops.
The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book artists and craftsmen in need. Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for yesterday’s creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work.
Comic creator Sheldon Allen and Scout Comics have announced that for the month of June, all profits from the sale of individual issues and the trade paperback of Allen’s Crucified will be donated to the NAACP.
In the announcement, Allen said:
I wrote Crucified ten years ago as a response to racial injustice and inequality. And ten years later, nothing has changed. While the jaded realist residing in me doesn’t see much improving in another ten years, the scorned idealist buried even deeper in my soul screams otherwise. And so, I commend Scout Comics for stepping up and putting their money where their mouth is. It’s one thing to give lip service saying you’re committed to change; it’s another to actually partake in the change you claim you wish to see. History is watching.
In Crucified, the world’s deadliest contract killer just received his next target: A man some believe to be the modern Jesus Christ. Lucas Blank, a gun for hire, finds himself contracted by a powerful NGO to execute a figure known only as the Messiah, who recently stopped a Los Angeles race riot with a single word. Lucas is a professional and it’s just another job until he has his finger on the trigger and is about to complete the job, that is, until the Messiah sees him and he suffers a crisis of conscience. The NGO becomes more desperate than ever to see the Messiah dead at any costs, including sacrificing those that Lucas holds most dear. One bullet. One kill. A billion consequences.
You can get your copy here.
As the first African-American woman cartoonist to write a syndicated strip, Barbara Brandon-Croft is yet another trailblazer. Her father, Brumsic Brandon Jr., created the comic strip Luther, which was about a group of inner-city African-American children and had an underlying theme of the struggle for racial equality. Brandon-Croft also developed an interest in drawing and completed a fine arts degree at Syracuse University. She then went on to work for Elan and Essence magazines, and did some illustrations for The Crisis, a magazine published by the NAACP.
In 1989, Brandon-Croft began publishing Where I’m Coming From through The Detroit Free Press, Detroit’s largest daily newspaper. Where I’m Coming From was nationally syndicated in 1991, and was published in more than sixty papers throughout the United States between 1989 and 2004. It ran for more than fifteen years before Brandon-Croft ended the strip in 2005 after a downturn in readership.
The comic itself featured a cast of about a dozen women, known as “the girls.” Each had a distinct personality; some were conscious of social issues while others were more conscious of men, but all contributed to the comic’s unique appearance and tone. One of Where I’m Coming From’s distinct characteristics is its lack of background. The characters appear against a blank panel.
The comic’s other distinct characteristic is the way in which the characters are drawn, as none have bodies. Rather than drawing an entire person, Brandon-Croft depicted each character with a head and a set of hands. She has said that it was a conscious decision to draw the characters as heads and hands only. Rather than define these characters by their bodies in a world where women are already defined by their bodies, each character is distinguishable by her distinct face and personality.
Where I’m Coming From is important for the insight it gives into being African-American in the United States, and for its social commentary. Though the comic wasn’t always politically focused, many of the points it made remain relevant today. It is also important because there is a distinct lack of African-American cartoonists in newspapers. Barbara Brandon-Croft is the only African-American woman to reach syndication, and to date there have only been a dozen African-American artists with syndicated comics.
Actor Idris Elba made news when he was cast in the role of Heimdall in the upcoming Marvel Comics movie Thor, but that news wasn’t positive. Some white supremacists got up in arms over a black man being cast as a Norse god. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter the actor blasted the critics and racists who had an issue with the casting. The actor had this to say:
We have a man [Thor] who has a flying hammer and wears horns on his head. And yet me being an actor of African descent playing a Norse god is unbelievable? I mean, Cleopatra was played by Elizabeth Taylor, and Gandhi was played by Ben Kingsley.
Bleeding Cool gave some other examples of minority roles including Noah Ringer playing Aang in The Last Airbender. Zhang Ziyi and Michelle Yeoh were in Memoirs of a Geisha and Reece Shearsmith as Papa Lazarou. I’ll also throw in C. Thomas Howell in Soul Man and since it’s on tv while I write this, Eddie Murphy in Coming to America.
The majority of the article is focused on roles for black actors and came on the heals of the NAACP Image Awards.
There’s not a whole lot as far as history when it comes to Your Future Rests, a comic book produced by the NAACP in 1964. It’s goal was to get people engaged politically. It stresses voting and civic engagement to improve education, living standards and employment.
You can read the full comic at http://www.ep.tc/problems/34/index.html.
Thanks for http://www.ep.tc/ and it’s amazing collection of these fantastic nuggets of history.