Tag Archives: non-profit

Seattle Comic Book Retailer Comics Dungeon Goes Non-Profit

c4c3Seattle comic book retailer Comics Dungeon has announced that it is getting rid of its for-profit status becoming a non-profit corporation. Comics Dungeon, Inc. will be changing its name to Comics for Community, Compassion and Culture, C4C3.

C4C3 will focus on raising money to bring more comics and graphic novels to libraries and the classroom. One hundred percent of all profits will be given to schools, educators, and libraries through a new grant program. The initial profits will come from the operation of Comics Dungeon, but there will be an expansion with fundraising programs to accept cash donations as well as comic aA nd related donations.

The store has been in operation for 25 years with the current owners Scott and Lainie Tomlin owning the store for 11 years.

In the announcement Scott Tomlin, C4C3’s president said:

After being part of the community for over 25 years, we wanted our focus to be giving back to the very community that built our success. The Comics Dungeon retail store name will remain the same.

Lainie Tomlin, the company’s vice president said:

Our goal is to encourage more willing readers, including English language learners, and across many topics and genres.

Joining them on the board of directors are Kazu Kibuishi, 15-year comic creator of the bestselling Amulet, Flight and Copper series, Rob Salkowitz, educator, columnist and author of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture”, Tracy Williams, education activist, experienced educator and curriculum director in Washington state public schools at Walla Walla School District, Spokane School District and Seattle Pacific University.

Congrats on the change and looking forward to seeing what you all do with the new status!

The Inkwell Awards Showcases its 2015 Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge Art And Fundraiser

The Inkwell Awards, a non-profit organization devoted to the art of inking, will be revealing the unique results of its fifth annual Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge in a series of fund-raising online auctions beginning Saturday, April 11. This is the ‘main event’ to the recently announced Sinnott Spring Celebration of auctions running from March through May containing Joe Sinnott donations.

To best exhibit what inkers do, industry legend Joe Sinnott pencilled a drawing of Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man, as well as a “breakdown”, or rough sketch, of its most popular X-Man, Wolverine. His art was scanned and sent in blue-line form to various inkers around the globe. The ink artists were invited to embellish the Silver Age great, whether staying faithful to his original lines or reinterpreting them. All resulted in unique pieces of comic art.. Most also sport a classic, hand-lettered logo to resemble a cover.

The list of ink artists contributing their skills is the longest ever and includes: Andy Smith, Dan Parsons, Mark Pennington, Jack Purcell, John Dell, Keith Williams, Mark McKenna, Neil Vokes, Bob Wiacek and many other professionals as well as eager and skilled amateurs. (The list changes each year.)

All submitted art, from last year’s to the current pieces, can be viewed at The Inkwell’s ComicArtFans gallery. All pieces for this challenge are personally signed by the generous Mr. Sinnott and include a certificate of authenticity. The first wave of inked blue-line original art from this Challenge will be on the auction block beginning Saturday, April 11 at the Inkwells’ eBay store. Subsequent waves will begin each week thereafter. The art will later be collected into book form.

The Inkwell Awards also offers Sinnott Inking Challenge book collections of previous art with various editions available for donations to the organization. Prices and availability of these and other merchandise can be found at the Inkwells’ Web Store.

The Inkwell Awards is an official 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and promote the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize and award the best ink artists and their work. Now in its seventh year, the organization is overseen by a committee of industry professionals and assisted by various professional ambassadors and numerous contributors. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.

Denver Comic Con and co-founder Charlie LaGreca Mediation Concludes

DCC 2014 Logo HiResAfter lots of mediation, it looks like the battle between Comic Book Classroom, the nonprofit parent of the Denver Comic Con, and one of its co-founders Chalie LaGreca has reached a conclusion, though details of the agreement reached are being held under wraps.

A statement was released on the Comic Book Classroom website:

Comic Book Classroom (CBC) and Charlie LaGreca are pleased to announce we have successfully completed our mediation. Together we discussed the challenges in growing a successful nonprofit and have come to an agreement about how to move the organization forward with the vision of the original founders, including Charlie LaGreca. Both parties are satisfied and have mutually agreed to keep the mediation details confidential, but rest assured that CBC reaffirms its commitment to supporting artists, to the power of comic books in engaging students in the classroom, and bringing Denver the world-class comic convention it deserves.

Mediation had been going on since February after a meltdown that accused Comic Book Classroom of falling short of its goals and vision, after LaGreca was ousted from the organization.

CBC_Logo_250_137We looked into the available reports, from back in 2012, to see if the claims had merit. We’re still awaiting to see the 2013 filings for the organization, and will go through them when they’re released. We were contacted by the non-profit and convention over Twitter and were promised a simple response to our investigation, a response that has yet to come.

Some education programs have been announced by the non-profit/convention, but details have been scarce.

Though exact details and statements are scared LaGreca said to the Denver Post:

I’m happy with the outcome and our reaffirmation towards comic books, artists, and kids. I believe great things are coming and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the Con!

The Denver Comic Con returns to the Denver Convention Center June 13-15.

Denver Comic Con at War. The Details and the Facts.

DCC-infographic2A war has exploded over the Denver Comic Con with accusations flying back and forth. Co-founders Charlie La Greca and Frank Romero are no longer associated with the show after they say they’ve been ousted by the board of directors. Denver Comic Con is associated with The Comic Book Classroom, a non-profit engaging with children and educating them about the comic book form.

A website, SaveDenverComicCon.com, has been set up and makes the following claims as summed up by Bleeding Cool:

  • Not seeing any educational events conducted by Comic Book Classroom since last year’s convention, which he called “very unhealthy.”
  • “Allegedly up to $300,000 in revenues from the 2013 DCC alone, that remain unaccounted for, and some of which appear to be funneled towards high profile legal posturing.”
  • All mentions of Romero — who resigned from the DCC board — and La Greca appearing to have been removed from the Comic Book Classroom and DCC websites, despite being both organizations’ sole co-founders. “It is one thing to feel as though founders are being forced out from an organization, it’s another to perhaps claim ownership and rewrite history.”
  • The way various people associated with the DCC, who helped found and build it, have apparently been treated and dismissed. “These are not ‘growing pains.’ These are seemingly questionable steps by the Board of Directors, leaps away from the core values of CBC and DCC,” La Greca said.

The Comic Book Classroom/Denver Comic Con responded to accusations in a release to Bleeding Cool:

Comic Book Classroom (CBC) and its major funding program, Denver Comic Con and Literary Conference (DCC) remains true to its not-for-profit mission of children’s literacy.

Prior to the 2013 con, Charlie LaGreca, one of the six co-founders of CBC and DCC, (the other founders are Christina Angel, Illya Kowalchuk, Bruce MacIntosh, Frank Romero and Michael Newman) took a paid contract position with the organization.

As was discussed at length with Charlie, the bylaws of the non-profit necessitated that in order to draw a salary he would need to step down from the board—as he agreed. Another founder, Frank Romero, stepped down from the board for personal reasons in January 2014. The rest of the founders continue to work tirelessly towards the mission of children’s literacy—sometimes up to 80 (unpaid) hours per week in these months leading up to the con.

Charlie was paid $10,000, and was the only founding member who was paid. After the 2013 con, Charlie’s contract was not renewed. In the months following the convention, CBC and Charlie went to a number of mediation meetings. And therefore his nonparticipation has never been in question. We deeply regret that the matter has jumped from mediation to the court of public opinion.

Allegations of misuse of funds are wholly untrue. As an applicant for 501(c)3 status, CBC’s financial statements are a matter of public record; the 2012 990 form is on file with the IRS, and when the fiscal year 2013 records are completed they will be filed and will also be publicly available as a matter of course.

The organizational structure that is being built around one of the nation’s largest conventions is a result of its success and popularity. We’re expecting 75,000 attendees this year; we’re planning more than 300 hours of educational programming and have dozens of comic creators and celebrity guests. Since the 2013 con, CBC has invested in the development of more mature processes and policies and staff to ensure there’s a CBC that lives beyond any of its founders.

Every hour and every dollar spend by CBC goes towards securing the non-profit mission. There have been a number of developments on the classroom front since the 2013 convention:

• There is currently a CBC class in session at Sanchez Elementary in Lafayette, Colo.

• CBC is working with the City and County of Denver to integrate the curriculum to the Youth One Book One Denver Project, a program that involves approximately 2,500 kids.

• CBC is working with Platte Forum to teach high school students that are at-risk but showing promise the curriculum. They in turn will teach it to younger kids.

• CBC recently wrote a grant with The Conflict Center to execute programming at Sims-Fayola International Academy in the aim of authoring comic books to develop emotional intelligence and critical decision making as those relate to being an adolescent male.

• Additionally, CBC staff are currently planning dozens of hours and specific programs designed around children’s literacy at its largest annual program, Denver Comic Con.

As the curriculum and materials are rebranded to adhere to legal and education standards, classroom activities will see an uptick in the summer of 2014.

Additionally, it’s because of its fiscal responsibility that CBC is positioned for growth in 2014 and beyond. The future plans for the organization include multiple curricular sets being widely available to educators, a YouTube instructional channel, a scholarly conference to be held concurrent to DCC and eventually, its own physical classroom space.

CBC encourages anyone who believes its mission isn’t being tended to carefully enough to volunteer. As a non-profit, we’re only as good as the people who stand with us to provide children’s programming at the convention—including activities in the Kids’ Corral—and the teachers, educators and administrators that apply their many talents to the CBC curriculum.

Thank you for your continued support.

I decided to take the CBC up on their challenge and looked into their IRS filing for 2012 which runs from the tax year beginning August 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012. The form has total revenue of $184,702, of which $2,302 was from contributions and grants and $182,400 from “other revenue.” Total expenses are lists at $9,370 leaving them a total of assets at $175,332.

Listed in the form is the Denver Comic Con’s expenses at $304,943 with a revenue of $486,366 and The Rocky Mountain Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels which cost $5,285 and brought in $8,564.

Other expenses included $10,125 for compensation for six staffers including La Greca listed as “Vice President” as well as two Directors, one Director of Registration and one Secretary, each listed as working four “average hours per week.” There were other expenses including legal, advertising, occupancy, travel, insurance, depreciation, books/subscriptions, supplies and a website which all cost $9,370.

Go through all of that and the end of the year funds resulted in $175,332.

Missing from the form was any mention of expenses towards education initiatives. We are waiting for the 2013 filing which will be done some time this year.

You can see the full pdf of the filing below. I think this unfortunate situation highlights the abuse of the non-profit system by conventions. We as a site call for the IRS and local authorities to do a better job into looking into these abuses to truly figure out which are non-profit, and benefiting society, and which are clearly for profit and only benefiting themselves.

Bluewater Productions To Offer Free Ad-Space To Nonprofits In Comic Books

Bluewater Productions announces that they plan to set aside considerable ad-space in their comic books and website in order to run free ads for 501c3 nonprofit organizations.

Bluewater Productions Inc. is a headline making independent publisher of comic books, young adult books and graphic novels. Its extensive catalog of titles includes 10th Muse and The Legend of Isis. Bluewater publishes comic books in partnership with entertainment icons such as William Shatner, Adam West and properties such as Logan’s Run and more. Bluewater is best known for their successful line of biographical comics under the titles “Female Force” and “Political Power,” which have garnered international attention.

In the past Bluewater Productions has offered support to nonprofits such as PETA, the Bipolar Foundation, Adelphi Breast Cancer, The Foundation for AIDS Research, Doctors Without Borders, The Humane Society, It Gets Better, The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, The Thomas Jefferson Center and others.

Darren G. Davis, Bluewater Productions publisher in a statement said:

I know first hand the struggles of nonprofits.

By offering free ad-space Bluewater aims to help the nonprofit community in relieving the stress of advertisement costs that many non-profits grapple with.

Any eligible 501c3 nonprofits are encouraged to submit full-page advertisements for our publications. Each released book will allow for two to three advertisements, considered on a first come first serve basis.

Bluewater’s comic books have been embraced by the media and featured on several television news outlets including The Today Show and on CNN. The series has also been featured in many publications such as The LA Times, MTV.com, Time Magazine, and People Magazine.

For those interested, contact Darren Davis with any questions at ddavis@bluewaterprod.com


Comics By and For African Teens

Coat of arms of Namibia.

My Heroes is a new social-issues comic aimed for African teens. This totally non-profit project is for the Namibian government and is currently a joint project between volunteers from the non-profit Pact (which gets some funding from the U.S. Agency for International development) and some teenagers from a government-run gome in the Namibian capital, Windhoek. The final book will teach orphaned and vulnerable children all over Namibia how their children’s homes should be run.

Namibia has the seventh-highest rate of HIV worldwide, which adds to its large number of orphans and vulnerable children: about 250,000 in 2010, an estimated 28% of whom were orphaned by AIDS. By 2012 there were 849 children living at children’s homes.

The final book is scheduled to be published in 2013. You can find some examples of what’s being put together at http://spin-doctors.tumblr.com which posts regular artwork and behind the scenes material.