Los Angeles - The newly renamed The Hero Initiative, the not-for-profit charity that delivers financial assistance to comic creators in need, is following up its name and logo change with a new Executive Board of Directors stocked with key industry figures who have supported The Hero Initiative's mission practically since day one. Founding members Jim McLauchlin, Brian Pulido, and Joe Quesada remain on board, with new members being:
Steve Borock, President and primary grader for the Comics Guaranty Corporation (CGC) - Steve has stopped at nothing to support The Hero Initiative, including sponsoring trade show booths, offering special editions for sale and even putting his money where his mouth is as a chronic charity auction bidder.
"I am extremely honored that I was picked to be on the board of directors for this wonderful organization," Borock said. "As we all make a living in a hobby that we love, I truly believe that we owe it to those that made this possible to help them every chance we get. For years now, CGC and I have supported this organization, now I can help support it even more working side by side with the amazing people who already work so hard for the Hero Initiative. My first goal will be to help bring in the thousands of people in the vintage comic book community and have them start donating comic books for upcoming The Hero Initiative auctions that CGC will certify for free."
Guillermo del Toro - Writer and film director (Hellboy) and comics fan - del Toro brings with him all the enthusiasm that Hollywood has for comic book stories with a seasoned love for the genre.
"Comic books have long been a tremendous influence on me, both as a reader, and now as a writer and director," del Toro said. "The works of creators such as Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Richard Corben, John Stanley, Carl Barks and many, many more have fueled my creative engine. I'm very happy to join in with this great organization and give something back to the amazingly rich field of comic books. Simply put, I'm a fan."
Mike Malve , Owner and proprietor of comics retailer Atomic Comics - Malve's perspective as a retailer adds a strong industry component to the table, especially for an organization like Hero Initiative which has relied heavily on fans and retailers alike in generating funds to help creators.
"I want to thank all involved with bringing me on board to such a worthy cause" Malve said. "Being part of this organization truly makes me feel like a Hero. We at Atomic Comics pride ourselves on coming up with some of the most exciting and innovative promotions in the business, and I look forward to making The Hero Initiative part of them in the future."
Beth Widera , Owner and general manager of MegaCon - Widera has never asked The Hero Initiative for a dime for its massive booth at the Orlando MegaCon, and she has always been a gracious and accommodating host for the yearly charity auction at MegaCon, which has long been The Hero Initiative's anchor event. As much to anyone else involved in The Hero Initiative's genesis, the organization owes a debt of gratitude not only for her support then, but for her ongoing support today.
"I am honored to be part of such a wonderful organization," Widera said. "This is a great opportunity for me to give back to an industry that has become such an important part of my life. As a convention manager, I've been fortunate enough to play host to some of the builders of this industry we all call home, and so I feel it is more incumbent upon me to stand up and support The Hero Initiative's mission."
"We're excited to welcome our new board members," Pulido said. "Not only are each one of them leaders in their respective fields, but they are ready to roll up their sleeves and do the work to turbo-charge Hero and spread our message across the globe! Expect big things to come."
"What else could I possibly say that these people and what they bring to our organization hasn't already spelled out in big neon letters?" Joe Quesada asked. "These are people who have been there since day one, and to have them on board to help us steer this vision is a blessing beyond what any of us could have imagined back in the days of cataloguing art at 3 a.m. the night before our first auction. We've come a long way since then, and these folks are a good part of the reason, so who better to help us plan our future?"
The Hero Initiative is also served by a peer group Fund Disbursement Board that hears petitions and disburses funds to worthy applicants. Former Executive Board member Jim Valentino moves to that Board, where he joins continuing members Dick Giordano, Charlie Novinskie, Dennis O'Neil, George Prez, John Romita Sr., and Roy Thomas.