Official Press Release
LOS ANGELES, CA â€“ The Hero Initiative, the 501 (c) 3 charitable organization dedicated to helping veteran comic creators in medical or financial need, is expanding its lineup, and its reach.
A massive expansion of its initial agenda will include financial planning for creators, mainstream education, Hero-branded products, and an eventual professional guild arrangement in which creators could obtain access to group health insurance and related services. The expansion will be facilitated the hiring of a second Hero employee, organization co-founder Jim McLauchlin. In his new capacity, McLauchlin will devote full-time energies to bringing all of Hero's long-range plans to fruition.
"There would be no Hero Initiative without Jim McLauchlin," said Marvel Comics editor-in-chief and Hero Board member Joe Quesada. "Hero is an incredibly important and much-needed addition to the comic community. We at Marvel have been proud to work with Hero in the past and look forward to the new heights Jim will bring to the organization. Over the years he has worked tirelessly and has done great things through the charity, all volunteer and all of it in his spare time. Having Jim come on board in a full time capacity will only strengthen what Hero does."
The move is fueled by a call from within the comics community to expand services. McLauchlin has 14 years of experience in comics, which will allow Hero's other employee, Development Director Janine Bielski, to concentrate her efforts on more "main street" initiatives outside the comics world.
Hero's core mission of providing relief to comic creators in need-a mission that has aided over 40 creators and their families with over $240,000 in funds-will continue at the core of the organization. New Hero initiatives-pun unintentional-will include:
* Financial planning and tax seminars at conventions that will aid today's creators as well, and allow them to better plan for their financial well-being.
* Movement into educational and mainstream awareness arenas that will aid comics recognition and revenue across the board.
* Creation of additional Hero-generated product, such as last year's ACTOR Comics Presents book and the current Marvel Then & Now DVD, which can result in both paying work and increased recognition for creators, and value for retailers and consumers.
* An eventual professional guild arrangement in which creators could obtain group access to health insurance and related services.
Some of the new Hero wheels are already turning, with announcements soon to come of partnerships with major multimedia organizations.
"We have a truly massive slate of projects to work on," McLauchlin said. "We are going to move cautiously, one add-on at a time. I'd rather do one thing completely than six things by half-measures. But within a couple years, I think Hero can be a great and well-rounded service organization for the entire comic industry."
About Hero Initiative
The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated to helping comic book creators in need. 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.
Hero is served by two boards of directors:
Writer Jim McLauchlin, CGC (Comics Guaranty Corp.) President Steve Borock, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, Atomic Comics owner/operator Mike Malve, Lady Death Creator Brian Pulido, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada and Orlando MegaCon owner/operator Beth Widera comprise the Executive/Fund Raising Board which administers all the fund's operations and raises money.
Dick Giordano, Charlie Novinskie, Dennis O'Neil, George Pérez, John Romita Sr., Roy Thomas and Jim Valentino make up a peer group Fund Disbursement Board that hears petitions and disburses funds to worthy applicants. Pérez is the Chairman of that board.
For more information, please visit us at www.heroinitiative.org .