Many Newsarama readers have probably heard and maybe even donated a few dollars or purchased a fundraising product from The Hero Initiative, the charity dedicated to helping comic book creators in medical or financial need. But less often do readers get to see the good the organization does on the ground.
Recently The Hero Initiative solicited testimonials from creators whose lives it has touched through the aid they received, to help illustrate the kind of work that it does and how important it is to keep seeking out ways to help more creators in need.
Here’s a look at anther creator testimonials, this time from well-known DC and Valiant artist Rags Morales (Identity Crisis), published in its entirety courtesy of The Hero Initiative.
“Jim Shooter once called me a ‘principled man.’ I wear that with pride, although sometimes I think I’m just too proud. I’m not the kind of person looking for a helping hand, much less a handout, but life doesn’t work for my principles nor care for my problems.
“I had a hernia for years that was being ignored. It wasn’t causing too much of a problem, but as I went to more conventions, I started lugging around 100 pounds of convention gear from show to show. That’s when my hernia began opening up more with every lift of my table paraphernalia.
“Some time ago, Hero Initiative was willing to give me a helping hand when the industry imploded, leaving me with a foreclosure, bankruptcy, and divorce. I refused then, but this new event wasn’t to be ignored, and it wasn’t a matter of me just working my way out of this. I needed help.
“I emailed Jim McLauchlin with the details and hoped they would help me out. I had no insurance, dwindling returns, and was a single dad of a special needs kid. In short, I became the kind of person that I was refusing to admit that I was; an old comic book pro who needed help.
“Having done a little research to help my case, both Jim and Dr. Maurcio Heilbron talked me through everything, and before I knew it, I was greatly relieved to know they would be there to back me financially. Even when my hernia had grown into a “pantaloon hernia,” a hernia that ends and begins again next to it, they were there to cover the extra expense.
“I’ve always contributed to Hero Initiative at my table when asked. I’ve donated along as I’ve seen the awesome generosity of the great fans that visited me at shows. I recently contributed artwork to a charity fund raiser with Hero Initiative as my chosen charity. But I never thought I’d have to get some of that generosity back.
Please, if you can, donate to Hero Initiative. They helped me out. And there are far worse stories than mine that Hero has gone to great lengths to help. They’re sincere, unsung, and deserve every bit of our respect and continued support.
“Thanx guys, and especially you who have or are considering contributing.
“You’re ALL my hero.
The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero 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. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.
Since its inception, The Hero Initiative has had the good fortune to grant over $1 million to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today.
For more information, please visit them at www.heroinitiative.org.