Tag Archives: Hero Initiative

The Hero Initiative and Flash Appreciation Day

Hero Initiative

For Flash Appreciation Day, Nothing But Comics asked the Hero Initiative three questions about what they do, how you can help, and of course, the Flash:

1. For readers that may be unfamiliar with the Hero Initiative, can you tell us how the organization helps comics creators?

Long story short, we’re a medical and financial relief organization for comic book creators. We’ve literally kept people alive. There was a moment at the San Diego con a few years ago that was surreal for me. An artist that we benefited came up to me to thank me for the help we had given him. He was shaking my hand, with tears streaming down his cheeks. He had been living on about $90 a week, and was eating one meal a day. He didn’t know what to do, or where to turn, and he was ready to take his own life. He had literally written the suicide note when he stumbled upon us. We were able to get him back on his feet, and he’s alive today, doing much better.

We’ve literally paid back rent when people were 48 hours from being evicted, paid electric bills when people were 24 hours from having utilities shut off, and paid for desperately needed operations that weren’t covered by medical insurance as well.


2. How can people help the Hero Initiative?  Besides financial contributions, are there any resources or activities that might be helpful to the organization?

I always tell people, “Five bucks.” Is the easiest and best thing people can do. People can donate via the “What Can I Do?” page on our Website.

We also need volunteers for events and conventions to help us staff these events. Folks can find information on the same page.


3. Since it’s Flash Appreciation Day, I’d like to ask the Hero Initiative team if you have a favorite iteration of the Flash character (Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, Wally West, or Bart Allen)?

Here’s what some members of our Board of Directors had to say:

George Pérez, former Teen Titans writer, artist:

Barry was always MY  Flash. He’s the one I grew up with and there is something a bit poignant about being the artist who “killed” him back in the ’80s. Since I was drawing Wally as a member of the New Teen Titans, he will always be Kid Flash to me.

Mark Waid, former writer Flash:

How could it not be Wally West? Here’s my resume: Jay was stately, Barry was solid. But Wally was fun.

Walt Simonson, Ragnarok writer/artist:

Tossup between Jay Garrick and Barry Allen, giving Barry a slight edge.  He’s the character I read when I was young, so he’ll always be the Flash to me.  However, I was around when Jay Garrick was reintroduced into the DCU, and I have to say that as a kid reading the books,  I thought it very cool that a second mature Flash with gray temples had appeared.

Jim Valentino, Image Comics co-founder:

Jay Garrick. I read Flash #123 when I was about 10 and just loved the character. Simple, homespun. Everything from his personality on down to his costume–a red jersey, dungarees and doughboy hat with wings. It looked homemade, like something anyone could wear without getting embarrassed. The most likable character in the JSA, the heart of the team.

Dennis O’Neil, longtime comics writer and editor:

I guess I’d go with Barry, but I confess to a warm spot in my heart for Jay because he was one of the first superheroes I encountered.  (Hey, I was really, really young. Really!)


There you have it: A run-down of what the Hero Initiative does, plus a few Flash-y thoughts. Please take a look at how you can help by donating, volunteering, or participating in other programs that can help the charity.

It’s Flash Appreciation Day!

Some super-heroes are loved by the cities they protect. Others are feared. But Central City and Keystone City celebrate the Flash. They raise statues to the Scarlet Speedster.

They built a Flash Museum.

Flash Museum

They celebrate Flash Day.

Flash Day

Make no mistake: Central City loves the Flash.

Well, most of the time.

Flash #333

With his powers, the Flash can do more than just fight bad guys and rescue people from disasters. Across comics, cartoons and live-action versions we’ve seen Wally West and Barry Allen pitch in with everything from large-scale rebuilding to small-scale good deeds like fixing a car that’s broken down in the middle of rush hour. Sure, Keystone might have a higher budget for road repairs than most cities of its size, but the Flash is more than just a guardian flying above the city or swinging from the rooftops: He’s running alongside the rest of them.

In the “Flash and Substance” episode of Justice League Unlimited, which aired on February 11, 2006, Central City declared Flash Appreciation Day. At least nine comic book fan sites are getting together this year to celebrate our favorite red-suited speedsters!

Bounding Into Comics picks the top 5 moments from the TV show.
Comics Bulletin looks at the strengths of the three main Flashes: Jay Garrick, Barry Allen and Wally West – plus the Morrison/Millar run on the book and answers the question: Why the Flash?
FlashFans.org talks to artists and writers including Brett Booth, Van Jensen, Phil Hester and Eric Gapstur.
The Geeked Gods tackles the impact of the TV show on the Flash’s popularity.
Graphic Policy
Multiversity Comics reviews Jay Garrick’s first appearance, Emergency Stop, and JLU’s Flash and Substance, plus has a piece about Bart Allen aka Impulse aka Kid Flash aka the Flash, and finally interviews Mark Waid about why he loves the Flash.
Nothing But Comics looks back at the original Flashpoint, Wally West’s debut, and obscure Rogues.
Outright Geekery reviews Flashpoint and looks back at the history of the Flash.
Speed Force recalls a pivotal moment in Flash history: Barry Allen’s death in the Crisis on Infinite Earths – and considers the enduring appeal of Flash villains.

Please check each of these other sites as they update throughout the day!

Finally, more important than Flash Appreciation Day, we’re also spreading the word about the Hero Initiative. The comics industry isn’t exactly known for pensions or insurance benefits, and many artists and writers find themselves with emergency medical bills (remember Oliver Nome’s crowdfunded brain tumor surgery?), or in need of disaster recovery, or just forgotten by the industry. The Hero Initiative helps comics creators in trouble with their medical bills, covers rent or utilities, and helps them get back on their feet. Please take a look at the charity’s site and consider helping out the people who make the comics you love!

Hero Initiative

M-Day (8/12): Honoring Mike Wieringo & Mark Gruenwald

This Sunday, August 12 is the fifth anniversary of the death of artist Mike Wieringo and the sixteenth anniversary of the death of editor/writer Mark Gruenwald. Marvel’s Tom Brevoort and The Hero Initiative’s Jim McLauchlin have set up M-Day, a memorial to honor their memories by raising funds for the Hero Initiative to support comics creators in need.

Mike Wieringo, co-creator of Impulse/Bart Allen, was one of my favorite artists on The Flash, and his death came as a major shock. (I would also recommend his Image comics series, Tellos, with later Impulse writer Todd Dezago.) Mark Gruenwald had a very long association with Marvel Comics, and is probably best known for his work on Squadron Supreme.

M-Day donation page on Razoo, or if you prefer, you can go straight to the Hero Initiative.

Mark Waid Joins Hero Initiative

The Hero Initiative has announced that long-time Flash Writer Mark Waid has joined its Board of Directors. Waid will take the place of director Guillermo del Toro on the Executive/Fundraising Board.

Among Flash fans, Waid is best known for writing the Wally West series through most of the 1990s. Some of his more notable contributions to the mythos include the speed force, centering the book on the Wally/Linda relationship, co-creating Impulse, more-or-less creating Max Mercury based on the golden-age Quicksilver, and generally building up the Flash Family of characters.

The Hero Initiative is dedicated to helping comics creators in need. You can read more about their mission at www.heroinitiative.org.

Speed Reading: Morrison/Millar, Rebirth Reactions, Signings and More

Flash v.2 #134Mindless Ones takes an extensive look at the Morrison/Millar Flash run, focusing on the excellent Jay Garrick spotlight issue, Flash v.2 #134.

Flash: Rebirth #1 makes up a large chunk of the Weekly Crisis’ Moments of the Week.

4thLetter! asks, “You know what was hilarious?”

Daryl Tay wonders, New Flash or Old Flash? — contrasting the quick sell-out of Flash: Rebirth #1 with Newsarama’s “Who’s your favorite Flash” poll in which visitors overwhelmingly chose Wally West over Barry Allen.

The Four Color Media Monitor is glad to hear that Bart Allen is back.

Comicbook.com has 10 “Are You JOKING” Moments in Comic Books including the April 2008 return of Barry Allen

The Hero Initiative has announced their schedule for Free Comic Book Day (Saturday, May 2). Among other events, former Flash writers Mark Waid and Marc Guggenheim will be appearing at Collector’s Paradise in Winnetka, California from 12:00-3:00.

The first issue of Mark Waid’s Irredeemable sold out in one day, and will get a second printing.

The Weekly Crisis talks about corporate comics, with DC and Marvel as Intellectual Property companies first, and comics companies second.

Once Upon a Geek digs up an old ad for COIE…back when the title was going to be “DC Universe: Crisis on Infinite Earths.”

And totally off-topic, there’s Rorschach Reviews Watchmen.

Mike Wieringo Marvel Apes Variant Benefits the Hero Initiative

The Hero Initiative has released a variant edition of Marvel Apes #1, penciled by the late Mike Wieringo and inked by Karl Kesel.

Daregorilla, the Ape Without Fear, penciled before Mike's passing.

Daregorilla, the Ape Without Fear, penciled before Mike’s passing.

Marvel Apes writer and cover inker Karl Kesel said:

It was a blast working on Marvel Apes — one of the most far-out, fun assignments I’ve ever had! And inking Mike Wieringo’s “Daregorilla” variant cover only made it better. This drawing is one of the initial inspirations for the entire mini-series — chances are the comic would have never happened without it — so this cover brings everything full circle. And it’s only fitting that it helps The Hero Initiative, because Mike was a big believer in giving back to the comics community, and that’s exactly what The Hero Initiative is all about.

The book is limited to only 3000 copies worldwide and is available now at Atomic Comics. Retail price is $8, and the book will also be available at the Hero Initiative booth at the Baltimore Comic-Con (Sep. 27–28), Mid-Ohio Con (Oct. 4–5), Adventure Con (Oct. 25–26) and Wizard World Texas (Nov. 7–9).

The Hero Initiative is 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.

(Adapted from the Hero Initiative’s press release.)

(Edit: Fixed the typo in the title. *sigh*)