Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Charity Watch

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Did you know that there are comic book charities that need your help, just like many, many other charities? I don't personally believe they get enough recognition, so I am going to point out some ways you can help out.

The Hero's Initiative

Who They Are: In late 2000, a consortium of comic publishers came up with the idea to create a financial safety net for comic creators, much in the same fashion that exists in almost any other trade from plumbing to pottery. By March of 2001, the federal government approved The Hero Initiative as a publicly supported not-for-profit corporation under section 501 (c) (3).

How They Help
: The member's of The Hero Initiative collect donations and sponsor events at comic conventions all across the nation.
Since its inception, The Hero Initiative (Formerly known as A.C.T.O.R., A Commitment To Our Roots) has had the good fortune to grant over $200,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today.

How You Can Help: There are many ways you can help out The Hero Initiative. Among them:

  • Donations through many different partners
  • Volunteer your time at comic conventions
  • Buy a green Excelsior! wristband or a Tshirt from JLA scribe Brad Meltzer, or check out the other products they have available. All proceeds from these products go 100% to The Hero Initiative.
Contact The Hero Initiative at:
The HERO Initiative
11301 Olympic Blvd., #587
Los Angeles, CA 90064
or visit their website at which you can find a link to every day on the sidebar here at The Comic Rack.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Who They Are: Throughout its existence, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has carried out its mission to protect free speech in comics through the generous support of fans and professionals alike. At conventions, through benefit books and other fundraisers, the comics community has rallied behind the First Amendment. No media has a more enthusiastic base of support than comics, and the CBLDF is proud to play a part in protecting this vital American art form.

How They Help: Many members of the CBLDF are artists themselves and donate their work to help out. You can buy this work, whether it is art, books, tshirts or many other things and all proceeds go to the CBLDF. See how you can help for more info.

How You Can Help: Go to and see the literal plethora of items you can buy. You can buy tshirts from Frank Miller, and the creators of Bone, Hellboy and more. You can buy comics and signed books from Neil Gaiman. You can purchase Wrap Party tickets for Strangers in Paradise. ALOT of exclusive CBLDF artwork from some of the biggest names in comicdom.

But the most important way to support the CBLDF is to sign up for membership. For only $25 a year you can be a member (like me) of the CBLDF and help to keep comics free. There are many levels above the $25 a year, all the way up to the $1000 "Angel Level" and to be honest, I don't know what the benefits would be.

Contact the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund:
271 Madison AV STE 1400
New York, NY 10016
212-679-0631 fax
or visit their website at which you can find a link to every day on the sidebar here at The Comic Rack.

The Comic Book Project @ Columbia University

Admittedly, I know the least about this particular charity, but it supports literacy through comic books and promotes creativity through children writing, designing and publishing original comic books.

Who They Are: The Comic Book Project engages children in a creative process leading to literacy reinforcement, social awareness, and character development, then publishes and distributes their work for other children in the community to use as learning and motivational tools.

How They Help:
1) Academic Reinforcement: Children reinforce and improve their literacy skills through the arts by engaging in a fun, project-oriented, and creative process.

2) Social and Character Development: Children use the project as a pathway to personal understanding and cultural tolerance, which are illustrated by their own artistic creations and displayed in a variety of formats.

3) Community Building: Children spread positive messages to other children and adults in the community via the distribution of their work to community outlets such as schools, after-school programs, and community centers.

How You Can Help: There are two ways for you to join The Comic Book Project:

1) General Participation Program

We have established a partnership with Dark Horse Comics, which provides us with wholesale printing and distribution services. You can obtain the Project materials, lesson plans, and past student publications from Dark Horse for $6 per student. Proceeds go to sustaining the The Comic Book Project in underserved areas. Send in your students’ comics, and we’ll set up a free webpage gallery of your children’s work!

Download the PDF order form from Dark Horse Comics here.

2) Grant Program

You may be eligible to participate in The Comic Book Project for free if you are either a:

  • Title I (or equivalent) school or district
  • After-school program for at-risk youth
  • Nonprofit youth development organization
Download the 2006-2007 grant application here.

Contact The Comic Book Project @ Columbia University:
Dr. Michael Bitz, Founder & Director
Teachers College, Columbia University
520A Horace Mann Hall - Box 139
525 West 120th Street
New York, NY 10027
(212) 330-7444
or visit their website at which you can find a link to every day on the sidebar here at The Comic Rack.

If you know of any other charities tha deserve to be recognized here, please let me know. You can either leave information in the comment section or you can contact me directly at

Thanks for taking the time to read this,



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