Take the Initiative
The picture above is from Timespirits, by Steve Perry and Thomas Yeates.
You may have already been following the appalling and unsettling story of Steve Perry, who was dying of cancer without health insurance, until The Hero Initiative stepped in and got him the treatment and medication he needed. Which seems like a happy ending, until the most recent developments, in which it appears as if Perry may have been murdered, possibly by his roommates.
It's an undeniably sad story. But mostly, I'm posting to talk about the Hero Initiative.
The Hero Initiative is a not-for-profit corporation devoted to helping comic book creators in need. When I first heard of it, I thought it sounded like a very good idea, and imagined them helping out Golden Age creators who'd fallen on hard times. And they've done some of that.
But to my surprise, they've also been helping guys who I think of as contemporaries—Perry, Bill Loeb, Ed Hannigan.
This is an industry that, until very recently, chewed creators up and spit 'em out, leaving a lot of them in shaky financial condition, and in our current economy, it doesn't take much to go from shaky to shattered.
In Perry's case, the Hero Initiative helped him out a lot. They gave him hope, got him treatment, let him enjoy some time with his young son, time he wouldn't have had otherwise. And that's great. But wouldn't it have been nice to be able to do more? To maybe help before the crisis is life-threatening? Wouldn't it have been better if Perry could have been living somewhere where he wasn't in such bad straits that he was living with oxycodone addicts who may have murdered him and left his severed arm in his van?
I think The Hero Initiative were heroes for Perry. And heroes aren't always enough. But let's see if we can help them do more, for the people who need them.
Please visit The Hero Initiative's website. Check out their news, their auctions, contribute if you can. If you can't contribute, check 'em out anyway, and maybe you can contribute later.
Because too many of the men and women who brought you heroes need heroes themselves, from time to time. And we need their heroes to be ready to help.
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