Board Members

Fundraising Board

Steve Borock is the President and Primary Grader at CBCS (Comic Book Certification Service). Steve was a key figure in introducing third-party certification to the comic book hobby. Having owned many of the hobby's most important comic books, and due to his spotless reputation in the collecting community, he was hired by CGC as its Primary Grader and Restoration Detection Expert when it started up in 1999. He was promoted to President soon thereafter, a post he held until retiring in late 2008 to work as the Senior Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions. Steve had the final word on every grade that CGC assigned, and his reputation was a key component in comic book certification gaining acceptance among the collecting community. Along with colleague Mark Haspel, Steve established the grading standards used by most of the collecting community today. Steve opened CBCS ( in 2014, as he saw a need for a new and "collector friendly" grading service. CBCS gained market acceptance right away and now CBCS is used by all the top comic book auction houses and many of the top sellers and collectors.

Mike Malve was the founder and president of legendary retailer Atomic Comics. Acquiring his keen business sense and strong work ethic from his grandfather, also a self-made man, Mike opened his first store at the age of 20 and over the next 26 years proceeded to grow the company into one of the world’s largest and most acclaimed comic book chains. Mike was a leader and innovator in the comic industry.  He hosted hundreds of events including artist and writer signings, celebrity appearances, workshops, contests, and live concerts. Atomic Comics was even featured as the comic book store in the 2009 Lionsgate movie Kickass!

In September 2011, Mike joined Epic Digital, a web design, animation and media company, as a partner and chief business development officer. Epic Digital, a Phoenix based web design, animation, and media company.

Mike lives in Phoenix, Ariz., with his wife, Andrea and two children, Alexandra and Jack.



Jim McLauchlin has been a professional writer and editor for 23 years. Jim was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1968. He started his writing career in 1989 in Baseball Cards magazine, and worked for several years as a sportswriter. He logged an 11-year stint at Wizard Entertainment, where he was a senior writer and contributing editor for Wizard: The Comics Magazine and spent two years as editor-in-chief of Top Cow Productions. These days, Jim's work appears primarily in Playboy, SFX and Baseball America. He's also appeared in publications as diverse as Esquire and Xbox Nation.

Jim lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lisa Marie, and their son, Logan.

Brian Pulido is a producer, creator and writer and of edgy entertainment and merchandise. He founded Chaos! Comics and has published and written hundreds of comics including Lady Death, Evil Ernie, Purgatori and licensed comics including A Nightmare on Elm St., Chucky, Friday The 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

He has received the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Defender of Liberty Award and is the Chief Creative Officer for Mischief Maker Studios. Pulido wrote and directed the feature film “The Graves”, starring Tony Todd (Candy Man) which premiered on SyFy. He produced and edited Garth Ennis’s “Stitched”.

He is the co-writer of Lady Death, a monthly series from Boundless Comics.

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Joe Quesada a New York native and graduate of the School of Visual Arts, began his career in 1991 as a colorist for Valiant Comics. Before that year was out, he was penciling for DC on titles such as The Ray and The Question, the latter written by fellow board member Denny O'Neil. In 1993, Joe was chosen to do the first significant redesign of Batman's costume and the prestigious cover for Batman #500.

Joe has worked for virtually every major comics publisher including Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, Harris, Chaos!, and Topps. In 1994, with Jimmy Palmiotti and Laurie Brandach, Joe established his own company, Event Comics, and created the popular character Ash. In 1998, he founded the Marvel Knights imprint, which relaunched and revitalized such Marvel perennials as Daredevil, The Black Widow, The Inhumans, and The Punisher. In 2000, Joe was appointed editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, and in 2010, he was promoted to the company’s chief creative officer.


Mark Waid In his twenty-five years in the comics business, Mark Waid has been a writer, an editor, a publisher, an artist, a letterer, a colorist, and more. He's done everything short of putting the actual staples into the comics. Clearly, the guy can barely hold a job. Nevertheless, he's done pretty well for himself--he's one of the most prolific American comics writers of all time, with some of his best-known credits including The Flash, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Justice League of America, and (with painter Alex Ross) the award-winning and best-selling graphic novel Kingdom Come. Currently, is exploring the digital frontier with his upcoming line of web-only comics. He can be found on the web at

Beth Widera is the owner and director of the Orlando MegaCon, the largest comic book, sci-fi convention in the Southeast United States. She started directing the convention in 1999, and in 2004, she purchased it, and has been running it as a family-operated business ever since.  A new person in the field of comics, Beth was amazed at how many new friends she made and how willing people were to guide her and the show in the right direction. She attributes the show’s incredible growth and success to this.

Deeply committed to its principals, Beth has supplied the Hero Initiative with free booth space and numerous amenities every year at MegaCon. She is a firm believer in giving back to people and to the industry that has given so much to her. Beth has an Associate’s degree in Marketing and a Masters degree in Education.

Disbursement Commitee

Howard Chaykin pioneered the graphic novel form in the United States with EMPIRE, THE STARS MY DESTINATION, and the SWORDS OF HEAVEN, FLOWERS OF HELL.

He created the award winning and ridiculously influential AMERICAN FLAGG! and TIME(SQUARED), as well as deconstructing a number of mainstream characters, most notably THE SHADOW and BLACKHAWK.

He has served on staff as a writer/producer on several television series, rising to the level of Showrunner, as well as freelancing in feature films, pilots, and episodic television.

These days he spends his time writing and drawing comics, living at the beach, filled with gratitude that he’s no longer afflicted with a youthful attitude problem.

Charlie Novinskie, a lifelong comics fan, served as the sales and promotions manager for Topps Comics from 1993-1998 and was the publisher of Comics Spotlight. Novinskie serves an an advisor to the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and continues to freelance part time on various writing projects from his home in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Denny O'Neil is one of comics' most acclaimed writer. Dennyl graduated from St. Louis University around the turn of the '60s and joined the Navy just in time to participate in the blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. After leaving the service, he worked briefly in journalism, until fellow Missourian (and now fellow-board member) Roy Thomas facilitated his entry into Marvel Comics. Denny shortly moved on to Charlton, and then DC, where he would pen his most famous work.

At DC, Denny participated in the creation of the "Emma Peel"-style Wonder Woman, revitalized Justice League of America, and brought social consciousness back to comics for the first time in decades with the groundbreaking Green Lantern/Green Arrow series. His work on Batman—first as writer, then as editor—returned that character to its dark, gothic roots and has influenced every bat-scribe since.

Denny is semi-retired and lives in Nyack, New York, with his wife Marifran.

George Pérez started his comics career over 32 years ago and has since won just about every national and international award the industry can bestow. With writer Marv Wolfman, George created the hugely popular New Teen Titans and was one of the architects of DC Comics' revolutionary maxi-series Crisis on Infinite Earths and its follow-up History of the DC Universe. From 1987-91, he both scripted and drew Wonder Woman, redefining the character for a new era of readers. An acknowledged master at drawing "team" series, George had two enormously successful runs, almost two decades apart, on The Avengers, and has also drawn Fantastic Four, The Inhumans, Justice League of America, and X-Men, as well as dual-team crossover series JLA/Avengers.

In addition to his work on Hero's board, George is also a staunch supporter of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a First Amendment advocacy organization for the industry.

John Romita Sr's widely regarded as one of the two "definitive" Spider-Man artists. His nearly sixty-year career began in 1949 as a "ghost" penciller at Timely Comics. It was interrupted by a two-year hitch in the Army, where John put his talents to work on recruiting posters. He returned to Timely (by then known as Atlas) in 1951 to draw countless war, mystery, romance, science fiction, and western tales, and briefly worked on the 1953 revival of Captain America. In 1958, the comics industry hit a slump, Atlas's production was cut back severely, and John moved to DC, where he drew romance stories for nearly eight years.

In 1965, Stan Lee enticed John back to Atlas (by then known as Marvel, of course) to assume the penciling duties on Daredevil. The following year, John began his much-acclaimed run on Amazing Spider-Man; his work on that title would define the look and feel of Marvel's most famous character for decades to come. Later, as Marvel's executive art director, John supervised and trained an entire generation of Marvel artists. He also designed the Spider-Man balloon for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and costumes for dozens of Marvel heroes and villains, including Wolverine and the Punisher. John retired in 1996, but still does occasional covers.

Walter Simonson was born in Tennessee, grew up in Maryland, and went to the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. As an Illustration Major, he wrote, penciled, lettered, and inked a 50-page SF comic called the Star Slammers that became his degree project. After graduation, he took his Slammers portfolio to New York City to try to become a professional artist in the comic book industry.

That worked out, and after a few years, he began writing comics as well as drawing them.

Over the years, Walter has worked on a lot of comics for various companies including the NY Times bestselling Alien graphic novel, Manhunter, the Metal Men, Superman, Batman, Thor, X-Factor, Fantastic Four, RoboCop vs. the Terminator, X-Men vs. the Teen Titans, Orion, Wonder Woman, and Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer, the last written by Michael Moorcock.

Walter recently completed writing and drawing The Judas Coin, a graphic novel for DC Comics, to be published by in 2012.  He is currently working on a variety of short selected subjects, and brainstorming on a new creator owned title  More about that when the storm subsides.

Roy Thomas is one of the founders of comics fandom and among the first of its ranks to "turn pro.” He has now worked as a writer and editor in the field for more than 40 years. In 1965, he left his native Missouri for New York City, where he served for eight days as assistant to Mort Weisinger at DC Comics, before making the move across town to Marvel, which became Roy's creative berth for the next sixteen years. In 1972, he became Stan Lee's first successor as Marvel's editor-in-chief.

Roy is perhaps best known for single-handedly bringing the sword-and-sorcery genre to comics with Conan the Barbarian; for his long stints as writer of Marvel's Avengers and X-Men titles; and as DC Comics' "Earth-2 editor" during the 1980s. Over the years, in his capacity as editor and writer, he helped launch the careers of countless other fans-turned-pro. Currently, Roy is involved in a number of new comics projects and edits Alter Ego, the famed superhero fanzine he helped to found more than four decades ago.



Jim Valentino was born in the Bronx, New York on October 28, 1952. He started his career in the late 1970’s creating small press, self-published comics such as Christmas ComicsKid Stuf’ and others. His work soon came to the attention of Dave Sim and Deni Loubert who published his first full color series, normalman, in 1984 under Aardvark-Vanaheim. In 1985, the title moved to Loubert’s Renegade Press, where his second series, the eponymous titled,Valentino, was launched. Valentino worked as a storyboard artist for various animation features and upon returning to comics began working for Marvel where among other work, most notably the What If? series, he re-created the Guardians of the Galaxy. Leaving Marvel with several other artists, he co-founded Image Comics for which he created the ultra-violent HIV infected vigilante, ShadowHawk. Under the Image banner he published Vignettes, a collection of his earlier auto-biographical work and the Eisner Award nominated A Touch of Silver. Valentino served as Image publisher from 1999-2004 changing the face of the company into one of the most stylistically diverse in the industry. He brought in such renowned authors as Brian Michael Bendis, Warren Ellis, Jim Mahfood, Scott Morse, James Robinson, John Romita, Jr, Robert Kirkman, Keith Giffen, Joesph Michael Linsner and many more. Valentino has done work, either as writer, artist or both for virtually every publisher in the comics field, he has served on the Board of Directors of the Cartoon Art Museum, HERO Initiative and Image Comics, Inc. as well as on the original steering committee of Free Comic Book Day. In 2008 he founded Silverline Books, dedicated to publishing family-friendly books that bridge the gap between traditional story books and graphic novels. Jim’s proudest achievement are his two grown sons, Aaron and Joel.


Charlotte Heroescon

June 17-19, 2016

Wizard World Sacramento

June 17-19, 2016

Louisville Derby City Comic Con

June 25-26, 2016

San Diego Comic Con

July 20-24, 2016

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