Tom Ziuko is a veteran of 30+ years in the comics business as a colorist. His credits include Superman,Hellblazer, Crisis on Infinite Earths, and even Scooby-Doo. This is what Tom has to say in May, 2014…
“Superheroes are characters of fiction, stirring our imagination with their tales of derring-do and rescue. The good people of the Hero Initiative are even better –real-life superheroes, who come to the aid and rescue of real people. I know this to be true, because I am one of them.
“At least five times now over the last four years, the Hero Initiative has swooped in and saved my life. The first time was when I found myself in the hospital with kidney failure — an ordeal that lasted several months. While hospitalized, and during my recuperation, when I was unable to work and support myself, the Hero Initiative was right there to make sure that my rent and my bills were paid.
“Then less than a year after getting back on my feet, I had to have emergency surgery to save my colon. Thankfully, I survived this ordeal intact — and once again, the Hero Initiative was there to support me financially, keeping a roof over my head, putting food on my table, and covering my day-to-day bills and expenses — literally saving me from becoming homeless.
“Over the last few years I’ve also had to deal with Afib — which causes my heart to beat too fast, and also out of rhythm. On at least two occasions this has led to hospital procedures and recuperation periods, which of course also meant time away from me earning my living as a freelance colorist.
“And who was there, once again, each and every time, to come to my rescue and help me out financially? You know it — the incredible people who do the good work of the Hero Initiative.
“Then there was the time that landing a new freelance assignment wasn’t happening — and when I couldn’t cover the rent and the bills that month, I turned to the Hero Initiative and asked for a loan — and once again they came through for me, no questions asked.
“Mere words can never express the gratitude I feel for the Hero Initiative—I can’t overemphasize the amazing work they do, providing assistance to people like myself — freelancers in the comicbook industry, who for one reason or another have fallen upon hard times, or are dealing with financial issues and health concerns.
“If you’ve ever been entertained by reading a comicbook, please remember that they don’t just fall out of the sky as a finished product — they’re written, drawn. lettered and colored by real people — most often freelancers, who may not be able to afford health insurance or cover their expenses and make ends meet. If these people have ever brought you thrills, adventure, and entertainment — perhaps over the course of your childhood and into your adult years — then I urge you to give something back to them and make a donation to the Hero Initiative. Be a real-life superhero yourself — the life you save may be a comicbook creator.”