Hero Initiative Hits the Windy City For Wizard World Chicago

With Special Guest Barry Kitson and more!

LOS ANGELES, CA (August 10, 2016) – The Hero Initiative, the charitable organization dedicated to helping veteran comic creators in medical or financial need, is breezing into the windy city of Chicago for the four-day Wizard World Chicago at the Donald E. Stephens Convention center Thursday through Sunday, August 18-21.

Hero will have top talent appearing exclusively at out booth all weekend! From across the pond, Barry Kitson, the artist of Azrael, Empire, and Legion of Super-Heroes, will be at the Hero booth ALL four days, while Dick Tracy comic strip artist Jim Brozman will be in attendance Friday through Sunday. Fables and Afterlife With Archie artist Andrew Pepoy will be at the Hero booth on Friday and Saturday, while Hack/Slash creator and Blade and Grayson writer Tim Seeley appears on Saturday. All of these great creators appear ONLY at the Hero Initiative booth, #1024!

In honor of Barry Kitson’s appearance, Hero will also have RARE Wizard World Comic Con Box Batman #1 variants with an exclusive cover by Barry at out booth, so don’t miss out! And Hero Initiative ambassadors on the floor include Gene Ha, Jai Nitz, Bill Reinhold, and Arthur Suydam collecting for Hero! Make sure you stop by and do the right thing!

See you in Chicago!

Art attached: Barry Kitson poster, Hero Initiative booth schedule

About The Hero Initiative


The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book artists and craftsmen in need. Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for yesterday’s creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.

Barry Kitson Wizard World Chicagohero_sched_chi16

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative has had the good fortune to grant over $950,000 to the comics veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today. For more information, visit www.HeroInitiative.org or call 626-676-6354.



Hero brings Steve Englehart to Baltimore

Hero Initiative will be at the Baltimore Comic-Con Sep. 2-4, 2016, and is happy to bring classic writer Steve Englehart to the con!


Steve has been the writer of Avengers, Batman, Captain America, Justice League of America, and many more top titles!


Steve will be at the Hero Initiative booth all weekend. Look for him there!


Steve-Englehart-big Avengers 114

Hero and Rick Burchett at Wizard World Ohio

Hero Initiative will be at booth #423 at Wizard World Ohio July 29-31 in Columbus, Ohio! Our special guest for the weekend? Batman artist Rick Burchett! The Hero booth will be the ONLY place you can find Rick!


And BONUS: If you order your tickets through Hero’s special link right HERE, Hero Initiative gets a percentage of your ticket purchase at NO additional cost to you!


See you in Columbus!




Ralph's Scan LetterSign up your Ralph’s Rewards card to help Hero!  It costs you NOTHING, and Hero gets paid every time you buy groceries!

On September 1, Ralphs grocery stores wiped the slate clean on its “Community Rewards” program, and we need to build back from Square One!

The Ralphs Rewards card is your standard grocery store “club card” that gets you discounts and whatnot. But you can ALSO register it with a Ralphs-approved charity, and EVERY time you shop and use the card, Ralphs will kick in a small percentage to the charity of your choice. It costs you, the consumer, NOTHING. It’s just Ralphs kicking in a couple bucks to good causes.

And yes, The Hero Initiative is one of those Ralphs-approved charities, and yes, we need YOU to re-register your card for Hero, which is easy as pie (tho’ not quite as tasty). The EASIEST way to do it is this:

Just click on the scanbar letter here and print it off. Next time you go to Ralphs, use your Rewards card, AND hand this letter to the cashier. Have them scan this with your order and BAM—you’ve signed up for Hero! That’s it!

Now YOU’RE a Hero every time you buy potato chips! And for that, we THANK YOU!



Tom Ziuko on the Hero Initiative

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.”

—Tom Ziuko

Russ Heath Speaks Out on behalf of Hero Initiative!

At 86 years old and with a bum knee (or two!), things are just a little more difficult. But Hero Initiative has been able to help me with finances, smooth over some medical expenses, and find me
some very nice-paying art jobs. And now, one of their associates has just helped me in a new and immense way.

I did some animation work back in the 1960s and was part of the Motion Picture Industry’s Pension and Health Plan. I paid in to the plan…and forgot about it. The 1960s were a long time ago. Well, earlier this year, the Plan finally tracked me down and told me they had a lump sum of old money for me that had accumulated some interest and benefit. The notice came along with 11 pages of documents that were a little different to navigate. So I called the Hero Initiative.

They set me up with Harlan Wenig, their financial services advisor. Harlan speaks the language of those 11 pages a lot better than I do. Hero got copies of the documents to Harlan, and he called me to review and explain everything. He then conference-called the Plan with me on the line, and stayed on hold with me for hours as we were routed from department to department. Harlan had a feeling about something in those documents. Turns out…he was right.

Looks like I actually had about five times the money coming to me the Plan originally thought. Harlan knew the questions to ask, the people to talk to, and the way to get things taken care of. He was cheerful and professional throughout, and got the job done. At the end of a two-hour phone call, and once I finally got all the documents signed and sent in, I had a very nice check coming to me—again, about five times what I originally expected.

I’ve seen first-hand what the Hero Initiative does. Money, medical, financial advice—they work.

Like I say, I’m a pretty lucky guy.

—Russ Heath