Ronda Pattison on how Hero helps her

It’s no secret to any one who follows me on social media that the past year has been hugely difficult. I’ve been working in comics for 21 years, a colorist for the past 16, and freelance for the last 13 years. So I’m used to occasional dry spells and scary months, but never entire scary years that left me deeply in debt and struggling to meet my most basic expenses.

This past summer, when I began experiencing severe dental pain I couldn’t ignore, I was so worried and scared. I was lucky enough to find a dentist willing to let me pay in installments, but even that was a huge challenge as I had to decide what bill I wouldn’t pay that month in order to find money for the dentist.

Enter the Hero Initiative. Some concerned souls had told them of my plight and I received an email from Jim McLauchlin asking if they could help. I was thrilled! And then I was embarrassed. I declined their help.

After all, the Hero Initiative was for people with “real” problems, like homelessness or devastating illness, wasn’t it? Surely there were people far more deserving of their help than me.

But as the estimates for more necessary dental procedures climbed into the multiple thousands, I reconsidered, swallowed my pride, and accepted their generous offer of help. Within days I received enough to pay my dental bills in full, and I have been grateful every day since.

I hope that one day I will be in a position to support them in return, to pay it forward and help someone else in need. If you are a comic fan with the means, I hope you will consider donating or volunteering. You will not only be supporting a community of creators in a very challenging field, but changing individual lives for the better.

—Ronda Pattison

Ronda Pattison

Ronda Pattison