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Having a career in art can be deeply frustrating at times — most work is freelance, and that doesn’t translate well to job security or financial stability a lot of the time. Even the best and most acclaimed artists and writers — especially in comics — often remain only a few steps away from financial ruin. One illness, one accident, and you may have nothing left.
That’s where Hero Initiative comes in. HI is a nonprofit focusing on providing support to comics professionals in need. The Initiative runs on donations for the most part collected through projects like The 100 Projects and others. HI helps comics professionals get back on their feet with monetary assistance and services like financial and medical advisement.
Here are some of the situations in which HI has provided assistance:
- Chris Wozniak — In the aftermath of a fire destroying his home and studio, HI helped Wozniak with relocating and rebuilding.
- Chris Ivy — HI helped get Ivy out of a homeless shelter and into a job at IDW Publishing.
- Josh Medors — Before his untimely death, HI helped Medors with his medical expenses. HI also secured freelance contracts for Medors so he could continue to support himself and his family.
Hero Initiative fills a very strong need in the comics industry. Therefore, this weekend, if you have the money to spare, please consider donating to the Hero Initiative. In an industry where many professionals work paycheck-to-paycheck, and where retirement benefits are far from assured, donations like this are hugely important.
Because, as Stan Lee himself puts in in the HI’s promotional video, “Everyone deserves a Golden Age.”