Jack Kirby arrived in this world on the 28th of August, 1917. Tomorrow, August 28, 2012, would have been his ninety-fifth birthday. In honor of this anniversary and of Kirby’s incredibly generative and influential work, as well as the larger comics field of which he was such a vital part, I hope you’ll lend your support to two special charitable events designed to benefit the Hero Initiative.
What is the Hero Initiative? As its website explains,
The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays’ 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.
Established in 2001, the Hero Initiative gives support to creators who—and this is an indictment of the way the comic book industry treated its creators for so long—find themselves without financial support, despite their stature in the field and despite the affection of fans. The whole point of Hero is to honor the roots of the comic book and take care of the medium’s revered elders.
So exactly what’s happening on Kirby’s birthday, the 28th?
To give a big boost to the Hero Initiative, Jack Kirby’s youngest granddaughter, Jillian Kirby, has organized a donation drive called Kirby4Heroes. Its premise is simple and wonderful: on August 28th, comic shops across California, as well as Midtown Comics on the other side of the country (in Manhattan), will be donating a percentage of their sales to the Hero Initiative. Please go shopping at your local comic book store on the 28th and help Kirby4Heroes make a difference!
Jillian, in collaboration with the Nerdist Channel, made a video to explain the campaign, which you can see by clicking on this screenshot:
Unfortunately, I’m not able to embed the actual video here, but do check it out by clicking the above or seeking it out on YouTube. Also, the Los Angeles Times’ Geoff Boucher has a helpful article about Kirby4Heroes here.
You can also lend support to Kirby4Heroes by donating online at heroinitiative.org (be sure to type “Kirby4Heroes” in the space for “special instructions”), or by good old-fashioned mail at:
c/o The Hero Initiative
11301 Olympic Blvd., #587
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Please join the campaign; help Jillian Kirby support our comic book heritage!
Besides Kirby4Heroes, there’s something else Kirby-related and cool being cooked up by the Hero Initiative for August 28th: the Wake Up and Draw challenge! As the Hero website explains,
Hero has recruited 100 artists to get up on the morning of August 28, 2012 to simply “Wake Up and Draw.” This new event is a way for artists to limber up, get the creative juices flowing, and celebrate the day by drawing and sending a “birthday card to Jack.” All 100 drawings will be featured in a special gallery at ComicArtFans.com, and fans can follow the action through the day on Twitter searching hashtag: #WakeUpAndDraw. All drawings will be auctioned to benefit Hero Initiative at a later date!
Jack’s son Neal Kirby and artist Tim Seeley have created an video about this event (that’s Seeley in the screenshot—again, click on it to go to YouTube):
Wow, this sounds like fun—and, of course, it’s all to a great cause! What better way to celebrate the birthday of the King?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JACK!
Update: There’s more going on in celebration of Kirby’s birthday—see the comment below!
We are paying tribute to Jack Kirby with a publicity stunt in Hollywood.
I am attaching our press release. Please share with your friends.
Contact: Edwin Duterte
Phone: (310) 571-5483
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9 A.M. EDT, August 27, 2012
Hundreds Demand RNC to Support National Jack Kirby Day
Los Angeles, CA, August 27, 2012: On Tuesday August 28, 2012, hundreds of comic book stores as well as thousands of comic book creators, artists and fans from across the nation will support “The Hero Initiative”, which helps comic book creators in times of financial or medical distress. Local indie web TV creators will raise Hollywood awareness in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater from 10:45 am to 11:15 am Tuesday August 28th by assembling dozens of filmmakers, TV producers and actors to honor comic book trailblazer Jack Kirby, who co-created many of the most iconic superhero characters including Captain America, Thor, Fantastic Four, The Hulk, and Avengers. These supporters, many dressed in characters Jack Kirby created, will organize a “Tribute Award” to honor Mr. Kirby’s influence to the comic book culture. The tribute will also demand the US Congress name August 28th, Jack Kirby’s birthday, as National Jack Kirby Day.
Web TV creators Steven Wasserman and Victor Solis have created a tribute video to honor Jack Kirby’s life achievements (http://youtu.be/Lo5pLTy4JZs) in a “comic book” style. Wasserman and Solis support the efforts of “The Hero Initiative”, which have granted over $500,000 to over 50 comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the comic book industry today. The Hero Initiative with the help of Jillian Kirby, Jack’s granddaughter, also plans to celebrate Jack Kirby’s birthday with the “Kirby4Heroes” campaign. This campaign has recruited 100 artists and a significant number of comic stores to donate a percentage of their sales on August 28th to the Hero Initiative organization.
“Like many of us independent filmmakers, comic book writers and artists have no big pension plans, no behemoth unions for support, no recourse when hard economic times hit home,” said Solis. “These creators toil tirelessly at their craft to deliver beautiful stories to audiences. The least we can do as loving fans is to give something back to these visionaries.”
Producing partners Wasserman and Solis are also raising awareness of the campaign spearheaded by Kirby’s granddaughter Jillian Kirby, Kirby4Heroes. The 16 year old’s ambitious project is spreading the mission of Hero Initiative. Many fans are shocked when they learn that Kirby estate has not received a single cent from the successes of the epic films recently produced by Marvel Studios. She recently created a message on Youtube to encourage others to help comic creators in need (http://youtu.be/NPFnQyNp9b0).
For more information about Tuesday August 28th tribute event in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater, please contact Edwin Duterte at 310-571-5483 or Edwin@theviralpublicity.com.
About Steven Wasserman and Victor Solis:
Wasserman and Solis are co-creators of “Generic Girl”, a 10 episode comedy series currently on JTS.tv/genericgirl. Inspired by silver age comics and their television adaptions in the 1960’s, Generic Girl was conceived as a loving send-up of comic book and television storytelling conventions. For more information about the Generic Girl series, go to http://gogenericgirl.com/2012/08/jack-kirby-tribute-video/.