Comic books have provided us an incredible amount of joy throughout the years. For me, they have made my imagination come alive as a kid. Now, I do the same for kids I teach with comic books. We all want the world to be a better place than when we left it, so how about applying that philosophy to the comic book community? Can we find some ways to give back to the hobby that has given us so much joy? Fortunately, many comic book charities have sprung up to fill that void.
Copyright The Hero Initiative
The Hero Initiative exists because, “everybody deserves a golden-age.” Their mission works in many ways to make lives better for comic creators, especially those who have served so long, but now have fallen on hard times. They also provide education for today's creators with financial seminars. They have already helped many comic book creators with the help they need.
You can help The Hero Initiative in many ways. First you can donate time, helping at a convention booth or event. You can also purchase many of their wares, which consist of videos, art, auctions, and more. Lastly, they always take donations of cash. Help out those creators who have given so much to us, the fans. Read more information about The Hero Initiative
The CBLDF fights for first amendment rights in the comic book community. They offer legal advise and counsel to those in the comic book community that have come under fire for selling and creating comic books. Notable cases have been Gordon Lee, who distributed a comic with a nude caricature of Picasso and Kieron Dwyer, who was sued by Starbucks for creating and selling a parody image of the famous coffee mermaid.
The CBLDF accepts donations of time to help staff their offices, as well as help on the convention circuit. You can also help out the CBLDF by becoming a member for $25 a year. They also put together events and auctions where you can purchase art or hang out with comic superstars.
Superheroes for Hospice is a great charity that raises money for the Barnabas Health Hospice and Palliative Care Centers. Event creator and organizer Spiro Ballas has taken his own job as volunteer coordinator for the hospice to heart and volunteers his own time to run this great organization. Superheroes for Hospice takes donated comic books and sells them at events something like a mini comic book convention. Creators come to meet fans and donate their time and there are also panels at some of the events. Fans can purchase cheap comic books, meet creators, and have a great day celebrating comic books all the while raising money for an excellent charity.
The Comic Book Project is a program that offers literacy development through and arts based learning initiative. It operates through schools and after school programs that help children create their own comic books about topics that range from bullying to conservation. It also helps build community with the children as they have to work together to create their comics. The ones that get finished get their comics printed through an alliance with Dark Horse Comics
. This is a great program that helps students grow in their reading and writing skills and also helps build confidence and community through a great program that will get kids creating.
This small home based organization was started by Chris Tarbassian, who was just trying to send some comic books to his friend, an Air Force Flight Nurse. His endeavors have grown and now Chris has committed to sending comics to any soldier that is on the front line. Chris accepts comics and money to spread the cheer of comic books to those who are defending our country all over the world.
Wonder Woman Day is a charity event that is held in Portland, OR and Flemington, NJ each year to raise money for domestic violence shelters. To date, the organization has raised over $69,000 for shelters that help battered women. This charity event has been put together by Andy Mangels, a comic writer and curator of the Wonder Woman Museum
. The event sells one of a kind pieces of art and comic memorabilia that is contributed by comic book creators all over.
This organization is a part of the Works for Life Ministries
that allows people to donate their collections and take a tax credit for the items. This allows you help out a charity and make some room in your house. It is reported that 80% of the money goes to help those in need through programs that help those with substance abuse issues and domestic violence situations. Collectibles With Causes is just one part of their work as they accept all sorts of items to help their charitable efforts. They also help support other organizations such as March of Dimes, Easter Seals, and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. These kinds of organizations are great because you get a nice tax credit and you help out a worthy cause as well.
Donate Your Comics
There are many places you can donate your comics in the local community. The first is your local library, which always takes donations of quality items, especially graphic novels. Libraries are really starting to find out about the impact comic books can have on youths reading habits and although some libraries are starting to carry more comics, some may not have the financial backing of a larger city.
You can also donate your comic books to schools. This will help if you know the teacher you are giving your comics to, but I'm sure most schools can find a place for your age appropriate comic books.
One thing to keep in mind is that your comic will be heavily read and it's life may be short lived.
Copyright Aaron Albert
Charity auctions are a great way to give to a cause, and get something really cool. You can get original comic book art, lunches with comic greats, signed comics, and much more. Hero Initiative and CBLDF almost always have various auctions going on, many around the holidays and conventions. There are also other auctions associated with charities and causes, such as the Bill Mantlo Tribute
and the Mike Wieringo ASPCA Benefit
. Either way, you can give a great gift and get something cool to boot.
Volunteer At A Convention
Copyright Eli Loerhke
Conventions happen all over the world. Some of them are large and well known, such as the Comic Con International
, New York Comic Con
, and Emerald City Comic Con
. Others are much smaller in scale and size. Every convention needs volunteers to make them run. You can help with ticket sales, security, guest handling, cleaning, set up, and many other jobs. The good thing is that you will most likely get a free pass to the rest of the con, meet some great people, and just maybe make some contacts for the future. Helping out at a con is a great way to give back to your local community and have a great time as well.
This one may seem obvious, but the life and blood of the comic book world is the local comic book shop. Without them, the comic book market would shrivel up and die. Supporting your local brick and mortar comic book store adds much needed income into publishers, creators, and retailers hands, enabling them to create and produce even more comic books. Go out today and get some comics!