Jack Kirby, the titanic force of US comics, would have been 98 years old today. While it makse you wonder what exciting things we’ll be doing for his centenary, it’s also a reminder that it’s a good day to contribute to The Hero Initiative, as Kirby’s granddaughter Jillian suggests in the above video.
For several years, Jillian has promoted the Kirby4Heroes campaign to raise funds for the charity which aids creators in need. I can attest to the many people that this organization has helped, and in a field where 401ks are non existent, it’s sometimes the only safety net poplar have.
Jillian’s devotion to this cause was covered a few days ago by the LA Times:
Founded by the iconic artist’s granddaughter, Jillian, when she was 16 years old, the Kirby4Heroes campaign supports the Hero Initiative, the only federally registered nonprofit organization that helps comic book professionals who have fallen upon times, whether it be medical and/or financial assistance. The Hero Initiative has helped many artists, including Russ Heath, who drew a comic about the aid he received.
And in In 2012, the Kirby4Heroes campaign helped raise $5,000 for the Hero Initiative, which increased to $10,000 in 2013 and $15,000 in 2014. The goal this year is to continue the trend and go for $20,000.
“My grandfather Jack’s generosity was legendary in the comic book industry. He always gave encouragement to budding comic book artists asking for advice. He never turned away a fan! His Thousand Oaks home was famous as a haven for comic book lovers, fans, and those just seeking one of my grandma Roz’s famous bologna sandwiches!” Jillian said in an email to The Times.
All true. In a post today, there’s a suggested monetary goal:
If you believe in the greatness of Jack Kirby — co-creator of many of comics greatest character, innovative publisher, US veteran, beloved family man and all around bad ass visionary, a donation of $9.80 to the Hero Initiative is a pretty great way to show it.
BTW, Jack Kirby created the Eternals, above, arguably his most spectacular work, when he was 58 years old. The flame never died in him. As I do every year on this day, I jus wish Jack had lived long enough to bask in the glory that he deserved in his lifetime.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.