I am a daydreamer.  The world around me inspires me, and sometimes, most times, when I’m bored, my brain kicks in like a screensaver, accessing the underutilized cranial capacity of my cerebral lobes.

So what’s on my mind today?  MegaMillions. It has now reached Blofeld proportions, with an estimated jackpot of Five Hundred MILLION Dollars.  Half a BILLION dollars.  More than the GDP of Dominica.   So here’s where my imagination kicks in, calculating:

  • twenty year payout = $25,000,000 a year
  • After taxes of 50% = $12,500,000 a year.

What could I do with that windfall?  Oh sure, there’s that dream house I created in the Fourth Grade, with the video arcade, mini-golf course, and various museum-quality collections of comics and other stuff.  I’d probably build a variation on that idea, probably buying a warehouse somewhere.

Of course, I’d supplement my comics collection.  Way back in 1990, I decided to collect towards one goal: conserving comics and graphic novels for an eventual special collection which would one day form the nucleus of a research collection somewhere.  I’d probably buy a brownstone somewhere to house it, perhaps replicating what the James Beard Foundation does for cooking.  And then I’d start thinking of other ways to bootstrap comics up to the level given to film, rock and roll, and other popular cultures which have gained acceptance and respect.

But my odds of wining the MegaMillions (or any lottery) are very slim.   So, until I win a nice chunk of change (six digits or greater), I am going to make some suggestions on what others with disposable income (and/or leisure time) could do.  Some ideas won’t require a lot of money, others would require periodic donations of small amounts (less than $1,000), and some, some would best be funded by an organization or non-profit foundation.

There are sources of funding out there right now.  The Federal Government does offer grants via the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  There are similar programs at the state and local level.  A few comics creators have sponsored comics-based initiatives, such as the Xeric Foundation.  (This is not to disparage those well-to-do comics people who are not as visible.  I know they support many projects within the comics community, and probably wish to remain anonymous, lest they become magnets for fortune seekers.)

Much has been written about how the Comics Economy has been somewhat recession proof, although discretionary spending has lessened recently.  Kickstarter has taken the classic pass-the-hat model of fundraising, placing it online so that almost everyone can fund a project.  The Hero Initiative and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund do the same face-to-face, hosting events at conventions, comics shops, and bars across the country.

I’m not an overnight sensation.  (That requires a lot of hard work and a long time.)  I’ll never have a hit movie or bestselling graphic novel.  Instead, I am going to do what I can do with my meager resources: share my crazy thoughts and ideas with others.  Like dandelion seeds, I will blow these seeds into the virtual jetstream of the Internet, and hope that one or two ideas reaches fertile ground.  Perhaps someone will do the same, creating a dialogue, and possibly a THRUSH/SPECTRE/KAOS-type organization of masterminds intent on changing the world!

Future columns under this category will offer some simple ideas, some discussion, and possibly a few suggestions on how those ideas can be implemented.

In the meantime, what philanthropic spending would you do with your lottery winnings?


  1. I thought that the Xeric was closing up shop though.

    And I actually had a column for a couple of years titled the Lottery Party for a now defunct site. The first article explained something similar to this, like the fantasizing most comic fans go through at one time or another of just walking into a comic book store and buying everything in site. I think giving to any and all of the many comic book-related charities is a great idea.
    I do worry that kickstarter is just a boom. I would certainly dog-ear a chunk of change to help bankroll creator pals of mine.

  2. Two ideas come to mind to spend my imaginary ill-gotten gains:

    1) “Matching Month”: I’d pick a cause each year (probably starting with CBLDF then Hero) and match whatever they raise in the month of July.

    2) “Permafrost”: There’s no better way to make a small fortune in publishing than starting with a large one, so why not try Tundra, part 2?

  3. This is the second time in as many weeks that someone has asked me what I’d do with a huge windfall of money. Omen? Allah/YHWH/Wotan/Buddha willing.

    My answer is that I’d do what I’m already trying to do… just more effectively. For example, instead of writing and drawing subversive, heretical, and queer comics in what spare time I can manage, I’d do it full-time.

    Instead of scraping together money to under-pay other artists, I’d pay them what they’re worth, allowing me to put out material of high enough quality, in frequent enough quantity to make it a viable ongoing business. If that worked, I’d leverage it to give other writers and their own artist collaborators opportunities to reach a larger audience.

    Instead of sending the odd $20 to the CBLDF and CLLDF (I’m half-Canadian on my mother’s side), I’d add them to my monthly budget. Likewise with the Hero Initiative.

    So if there’s a benevolent deity (or mortal “angel”) out there who’d be interested in making it happen… drop me a line.