Category Archives: Charity & Outreach

Celebrate Kirby Day by helping Kirby4Heroes!

August 28, 2014, just over two weeks from now, would have been the 97th birthday of Jack Kirby, who passed away twenty years ago, in 1994, at the age of seventy-six.

Kirby means so much to the history of comics that I believe his birthday ought to be, for fans, a holiday—a day of remembrance, celebration, and thanks. I think of it that way myself. As Tom Spurgeon has observed, over at The Comics Reporter,

there seems to be a slowly developing movement to honor Kirby on his birthday,

and I’m glad to participate in and encourage that. Kirby Day: a day for acknowledging comics, cartoonists, and in particular the history of the American comic book.

Kirby Day! I like the sound of that. And it can be much more than a private celebration among fans—it can be a way to give back:

Kirby4Heroes Facebook page--please lend your support!Kirby’s family continues to celebrate his birthday by supporting veteran comic book creators through The Hero Initiative, a federally chartered, not-for-profit organization dedicated to honoring and helping creators in need. Since 2012 Jack’s granddaughter Jillian Kirby has spearheaded the Kirby4Heroes campaign to raise money for the Initiative on his birthday. In the spirit of generosity that Kirby himself championed, the Initiative seeks to provide (as its website says) “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.” In 2012 Kirby4Heroes raised $6000 for the Initiative, and in 2013 it raised $10,000. This year Jillian has set the goal of $15,000. I urge my readers to help reach that goal!

On August 28, Kirby Day, select comic book shops across the country will be donating a portion of their sales to The Hero Initiative. Some stores will also be hosting special events, as will as the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco and other organizations. ComicsPRO, the professional organization of comic book retailers, has endorsed Kirby4Heroes, and many comics artists will be lending their time and talents as well. (Follow #WakeUpAndDraw on Twitter on Aug. 28th!)

Supporting Kirby4Heroes is simple. Besides shopping at your local comics store on August 28, you can donate online or by mail. To donate online, visit The Hero Initiative at heroinitiative.org (and be sure to type “Kirby4Heroes” in the space for “special instructions”). To donate by mail, send a check to:

Kirby4Heroes Campaign
c/o The Hero Initiative
11301 Olympic Blvd., #587
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Be sure to make out your checks to The Hero Initiative!

The Hero Initiative

For more information about Kirby4Heroes, check out the Kirby4Heroes website and this article at Hero Complex (the Los Angeles Times‘s pop culture blog). Also, visit the campaign’s Facebook page, and watch Jillian’s video about the campaign via YouTube, courtesy of the Nerdist Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQbKLQkDa6k

Unfortunately, I can’t embed the video here, since WordPress doesn’t play ball with YouTube, but click through the link and you’ll see it. Here’s a screenshot:

Kirby4Heroes video screenshot

I hope all of my readers will consider supporting Kirby4Heroes. Celebrate Kirby Day by lending veteran creators a helping hand!

The Kirby Museum Goes Live in the Lower East Side!

The Kirby Museum's Prototype Alpha

Wow! Thanks to miLES (Made in the Lower East Side) and its successful Storefront Transformer campaign on Kickstarter, the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center will be a live, brick-and-mortar museum, a crackling storefront HQ of Kirbyness, this coming week!

The Jack Kirby Museum Prototype: Alpha

179 Delancey Street, New York, New York 10002

Monday, Nov. 4th, through Sunday, Nov. 10th, 2013

Daily hours 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m.; plus special events after 7:00 p.m.

This marks a milestone for the Jack Kirby Museum. Thus far the Museum has been an online venture mostly, but it hopes one day to establish a permanent brick-and-mortar space dedicated to Kirby’s life and work. That’s a dream and a cause I support with my whole heart! To get there, the Museum’s trustees have long dreamed of creating a pop-up museum—that is, a temporary exhibit—near Kirby’s birthplace in New York’s Lower East Side. Thanks to the trustees’ hard work, and miLES’s support, that dream has become a reality. Prototype: Alpha, a Kirbycentric space and an event in itself, will be happening all this week, Nov. 4th through 10th, at 179 Delancey. Noon to 7:00 at least, each day!

For a week, the Museum’s leaders—a dedicated, passionate, friendly, and welcoming bunch—will be celebrating all things Kirby, in that very part of NYC where Jack was born and raised. Prototype: Alpha will include an original art show, a biographical display, visits by local student groups, even drawing classes or demonstrations—and of course a shop, where visitors can purchase high-quality prints of Kirby art as well as Museum memorabilia.

There will be special events too! First, trustee Rand Hoppe will open the shop with a reception and brief talk on Monday, Nov. 4th, at 7:00 p.m. Then artist and historian Arlen Schumer will follow with a talk on Tuesday, Nov. 5th, at 7:00. Finally, artist James Romberger will appear in conversation on Sunday, Nov. 10th, at 5:00.

(Wish I could be there in person to help celebrate. Sigh, I’m on the wrong coast…)

More events, including Internet guests and video programming, are in the process of being planned—keep watching the Kirby Museum website for news!

Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center

Congratulations to Rand and all the Kirby Museum trustees on reaching this important goal!

A Birthday Bonanza!

A moment of joy and optimism, from Captain America's Bicentennial Battles (1976)

Today is the 96th birthday of the great Jack Kirby, and it’s wonderful to see the online outpouring of interest, affection, and commentary that this event has inspired!

There’s so much about Kirby on the Web today that knowing where to go could be a right challenge. Me, I recommend:

Or you could just turn off your computer, pick up and read a vintage Kirby comic, and get your mind blown all over again. :)

Hail Kirby!!!

Support Kirby4Heroes in Honor of Jack’s Birthday

Kirby4Heroes Facebook page--please lend your support!Good, good news! Once again Jack Kirby’s granddaughter Jillian Kirby has launched a donation drive to benefit The Hero Initiative, the nonprofit organization dedicated to helping veteran comic book creators in need. In honor of Jack, and in the spirit of generosity that he championed, the Kirby4Heroes drive seeks to raise money for The Hero Initiative so that the Initiative can continue to provide, as its website says, “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.” Last year Jillian’s initial Kirby4Heroes drive raised $6000 for the Initiative, and she has set the goal of $10,000 for this year—a worthy goal for a worthy cause!

Jillian Kirby, for Kirby4Heroes

Jillian’s article at Hero Complex (the Los Angeles Times‘s pop culture blog) explains how the campaign will work, and how you can lend your support. Please read the article and consider donating to the cause! Also, you can see Jillian’s new video about the campaign via YouTube, courtesy of the Nerdist Channel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVhB2PGh4lg

Supporting Kirby4Heroes is simple. You can donate online via The Hero Initiative’s website, at heroinitiative.org (be sure to type “Kirby4Heroes” in the space for “special instructions”), or by good old-fashioned mail at:

Kirby4Heroes Campaign
c/o The Hero Initiative
11301 Olympic Blvd., #587
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Or simply shop at your local comic book store on Jack’s 96th birthday, Wednesday, August 28. Many comic book shops in California and across the country will be donating a percentage of their sales on that day to Kirby4Heroes—in a show of respect for an artist without whom there might be no comic book stores to speak of!

The Hero Initiative

Please consider donating to Kirby4Heroes—help Jillian Kirby support our comic book heritage! Visit and “like” the Kirby4Heroes Facebook page now to show your support!

Celebrate Jack’s Birthday with Kirby4Heroes and Wake Up and Draw!

Jack Kirby at the drawing board (image from heroinitiative.org)

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?

One!

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:

Jillian Kirby explains her Kirby4Heroes drive

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:

Kirby4Heroes Campaign
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!

Two!

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):

Wake Up and Draw @ 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!