Tomorrow, August 28, is Kirby Day. it would have been the 98th birthday of Jack Kirby, who passed away twenty-one years ago—but didn’t, really, because a spirit like Kirby doesn’t pass away, as much as we may miss the lively presence of the living man.
As I said a year ago, I think Kirby Day ought to be a holiday for comics fans. It is for me! And more than a private celebration among fans, Kirby Day can be a way to give back to the comics creators whose dreams have populated ours:
Jack’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, Jillian Kirby, Jack’s granddaughter, has led the Kirby4Heroes campaign to raise money for the Initiative on his birthday. With the kind of generosity that Kirby himself embodied, 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.” Over the past three years Kirby4Heroes has raised about $30,000 for the Initiative, and this year Jillian has set the goal of $20,000. Please help here 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. 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:
c/o The Hero Initiative
11301 Olympic Blvd., #587
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Be sure to make out your checks to The Hero Initiative!
For more information about Kirby4Heroes, check out the Kirby4Heroes website and Facebook page, read this detailed and informative interview with Jillian by Jim Beard at Marvel.com (part of Marvel’s “Jack Kirby Week” celebration), or watch Jillian’s video about the campaign via YouTube, courtesy of the Nerdist Channel:
Sadly, I can’t embed the video here, but click through the link and you’ll see it. Here’s a screenshot:
Also, Kirby and comic book history buffs, check out Peter Sanderson’s discussion of Jack at the This Week in Marvel podcast. Nice to hear!
Can you help lend veteran creators a helping hand? What a way to celebrate Kirby Day! And… if you’re in Los Angeles, come see Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby at CSU Northridge!