Even though it's coming out to stores this Wednesday (at least, that's what I heard), I managed to pick up a copy when I attended Wizard World this week. This is one of my you-gotta-buy-this recommendations, but only because of the cause behind it.
And that cause is the Hero Initiative - it's an organization that provides help and support to comics legends old and new. Everyone knows that the history of comics creators is spotty - they often worked for-hire, with little to no pay (often from paycheck to paycheck) and without such amenities as, say, health insurance. Hero Initiative works to help creators face such problems head-on, providing support and assistance to those who need it.
As a way of earning some money, the Initiative will be putting out Hero Comics - a one-shot geared towards raising money (and awareness) for the cause. It comes with two variant covers - one by Matt Wagner, and one by J. Scott Campbell (which I've included in this post in a cheap attempt to drive traffic. No, I'm not proud, why do you ask?). Inside, however, coolness abounds - a new, short American Flagg story by Howard Chaykin. Arthur Adams recreates some classic Marvel covers. But there are some nice, smaller, not-so-major pieces that deserve your attention, such as David Lloyd's moody one-pager. A recreation of the late Dave Simon's script. William Messener-Loebs (another Hero Initiative recipient) meditating on the "Bunny of Death". Take away the fundraising aspect of this, and it's still an incredibly cool comic.
In a way, it's also very timely - with the current discussion of health care going on in Washington, it's more important to insure that everyone has access. Even though the connection is tenuous, buying this comic book - in a small way - helps keep the discussion going. It's not going to bring a wonderful change in national policy, but it will bring some enjoyment. It will serve as a reminder about the comic industry's past, and more importantly - being building towards the future.
I'm also going to ask a favor of you, dear reader - please feel free to distribute this blog post amongst your social networks. Post it on your Facebook page. Retweet it. Use the "Share This" icon below to distribute it amongst other social networks. If you're a blogger, blog about it. (Can you tell I'm co-moderator for an organization that works with non-profits and the tech field?) Yes, it will drive traffic, but more importantly - I'm hoping it will sell this comic.
Most comic fans are in the know about the Hero Initiative, but let's not keep it a secret. If it means other people buy this book, so be it.
Without a doubt, Hero Comics is one you have to put on your pull list.