Official Press Release
LOS ANGELES, Calif., Wednesday August 22, 2001 – ACTOR (A Commitment To Our Roots), www.actorcomicfundorg, a new non-profit organization based in Los Angeles and dedicated to helping veteran comic creators in financial need, announced today the outstanding results of its latest fund-raisers. ACTOR held a benefit auction on Saturday August 18th as part of the Wizard World Chicago convention, and celebrity guest auctioneer Kevin Smith, the director of “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” helped the fund raise a total of $67,077.
Donations came from a bevy of comic artists, plus corporate donors such as Tower Records, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Miramax/Dimension Films. Kevin Smith himself had the winning bid on a piece of art by Michael Avon Oeming from Smith’s latest movie. The top money items were artist Alex Ross’ “Universe X Venom” cover at $7500, and George Perez’s custom “Women of JLA/Avengers” piece at $6500. A “Day at Marvel Comics” hosted by Joe Quesada, Marvel Editor-in-Chief, also raised $1400. A Saturday night benefit screening of “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” raised another $4500 to add to the fund. “Tomb Raider” writer Dan Jurgens and “CrossGen Chronicles” artist George Perez also raised donations by sketching fans onsite.
“The outpouring of both money and support from the fans was amazing,” said Jim McLauchlin, founder of ACTOR, “I’d be remiss in my duties and a horrible human being if I didn’t thank the Wizard World Chicago staff, who rolled out the red carpet for us. I’d also like to say a huge thank you to Kevin Smith and Miramax/Dimension Films for the screening opportunity and, most of all, the entire CrossGen Comics staff, who ran the auction to perfection. Next stop for ACTOR is the Orlando MegaCon, February 22-24, 2002. We’re already accumulating great art pieces. I’m hopeful our next auction will be bigger and better yet.”
Dedicated to helping veteran writers and artists of the comic book industry, the ACTOR organization is made up of high-ranking officials from Chaos! Comics, CrossGen Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, Marvel Comics and Wizard Entertainment. The announcement of the formation of ACTOR this year coincides with the 40th anniversary of Marvel Comics, and an incredible resurgence of interest in comic books and their creators, as demonstrated by the success of last year’s release of 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men” movie.
ACTOR, (A Commitment to Our Roots) www.actorcomicfund.org, is dedicated to providing relief and support to many of the talented creators who helped found the comic book industry. The organization is based on the premise that many creators toiled in comics’ earlier days for low pay and with a nonexistent pension plan. Very often, writers would work for a penny a word, or artists for $5 a page with no chance of ownership and no pension. Today, many of these people who laid the groundwork that today’s comic industry works on may be in financial need. Be it due to age, health or just low salaries with no retirement plan, they may need a hand. ACTOR provides a safety net for former comic creators in need. ACTOR is dedicated to helping creators with emergency medical aid, financial support, and entrance back into paying work. The organization’s 501 (c) (3) paperwork was approved by the federal government in February, 2001, making it an official non-profit organization.
ACTOR is served by two boards of directors, Jim McLauchlin of Wizard Entertainment, Mark Alessi of CrossGen Comics, Brian Pulido of Chaos! Comics, Pat McCallum of Wizard Entertainment, Joe Quesada of Marvel Comics, Michael Richardson of Dark Horse Comics and Jim Valentino of Image Comics comprise the Executive/Fund Raising Board which administers all the fund’s operations and raises money. Dick Giordano, Joe Kubert, Dennis O’Neil, George Perez, John Romita Sr., and Roy Thomas make up a peer group Fund Disbursement Board that will hear petitions and disburse funds to worthy applicants. Perez and Thomas are the Co-chairs of that board.