Official Press Release
Hero Initiative, the non-profit organization that creates a financial safely need for comic creators in need, is proud to announce the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors: Howard Chaykin and Walter Simonson. Both will serve as members of Hero’s Disbursement Committee, which allocates funds to in-need comic creators.
Howard Chaykin pioneered the graphic novel form in the United States with Empire, The Stars My Destination, and Swords Of Heaven, Flowers Of Hell. He created the award-winning and ridiculously influential American Flagg! and Time (Squared), and also deconstructed a number of mainstream characters, most notably The Shadow and Blackhawk. He has served on staff as a writer/producer on several television series, rising to the level of Showrunner, as well as freelancing in feature films, pilots, and episodic television. These days he spends his time writing and drawing comics, living at the beach, filled with gratitude that he’s no longer afflicted with a youthful attitude problem.
“Accepting Hero’s offer to serve was an easy decision, as I believe it’s incumbent upon all of us to do what we can to help those who came before us and laid the groundwork for the comics landscape today,” Chaykin said. “None of us would be able to do what we do in this incredible and vibrant field without the efforts of comics’ elder statesmen, and it’s an honor to be able to do my part and do right by them.”
Writer/Artist Walter Simonson got his start in comics working with legendary editor Joe Orlando on DC Comics’ Weird War Tales in 1972. He soon paired with acclaimed writer Archie Goodwin for a storied run on “Manhunter” in Detective Comics. Simonson has enjoyed long and well-remembered runs on Thor, Fantastic Four, X-Factor, and Elric. He is currently writing and drawing The Judas Coin, the tale of one of the legendary “30 pieces of silver,” for DC Comics. Simonson lives in upstate New York, and since 1980, has been married to fellow comic writer Louise Simonson.
“Helping others should come naturally to all of us, and I can think of no better place to do it than right in our own back yard of comics,” Simonson said. “I’ve long believed in Hero Initiative’s goals, and have done what I can to help them out informally. I feel privileged to formalize the relationship, and look forward to doing even more with Hero and its worthy mission.”
“Hero Initiative is honored to bring in two creators of the stature of Chaykin and Simonson to replace the recently departed Dick Giordano,” said Hero Initiative President Jim McLauchlin. “I’m sure they’ll be a wonderful reflection of all the support, love and joy Dick brought into so many peoples’ lives.”
About The Hero Initiative
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 yesterday’s 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.
Since its inception, The Hero Initiative has had the good fortune to grant over $400,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today. For more information, visit www.heroinitiative.org or call 626-676-6354.