Top Independent/Small Press talent to gather for Red Cross benefit project

The terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington DC on Tuesday September 11th touched people world wide and the response has been outstanding. In the comics community we're already hearing word of a variety of benefits in the early stages of planning. Today CBR News spoke with Alternative Comics publisher Jeff Mason about a benefit project he's organizing with some of the top talent from the Independent and Small Press sides of the comic industry.

"The title of the book is '9-11,'" Mason told CBR News on Thursday. "The book will benefit the American Red Cross. Artists are doing this book for free, and some have mentioned selling their artwork for and donating the sales from that as well. We'll be selling this book to the bookstore market as well. Diamond Comic Distributors and Quebecor Printing have indicated that they want to help out."

Mason will be releasing an official press release this coming Monday along with a cover art image by "Liberty Meadows" artist Frank Cho. In addition to being a benefit and remembrance of the events on Tuesday the project was also motivated by the need to cancel the Expo this coming weekend in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington DC, an important Independent comics conventions.

"A lot of cartoonists were planning to attend The EXPO (SPX) in Bethesda, Maryland this weekend," said Mason. "The tragedy has caused this important comics community event to be canceled, and cartoonists have been contacting each other regularly over the past couple of days and have come up with this project. I am rather liberal and would be unwilling to support a jingoistic comic that served to enflame hatred against anyone. I am really shocked and dismayed by some of the rhetoric and behavior I've seen from some in the guise of patriotism and I think that a book that promotes an alternative to xenophobia and antagonism would be a good thing. I am the editor and will make sure that this is done in a tasteful manner. I am asking people for personal stories, thoughtful, introspective, dealing with their experiences and humanity."

In addition to editing the book Mason is putting up the money for this book personally. He's set a date of October 15th for contributions and the book will ship sometime in December. An early list of contributors follows:

  • Nick Bertozzi
  • Frank Cho
  • Leela Corman
  • Tom Derenick
  • Danny Donavan
  • Evan Forsch
  • Dan Fraga
  • Jenny Gonzalez
  • Tom Hart
  • Dean Haspiel
  • Danny Hellman
  • Marc Hempel
  • K. Thor Jensen
  • Neil Kleid
  • James Kochalka
  • A. David Lewis
  • Jon Lewis
  • Jeff Mason
  • Lance Moore
  • Josh Neufeld
  • Mike Avon Oeming
  • Harry Roland
  • Casey Seijas
  • Gail Simone
  • John Staton
  • Mark Wheatley

Mason expects many more names to be added to this list over the weekend.

"I fully expect and hope that other folks will be doing benefit comicsas well," said Mason.

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