Chicago is known for a lot of things. Pizza and Hot Dogs, Cubs and White Sox, and a convention that is now going on its 11th year called C2E2. (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo) C2E2 is just like most Comic Cons, they bring in some amazing guests and artists for fans to geek out about for three fun days. This year Mark Ruffalo and Jim Lee were the show headliners. But, this article isn’t about what Avenger was here or who had the best cosplay. It’s about some of the kindness that comes out of these conventions and a program program called the Hero Initiative.
“The Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. Since inception, the Hero Initiative has been fortunate enough to benefit creators with more than $1 million worth of much-needed aid, fueled by your contributions! It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.“
Before C2E2 2020, I have never heard of the Hero Initiative. So, of course I wanted to learn more about this cause and how it got started. Their website heroinitiative.org has a lot of great information about how this program works and ways you can support it. Not only did I get a lot of information from their site, I also got to sit down with Hero Initiative President, Jim McLauchlin.
Hero Initiative President, Jim McLauchlin
So, one of the first things I had to ask McLauchlin was how did the Hero Initiative get its start? Here is what he had to say:
“I used to be a sports writer, and Major League Baseball had a program call B.A.T. (Baseball Assistance Team) that helps players, coaches and even scouts that may of fell on hard times. So, when I got into the comic business I asked around to see if there was a program like that in the comic industry. Well to find out there wasn’t one, and when I ask why I was told because it just hasn’t been done.”
McLauchlin got together with Mark Alessi, who was with Crossgen Comics at the time. McLauchlin told Alessi that he wanted to create a charity just like the MLB B.A.T. program. So, Alessi got with his lawyers and within a few weeks the Hero Initiative was all set up. From there the Hero Initiative has been helping comic creators during hard times in their lives when they thought their was no hope.
C2E2 Drink and Draw helps raise money
I’m always a fan of having a nice cold beer. And of course I was “drawn” to this event just by the title. Drink and Draw, I thought to myself I can do that. I suck at drawing anyway so I can say it was the beer that made it look bad. But after looking more into it I was a little off on what this event actually was about. This event from the Hero Initiative gave fans a chance to get a original artist sketch drawing for themselves. The sketch is drawn right in front of them on a special beer coaster for a 25 dollar donation. The line was long but well worth the wait, not only for the art but the cause it supported.
How to help
The Hero Initiative is a nonprofit Organization so ever bit helps. Again, you can find information on all the Hero Initiative programs and how to donate by checking them out on Facebook or going to their site, heroinitiative.org. Also make sure to stop by their booth at Planet Comicon Kansas City March 20-20.