Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year, New Cycle

2010 was something, eh? Something different for everyone, sure, and a mixed bag at that. A lot of people lost their jobs. BP crapped in our ocean. And speaking of greasy beaches, that tool from Jersey Shore made five million dollars. But then my cancer scans at Memorial Sloan-Kettering came back clean and I didn't have to do anymore radiation, so 2010 was good to me.

2010 also saw the launch of Comics Cure, which, if you look around at the words and pictures on your screen right now, you know all about. And to start the new year off right, Comics Cure has been invited to host its own team in the MSKCC Cycle for Survival -- an indoor bike relay taking place in various Equinox Gym locations in New York and Chicago in mid-February. The purpose of this annual MSKCC event is to raise funds for rare cancer research, so every team has a fundraising goal leading up to the event.

You can help support the cause by donating to MSKCC through the Comics Cure team page and sharing the donation link with others who might be interested in helping, too:

You can also help by joining the team yourself, as a rider or fundraiser. Click "Join Team" at the link above and contact me directly for more details. We have one bike, so the more riders on the team, the easier it will be and the more fun we will have kicking cancer's ass.

We ride at dawn!!!

(Actually...technically, the Comics Cure team is scheduled to ride from 8am to noon on Sunday, February 13th. Bagels and coffee are on me.)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Birthday Wish" Update--Let's Keep it Going!

My birthday was this past Monday, and even though we haven't hit the specific goal I set (yet) for MSKCC, the Comics Cure group on has raised close to $300 and is now almost 70 members strong. The Crowdrise thing is lagging, but has even more potential for getting good geeks doing good, for a wider range of causes and in a fun way. You can still make donations to MSKCC through Comics Cure on both sites and through the sidebar widget here. Every penny goes right to the cancer center. (Why do you think I'm running on Blogger?!)

So let's keep it going! Spread the word about the Comics Cure Call to Action, share tales of your own do-goodery or causes in need (seriously, e-mail me and I will post them), or just go do some good!

Remember: You don't have to wear underwear on the outside of your pants to be a superhero! I hope to have some all-new, all-different ways for you to play hero in the new year.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bittersweet Blowout!

I was just about to write up a quick post about my regular Wednesday haunt going out of business when I read the breaking news that it isn't...

Cosmic Comics very briefly posted the (would-be) sad news that it was closing its doors at the end of December, and--as a parting gift to the loyal patrons who put up with the sometimes dusty, always eccentric soundtrack and delightfully curmudgeonly owner each week--a clearance sale of 50-80% off everything in the store. But Mark, that lovable crank owner, has since announced that he has finalized a deal to simply hand over his cosmic keys so he and his partner can retire. Cosmic Comics is still profitable (he says), he's just old (I says). So he gets to put his feet up on the porch with a shotgun on his lap, I get to keep my shop 4 blocks from the office, and that blowout sale still stands--only now as a going away celebration!

You know, for 50-80% off, you could probably afford to donate a few comics. I hear trade paperbacks make for fine Xmas presents, in sickness and in health. If you don't already have a beneficiary in mind, here are a few possibilities:
...or just buy a few week's worth of books at a deep discount so you have a few extra bucks to give in the new year. You know it feels good.

Monday, December 6, 2010

HOPE Is on the Way!

A while back, I hooked up with publisher Ronin Studios as a contributor to a charity anthology aimed at supporting the comic-creator-centric charity The Hero Initiative. It started as a means to get some more of my own work into print, but as you can see by the site your on and my recent activity, I've clearly taken to the charity aspect of the project.

Well, it's been a (very) long time coming, but HOPE: THE HERO INITIATIVE is finally available for preorder from Diamond Distributors (Diamond Order Code DEC101038). Tell your local comic shop to stock this book and tell a friend or two or more to buy it.

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 over 40 creators and their families with over $400,000 worth of much-needed aid! It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Hulk Wants You to Get Smootchy With the Charity Crowd!

(Alternate title for this post: "I am Jack's charitable impulse")

Former Incredible Hulk/bi-polar pit fighter/purple rhino, Edward Norton, is promoting his new charitable crowdsourcing project, Crowdrise, and its holiday drive, the Crowdrise Holiday Fundraiser Thing.

Says Norton's HuffPo boilerplate: "Crowdrise is an innovative, crowdsourcing community of fundraisers and volunteers who are raising money for charity and having the most fun in the world while doing it. Whether you're running a marathon, volunteering, or have causes that you care deeply about, create your own fundraising pages on Crowdrise and raise money for over a million charities. Crowdrise also empowers nonprofit organizations to raise money in new ways by turning their grassroots supporters into grassroots fundraisers. Crowdrise is way more fun than anything else aside from being all nervous about trying to kiss a girl for the first time and her not saying something like 'you've got to be kidding me.'"

I like Crowdrise's personality, which offers a fine mix of snark and good intentions. I'll see over time how much I like Crowdrise's functionality, as I carve out a place in the crowd for Comics Cure. You can check on my progress or join the crowd yourself here:

Great Writers Love Their Worldbuilding...

My friend Peat posted something on his blog about his friend Pat's charity efforts. They're both kind of a big deal right now in the world of fantasy literature and they are trying to make a bigger deal of a great cause...

Worldbuilders is an annual project by best-selling fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss and Heifer International to raise money to provide livestock and renewable food/income sources to underprivileged communities around the world. Click through for details on how you can contribute and what sort of goodies you might get as a reward (hint: free books)!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Be a Superhero For Hospice!

Comic book fans have a special way they can help bring health and hope to those in need -- by donating from their collections instead of from their wallets. Any cause or facility will benefit from a monetary gift, but pediatric care centers, hospitals, and hospices have libraries and hold events where a stack of old trades or a longbox of back issues might be a very welcome addition.

Superheroes for Hospice is a project designed to drive just that sort of giving. Benefiting Saint Barnabas Hospice and Palliative Care Center in West Orange, New Jersey, Superheroes for Hospice is welcoming donated comic books and volunteers for its own mini comic convention on December 11, 2010. In addition to volunteers and donations, the project is asking for comic creators to give the gift of time by appearing at the event.

That's quite a few options for the comic book community to do some good in West Orange, NJ. Contact SfH coordinator Spiro Ballas at 973-322-4866 or for details about the 12/11 show and how you can help.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Get (RED) for World AIDS Day

Yesterday's post suggesting the Juggalos could out give you may have turned you red in the face, but today I am suggesting you turn your facebook (RED) to support World AIDS Day. It works on Twitter and Foursquare, too. Visit for more information about the (RED) World AIDS Day campaign, ways you can help fight AIDS in Africa and around the world, and how your efforts can help create the AIDS-free generation by 2015.