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Give thanks to comics creators in need – by buying comics

Considering that today is the day in which Americans give thanks for things they have, and tomorrow is the day when Americans tend to give vast amounts of money for discounted items that they really, really want, it seems a little appropriate to draw attention to something that combines the spirits of both and allows you to give thanks and get something back in return.

I’ve written before about MonkeyBrain comics, the digital comics imprint founded by Chris Roberson and Alison Baker that launched back in August to great acclaim from the comic community. Since launch, the line has continued to grow, bringing in new and established creators for new works that they control and own the rights to, all available at a pleasingly low price (Depending on the comic, either 99 cents or $1.99; either one, a bargain). All of this month, however, there’s an additional reason to consider purchasing MonkeyBrain releases: All publisher income for November is being donated to the Hero Initiative charity that supports comic creators in financial difficulty.

Publisher Chris Roberson announced the month-long policy at the end of October, explaining that “There are far too many stories of well-respected, talented writers and artists who created successful and beloved comics in previous decades, and who now are living in reduced means—unable to afford health care, unable to find paying work, some even homeless. At the same time, characters created and co-created by many of these same creators have gone on to appear in major motion pictures, on television, and in toy aisles” (True enough, not only have the families of the men behind Superman and the Avengers been forced to take legal action in order to receive proper compensation and credit for their work in the past, but even artists and writers behind more recent creations like Ghost Rider and characters in Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of The Galaxy movie have been hurt by the way the current system works).

“For more than a decade,” Roberson continued, “the Hero Initiative has provided a safety net for comic book veterans who need assistance, whether in the form of financial support, emergency medical aid, or an avenue back to paying work. In that time, the Hero Initiative has granted more than $500,000 to over 50 comic book veterans.” As a non-profit organization, however, the Hero Initiative relies on donations to continue its work, and that’s where MonkeyBrain’s November initiative comes in. “Our creators will still receive their cut of the profits, but the portion of each sale that we retain as publisher’s profits will be donated in its entirety to the Hero Initiative,” Roberson wrote.

For those who like comics, it’s a win-win proposition. You get to buy some great comics (I recommend both Bandette and the wonderful Amelia Coleand the Unknown World, personally), and you get to know that you’re helping out people who have helped shape generations of imagination with their work. If you find yourself looking to spend some money on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, there are really worse ways to spend it.

(Of course, you could also donate directly to the Hero Initiative, if you’d prefer.)

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