In late 2000, a consortium of comic publishers came up with the idea to create a financial safety net for comic creators, much in the same fashion that exists in almost any other trade from plumbing to pottery. By March of 2001, the federal government approved The Hero Initiative as a publicly supported not-for-profit corporation under section 501 (c) (3).
Since its inception, The Hero Initiative (Formerly known as A.C.T.O.R., A Commitment To Our Roots) has had the good fortune to grant over $200,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today.
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 yesterdays' 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
Well, by now, you know about the 100 hand-drawn variant covers of Ultimate Spider-Man 100. You've seen the amazing artwork. You've seen the original covers themselves sell for — well a ton-and-a-half of money! Now, through the auspices of The Hero Initiative (which has nothing at all to do with the post Civil War Marvel Universe) you can actually acquire your very own copy of all 100 Hero Initiative Ultimate Spider-Man #100 covers without having to knock over Fort Knox to get them! This stellar art book includes 99 out of the 100 covers (more on this later), plus it has an introduction by Stan "The Man" Lee himself? Yeah, you know you want this.
Personally, I'm not one for art books with no editorial content but I made an exception for this book for two reasons, one, I wanted to support the cause, and two well, it is a very cool project. However, I do have a small issue with this aspect of the project (see below).
As stated, I really am a support of the Hero Initiative (and I actually like Todd McFarlane). So naturally, I think that this book is cool and all, what I really have a problem with is that this is not all 100 covers. Which one is missing, you ask? None other than Todd McFarlane. Apparently Mr. McFarlane had an issue with having his work appear in a Marvel comic. Never mind that none (NONE) of the money made off the sale of the book goes to Marvel, and that all (ALL) of the money goes towards helping comic creators who have no health benefits, and are in dire need of financial assistance.
No, our man Todd has "philosophic" issues with Marvel itself. Which causes me to ask; then why in the name of Stan Jack and Steve did he draw the cover in the first place? He loves Spidey, but he hates the company that owns him? What kind of fast-food, slick-ass, Persian Bazaar, pretzel logic fueled that action? I mean seriously. What's wrong with that boy? My personal feeling on the matter is that if he was unwilling to have his artwork on display in a Marvel comic (for which Marvel was getting no part of the proceeds, and was going towards a noble cause), then he simply shouldn't have been allowed to have been part of the project.
The project is nearly perfect, but loses a full point because of McFarlane 's ego.
It has just been announced that The Hero Initiative will be producing a "Hulk 100 Project" that will essentially do the same thing to celebrate the new Hulk comic. Hopefully none of the artists associated with that project will put their own selfish ego above the needs of the many.