“As simple as it sounds, it’s the simple fact that we’re helping people and having immediate positive impact in their lives. I hear crying a lot. I really do. And I mean that in a good way. I think it’s just the breaking of a dam sometimes, and an emotional release. I can’t tell you how often I’ll be speaking to someone on the phone after the disbursement committee has decided what to do, and I’ll tell Artist X, ‘Yeah, no problem. Gimme the address and an account number, and we can pay off that hospital bill. Give me your landlord’s name and number, we’ll take care of the back rent, and get you paid off for next month as well. And we’re sending a check to you so you can get some groceries.’ People just break down and start crying. I think it’s the stress of all these things ending, the cracking of that ice … it’s an emotional moment. The mind, the body, something … it doesn’t know what to do. So it cries. It’s odd, but I’ve come to not look at a full-grown adult crying as anything bad. In fact, it’s good. For so many people, it’s the end of a long and painful road.”
– Jim McLauchlin, president and co-founder of The Hero Initiative, explaining why he loves his job.
Since its founding in 2000, the organization has given more than $500,000 to comics creators in need.
If news about Superior isn’t enough to pique your curiosity about this week’s issue of Wizard, then maybe this will — the magazine, guest-edited by Mark Millar, includes an article by the Hero Initiative’s Jim McLauchlin on the late, great Wally Wood.
“I found the piece very difficult to write,” McLauchlin says. “The subject matter is not always very pleasant. But I hope that in the end, you as a reader will get a circumspect view of Wood, and see the amazing warmth and his genius that accompanied his tragic, but very human, flaws.”
Wizard gave him permission to post the article on the Hero Initiative website; you can find it here.