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Monkeybrain “Giving Back” through the Hero Initiative
An open letter from Chris Roberson, co-founder of Monkeybrain Comics
For most of the history of American comic books, the only income that creators received were the page rates for the work they did. Writers, artists, letterers, and colorists would be paid a flat rate for the pages they turned in, without any royalties for sales or equity for their creations. If a comic was to be reprinted, the creators would not receive any additional payment, nor would they be compensated if characters and concepts from their work were used elsewhere, whether in other comics, in other media, or in merchandising. And since the overwhelming majority of comic creators were freelance employees, there were no pensions or retirement funds for them to look forward to.
In more recent decades, comic book publishers have instituted new policies for comic creators. Some began to offer royalties and bonus incentives for creators, so that if their work sold well or was reprinted, they would participate in those profits. Some publishers instituted creator equity deals, so that if a creator’s concepts and characters were to generate profits in other media, the creator would reap some of the benefit. But few if any of these policies have been made retroactive, and as much as later generations of creators have benefited from the improved financial arrangements, generations of creators who came before them have not.
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.
The American comic book industry was built on selling morality tales to young readers, stories of men and women who fought for justice and stood up for what was right. And the writers, artists, and others who created those stories deserve better than they have received.
Thankfully, they have the Hero Initiative in their corner.
For more than a decade, 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. But as a not-for-profit corporation, the Hero Initiative relies on donations and contributions to continue its work.
Throughout the month of November, Monkeybrain Comics will be donating all of its income to the Hero Initiative. 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. http://www.monkeybraincomics.
About The Hero Initiative
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 yesterday’s 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 back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.
Since its inception, The Hero Initiative has had the good fortune to grant over $500,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today. For more information, visit www.heroinitiative.org or call 626-676-6354.
For more information, please visit us at www.heroinitiative.org.
As we in the United States prepare to celebrate the American holiday of Thanksgiving, please consider giving thanks to the veteran creators who have given us so much over the years by donating to the Hero Initiative. And we encourage other publishers to join us in supporting the Hero Initiative through direct donations. Unless and until creator royalties and equity participation policies are made retroactive, charities like the Hero Initiative are the only support many veteran creators have available to them.
About Monkeybrain Books and Comics
Owned and operated by Chris Roberson and Allison Baker since 2001, Monkeybrain Books was originally founded as an independent press specializing in science fiction & fantasy and nonfiction genre studies. Print titles from Monkeybrain Books are distributed to the book trade by National Book Network, and are available from wholesalers like Diamond Comic Distributors, Baker & Taylor, and Ingram, and from finer booksellers everywhere. In 2012, Monkeybrain launched a new creator-owned digital comics line, Monkeybrain Comics, which is distributed by comiXology.
About Chris Roberson and Allison Baker
New York Times Bestselling writer Chris Roberson is best known for his Eisner-nominated ongoing comic book series iZombie (co-created with artist Mike Allred), his modern fantasy series Memorial (co-created with artist Rich Ellis), the Fables spinoff Cinderella mini-series, and his work on Superman, Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes, and Elric: The Balance Lost, all of which are available for digital download at http://cmxl.gy/CRoberson. His favorite food is meat, he’s allergic to wheat, and his favorite cocktail is a caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil.
Allison Baker has worked in feature film and political media production for over 13 years, while also managing the day to day operations of Chris Roberson and Monkeybrain Books. She likes the color pink, enjoys a challenge, fixing things, mixes a tasty cocktail and is allergic to being bored.
Chris and Allison met at a Ben Folds Five show in 1997, got married in 2000, started their own business in 2001 and had a baby girl in 2004. All three currently live in Portland, Oregon with a lot of books and their two cats, Bubbles and Blue.
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Writer Chris Roberson signs at Things From Another World on November 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm.
Classic pulp heroes collide at the Portland Things From Another World November 28 at 7:00 pm! Green Hornet, Kato, Zorro, The Spider, and The Shadow team up in Masks, a new ongoing series from Dynamite Entertainment, written by Chris Roberson (iZombie, Memorial), with fully painted interiors by Alex Ross (Marvels, Kingdom Come). Meet writer Chris Roberson and pick up your copy of our exclusive Heroic Cover Variant of Masks #1! Free food and beer (21+ with valid ID) provided.
Before superheroes, there were M
Things From Another World
2916 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232
Chris Roberson, Rich Ellis, and Grace Allison sign at Bridge City Comics on Friday, September 14 at 6:00pm!
Bridge City Comics is proud to announce our Memorial HC Release Party on Friday, September 14, 2012 from 6pm Ð 9pm! This event is free to the public. In attendance to sign autographs will be Memorial writer Chris Roberson, artist Rich Ellis and colorist Grace Allison. Copies of the book will be available for sale ($24.99) during the event.
This event is 21+ and free to the public.
Memorial is the story of Em, a young woman who arrives at a hospital in Portland, Oregon, with no memory of her past. A year later, she has rebuilt her life, only to find her existence thrown into turmoil after she inherits a magical shop. Em is drawn into a supernatural conflict between beings that not only represent, but are fundamental elements of the universe itself.
About the Authors:
New York Times Bestselling author Chris Roberson is best known for his Eisner nominated ongoing comic book series iZombie, co-created with artist Mike Allred, and multiple Cinderella mini-series set in the world of Bill Willingham’s Fables. He has written more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories, as well as many other comic projects. He has been a finalist for the World Fantasy Award four times; twice a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; and has won the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History in both the Short Form and Novel categories. Chris lives with his wife and daughter in Portland, Oregon.
Rich Ellis is a cartoonist living and working in Portland, Oregon. He earned a bachelors degree in sequential art from the Savannah College of Art and Design. His clients include Marvel Comics, Th3rd World publishing, Microsoft/MNML, The Oregonian, Comic Foundry, Michael Curry Design, Harper, Walker/Bloomsbury UK, Red5Publishing, and the Willamette Week. Rich is a member of Periscope Studio, the largest studio of comic book artists in North America.
Bridge City Comics
3725 N Mississippi Ave., Portland, OR 97227
Chris Roberson and Georgia Roberson sign at TFAW on Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 from 1:00PM – 3:00PM.
Boom! Studios’ Adventure Time comics have been a huge hit, selling out nationwide, and Things From Another World (TFAW) is excited to host a signing at their Portland location this Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m., featuring Chris Roberson (Memorial, I, Zombie) and his Adventure Time co-writer, his eight-year-old-daughter Georgia! Come out to pick up your copy of Adventure Time #5 and get it signed. Free soda and juice provided.
“Chris isn’t just an excellent comics writer, but he’s one of our favorite people,” said TFAW Senior Director of Retail Operations Andrew McIntire. “When we heard he and his family were moving to Portland, we wanted to be the first comic shop to welcome them to their new home, and we’re excited to host this signing for Chris and Georgia.”
The Adventure Time comics are based on Cartoon Network’s insanely popular animated show! The series follows the adventures of Finn, a 14-year old boy in the Land of Oo whose best friend is Jake, a dog with magical powers such as growing and shrinking or stretching into many shapes. Finn is a silly kid who wants to become a great hero one day. He might not look too tough, but if there’s evil around, he’ll slay it!
“When we created our new store, one of our top priorities was making it kid-friendly,” said McIntire. “We invite families to come out, meet Chris and Georgia, and check out our kids’ play area and expanded all-ages section.”
Chris Roberson is a critically acclaimed writer who’s written for a wide range of comics, including Cinderella: Fables Are Forever, Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes, and his creator-owned title, Memorial. He collaborated with his daughter, Georgia, on a hilarious tale in Adventure Time #5–make sure to stop by the Portland TFAW June 23 to get your copy!
Things From Another World
2916 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232
Via DC Comics:
Emerald City Comicon officially kicks off tomorrow in Seattle, Washington, and there will be several DC Entertainment panels, with plenty of DC Entertainment editors and creators in attendance. Friday’s DC COMICS ALL ACCESS and Sunday’s DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 panels will be moderated by editors Mike Marts, Ben Abernathy, Brian Cunningham and Rachel Gluckstern – with special guests from the DC Comics creative teams. And Saturday’s VERTIGO: NEW BLOOD panel will be moderated by editor Shelly Bond, who will also be joined by notable Vertigo creators.
But that’s not all. Stop by the DC Entertainment booth to say hello to some of your favorite writers and artists from both Vertigo and DC Comics, including Mike Allred (IZOMBIE), Brian Buccellato (THE FLASH), Chris Burnham (BATMAN INCORPORATED), Greg Capullo (BATMAN), Aaron Lopresti (JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL), Francis Manapul (THE FLASH), Dustin Nguyen (JUSTICE LEAGUE BEYOND UNLIMITED), Chris Roberson (IZOMBIE), Gail Simone (BATGIRL), Marcus To (BATWING), Joshua Williamson (VOODOO) and Bill Willingham (FABLES).
Visit the Emerald City Comicon website for the full panel and signing schedule. See ya there!
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Dark Horse Comics Panels noted in red.
Friday • March 30th
ECCC Spotlight Series: Brian Wood Room: 211 Time: 3:00 – 4:00
The Emerald City Comicon Spotlight Series is designed to give you an intimate look into the minds of some of comics greatest creators. This hour, join creator Brian Wood as he talks about his work on Conan, DMZ, Northlanders and many others.
Falling Skies Screening and Q&A Room: 4C1-2 Time: 3:00 – 4:00
TNT’s epic drama Falling Skies makes its debut appearance at Emerald City Comicon this year. Watch a never-before-seen clip from the season 2 premiere episode and hear from the show’s actors and producers about the new season. Falling Skies, basic cable’s #1 new series of 2011, is set to return this June to continue its extraordinary story about life and survival in the wake of a catastrophic alien invasion. Noah Wyle (ER) stars as Tom Mason, a former college professor and father of three, who has become an unlikely leader for the 2nd Massachusetts civilian resistance group. The series chronicles the chaotic aftermath of an alien attack that has left most of the world completely incapacitated. Falling Skies comes to TNT from DreamWorks Television and is executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Television heads Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. Remi Aubuchon and Greg Beeman also serve as executive producers.
Drawing Inspiration: The Art of the Whedonverse Room: 4C1-2 Time: 5:00 – 6:00
Join us for an exclusive behind-the-panels look at the dynamic artwork of Dark Horses Joss Whedon titles, from pencils to inks to colors to print. Dark Horses public relations director, Jeremy Atkins, will lead a discussion with artists Georges Jeanty (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Phil Noto (Angel & Faith, Dollhouse), Chris Samnee (Serenity), and inker Andy Owens (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) for an inside look at the artists processes. We’ll be showcasing a variety of art from past and future issues of these best-loved titles, including exclusive reveals and first looks!
ECCC Spotlight Series: Camilla d’Errico Room: 211 Time: 6:00 – 7:00
The Emerald City Comicon Spotlight Series is designed to give you an intimate look into the minds of some of comics greatest creators. This hour, Camilla d’Errico talks about how she made her dreams reality by giving up on the 9 to 5 grind and becoming a full time artist.
EXPANDING THE EXPERIENCE: VIDEO GAMES TO COMICS AND BACK AGAIN Room: TCC 102 Time: 6:00 – 7:00
When Dark Horse partnered with BioWare to expand the Mass Effect story line into comics, video-game tie-in comics were finally legitimized. Now, Dark Horse is widely recognized as the leading publisher of video-game comics, with launches throughout 2012 digitally and in print. Join us for an hour long preview of what’s to come this year, with exclusive news and announcements on current and upcoming projects with BioWare, Valve, and Activision!
Saturday • March 31st
ECCC Spotlight Series: Rick Remender Room: 211 Time: 11:00 – 12:00
The Emerald City Comicon Spotlight Series is designed to give you an intimate look into the minds of some of comics greatest creators. This hour Uncanny X-Force writer Rick Remender joins us. Rick is also the writer/creator of comics such as Fear Agent, The End League, Strange Girl, Black Heart Billy, Last Days of American Crime, Sea of Red, Sorrow, Night Mary, XXXombies and Doll and Creature.
Dark Horse Comics: Powered By Creators Room: 4C1-2 Time: 4:00 – 5:00
Just over twenty-five years ago, Dark Horse stepped into the comics-publishing arena with a different agenda. While the publisher has gained much notoriety for its popular licensed titles, like Buffy and Star Wars, one mission remains the same: to give comics top creators a venue for showcasing their work and retaining their ownership of it. Join Dark Horse’s public relations director, Jeremy Atkins, along with a cast of premier talent, for news on all of Dark Horse’s 2012 publishing launches and new Dark Horse Presents stories. Guests include Steve Niles(Criminal Macabre), Steve Lieber (Alabaster), Francesco Francavilla (Black Beetle), Sanford Greene (Rotten Apple), Ethan Nicolle (Axe Cop), Adam Warren (Empowered), Paul Tobin (Falling Skies), and Brian Wood (The Massive), and a few surprise drop-ins!
Sunday • April 1st
ECCC Spotlight Series: Steve Niles Room: 211 Time: 12:00 – 1:00
The Emerald City Comicon Spotlight Series is designed to give you an intimate look into the minds of some of comics greatest creators. This hour, modern master of horror, Steve Niles, talks about what it takes to craft a good horror story, working with artists like Sam Kieth and Ben Templesmith and how his creation of 30 Days of Night changed the face of horror comics.
Axe Cop Room: 3AB Time: 1:00 – 2:00
Ethan and Malachai Nicolle, creators of Axe Cop, will do a live Q&A, show images and videos of new Axe Cop material, etc. Always a fun and highly interactive panel.
Mythic Fiction Comics: The Next Mega-Genre? Room: 3AB Time: 12:00 – 1:00
From Mage, Sandman and Bone to Fables, Castle Waiting, Hellboy and more, mythic fiction has been a fascinating — and growing — presence in comics. What is mythic fiction? Why is it so popular? And could it really become the next big thing in the comics field? Join moderator Kurt Busiek (Arrowsmith), Matt Wagner (Mage), Rachel Edidin (Dark Horse Comics), Bill Willingham (Fables) and Chris Roberson (Memorial) for a lively discussion about mythic fiction in comics, from its roots to it future.
ECCC Spotlight Series: Brandon Graham and Adam Warren in Conversation Room: 211 Time: 1:00 – 2:00
The Emerald City Comicon Spotlight Series is designed to give you an intimate look into the minds of some of comics greatest creators.Brandon Graham and Adam Warren join you this hour for a conversation talking about finer points of their work. Their western takes on manga have delighted readers locally and abroad. Expect a vivid and lively discussion.
Chris Roberson has written books and comics a-plenty, but now he can say he’s written t-shirts! He’s created the story for vol. 4 of the Threadless Comics-On Tees series, featuring art from Mike Allred, Colleen Coover, Chris Samnee, and Francesco Francavilla!
Roberson signs his many comics, including izombie, Memorial, Star Trek/ Legion of Super-Heroes, Elric: The Balance Lost, Superman, Cinderella, Starborn, and more at Austin Books & Comics on Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 2:00pm until 4:00pm.
They’ll have a few of his Threadless t-shirts to give away, too. Don’t miss it!
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This event has been cancelled
Prolific comic writer and author Chris Roberson signs his new comic Memorial #1 and other works, such as the Fables mini-series Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, on Saturday January 21, 2012 A Texas native and graduate of UT Austin, Chris Roberson also runs the print-on-demand publishing company MonkeyBrain Books.
Dragon’s Lair Comics and Fantasy
6111 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757
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Chris Roberson signs at Austin Books & Comics for his latest comic, Memorial #1 this Wednesday Dec. 21st from 1 to 4 pm!
Memorial is the story of Em, a young woman who arrives at a hospital in Portland, Oregon, with no memory of her past. A year later, she has rebuilt her life, only to find her existence thrown into turmoil after she inherits a magical shop. The kind that appears in an alley one instance and disappears the next.
New York Times best-selling author and Eisner-nominated creator of iZombie Chris Roberson delivers a magical ongoing new series. Featuring art by the fantastical Rich Ellis and covers by the legendary Michael WM Kaluta.
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Friday, October 14
DC: Talent Search
Join DCE’s Editorial Art Director, Mark Chiarello, for an informative orientation session that will explain how DCE’s Talent Search works and discuss the different needs of the DC Comics, Vertigo, and MAD Magazine brands. If you want to learn what DCE looks for in artists and how to improve your chances of becoming a working professional, then this is the panel for you! In order to have your work reviewed, attendance at this orientation session is mandatory. (Please note: Not all attendees are guaranteed a one-on-one review.) Room 1B01
DC ALL ACCESS: Batman
Find out everything you need to know about the Dark Knight Detective and his cohorts in the new DC universe—from Batwoman to Batgirl to Robin, the Boy Wonder! Explore the streets of Gotham City with all-star creators such as Lee Bermejo (Batman: Noel), Chris Burnham (Batman Inc.), Tony Daniel (Detective Comics), Greg Capullo (Batman), David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight), Kyle Higgins (Nightwing), Amy Reeder (Batwoman), Scott Snyder (Batman), and Peter J. Tomasi (Batman and Robin)! Room 1A10
Join the writers and artists behind the acclaimed and award-winning brand for a panel about the weird, the wild and the always unexpected with all-star talent including Jason Aaron (Scalped), Brian Azzarello (Spaceman, 100 Bullets), Rebecca Guay (A Flight of Angels), Phil Jimenez (Fairest), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Chris Roberson (iZOMBIE), Douglas Rushkoff (A.D.D.), Marzena Sowa (Marzi), Sylvain Savoia (Marzi) and Scott Snyder (American Vampire)! And introducing some new Vertigo blood! Room 1A22
DC ALL ACCESS: Green Lantern
In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night, the minds behind the Green Lantern franchise take flight—onto the stage to shed some light on the Emerald Warriors! Join the Corps with DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer and Green Lantern writer Geoff Johns, along with Tony Bedard (Green Lantern: New Guardians), Doug Mahnke (Green Lantern), Ivan Reis (Blackest Night), writer Peter Tomasi (Green Lantern Corps) and more! Room 1A10
Saturday, October 15
DC: Talent Search
Join DCE’s Editorial Art Director, Mark Chiarello, for an informative orientation session that will explain how DCE’s Talent Search works and discuss the different needs of the DC Comics, Vertigo and MAD Magazine brands. If you want to learn what DCE looks for in artists and how to improve your chances of becoming a working professional, then this is the panel for you! In order to have your work reviewed, attendance at this orientation session is mandatory. (Please note: Not all attendees are guaranteed a one-on-one review.) Room 1A15
VERTIGO: Scary S**T!
Join Vertigo’s monthly writers as they discuss vampires, zombies, the apocalypse and more, with top creators including Brian Azzarello (Spaceman), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Chris Roberson (iZOMBIE) and Scott Snyder (American Vampire)! And introducing some new Vertigo blood! Room 1A22
DC ALL ACCESS: Justice League
Before they were the World’s Greatest Superheroes, they were considered the world’s most feared vigilantes. Join some of the creators of the new DC universe in a panel discussion headlined by the creative team behind the flagship title of DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 — DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee. Including all-star creators such as Brian Azzarello (Wonder Woman), Brian Buccellato (The Flash), Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman), Yildiray Cinar (The Fury of Firestorm), Tony Daniel (Detective Comics, The Savage Hawkman), Francis Manapul (The Flash), Joe Prado (Aquaman), Ivan Reis (Aquaman), Philip Tan (The Savage Hawkman), and Eric Wallace (Mr. Terrific). Room 1A10
DC ALL ACCESS: Superman
With the launch of DC COMICS – THE NEW 52, a new era for Superman begins! Find out what’s in the works for the Man of Tomorrow as we look at his upcoming exploits in ACTION COMICS, SUPERMAN and more! Don’t miss this panel featuring Mahmud Asrar (Supergirl), Shane Davis (Superman: Earth One) and others! Room 1A10
DC ALL ACCESS: The Edge/ The Dark
The DC universe is home to all kinds of heroes – including some who barely fit that name! Hear what’s coming up in the pages of titles like JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK, SWAMP THING, O.M.A.C., ALL-STAR WESTERN and more, with top talent including Ivan Brandon (Men of War), Paul Cornell (Stormwatch, Demon Knights), Josh Fialkov (I, Vampire), Keith Giffen (O.M.A.C.), Adam Glass (Suicide Squad), Viktor Kalvachev (Men of War), Andy Lanning (Resurrection Man), Jeff Lemire (Animal Man, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E.), Justin Norman (All-Star Western), Jimmy Palmiotti (All-Star Western), and Scott Snyder (Swamp Thing)! Room 1A22
Sunday, October 16
12:15pm – 1:15pm
MAD is more than just the best-selling humor magazine in the nation – it’s also the inspiration for the hit animated series on Cartoon Network, now in its second season! Find out what’s happening with the Usual Gang of Idiots in this panel featuring MAD Magazine editor John Ficarra, art director Sam Viviano and TV producer Kevin Schinick! Room 1A24
DC ALL ACCESS: Meet the Publishers
As Co-Publishers of DC Entertainment, Jim Lee and Dan DiDio are the driving forces behind DC COMICS – THE NEW 52, DC’s digital initiative, and much more, as well as being the artist of JUSTICE LEAGUE and writer of O.M.A.C.! This up-close-and-personal panel gives you a chance to step up and ask questions! Room 1A06
DC ALL ACCESS: Young Justice
They may be young – but they’re still heroes! Find out what’s happening for THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES, TEEN TITANS and more as DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 unfolds in this panel featuring Franco Aureliani (Tiny Titans), Art Baltazar (Tiny Titans), Tony Bedard (Blue Beetle), Sterling Gates (Hawk and Dove), Jonathan Glapion (Static Shock), Paul Levitz (Legion of Super-Heroes), and Francis Portela (Legion of Super-Heroes)! Room 1A22