ComiXology Joins With Veteran Authors for Japanese Relief

Posted by at 12:42 pm on April 21, 2011

Comic book veterans like Stan Lee and other industry superstars have joined forces to help raise money for Japan in a book appropriately titled – JAPAN NEEDS HEROES. Now, even the comic book distribution system has joined in this crusade.

comiXology, the leading distributor digital comics, has agreed to handle the digital distribution of the Japan Needs Heroes to anyone who contributes as much as $5, and to those who purchase the physical book as well.

Independent publisher, Red Giant Entertainment (RGE) started reaching out to the industry soon after the disasters struck, and the response by both creators and fans alike has been inspiring.

Industry icons like Stan Lee, Peter David, Ron Marz, Mike Deodato, Larry Hama, Jimmy Palmiotti, Elaine Lee, Amanda Conner, Howard Mackie, Brandon Peterson, and dozens more are creating new comic stories of hope for inclusion in the book. In a move of solidarity, even creators under exclusive contract have been granted the right to contribute their services to the cause by their companies, including Marvel and DC.

It’s in this spirit that comiXology has joined in. For as little as $5, readers will gain access to this massive book which they can read on their iPhone, iPad, Android devices and the Web — with the proceeds going to help those in need.

“It was always part of the plan to allow as many people as possible to have a digital version of the book,” said Benny R. Powell, CEO of RGE. “We quickly realized, however, that as this project began picking up steam, we weren’t equipped to try to deal with delivering the electronic versions by ourselves. We needed help.”

“We’re so glad Benny reached out to us to be the digital partner for Japan Needs Heroes,” said David Steinberger, CEO of comiXology. “The support he has garnered for the relief effort is like a real-life superhero team up and we are honored to digitally distribute the graphic novel for such an important cause.”

This project straddles more than just any one genre and more than just the print world. Webcomics have grown to become one of the largest sectors of the comic book industry with millions of readers worldwide. That is why the invitation went out to the Webcomic community as well and many of the fan favorite creators. Christian Scott Sava (Dreamland Chronicles), Tarol Hunt (Goblins), Gisele Lagace & Dave Zero1 (Eerie Cuties), Chris Crosby and Owen Gieni (Sore Thumbs), T Campbell (Penny and Aggie), David Reddick (Legend of Bill) and dozens more have already signed on to lend their creativity and characters to the book.

100% of the proceeds from JAPAN NEEDS HEROES will be donated to the Japan Society, a non-profit organization that has created a special disaster relief fund to aid victims of the Tohoku earthquake in Japan. To date they have raised over $4.5 million in this effort. Over the years, Japan Society has partnered with several Japanese and American non-profits working on the frontlines of disaster relief and recovery. 100% of the profits for this book will go to them to directly help victims recover from the devastating effects of the earthquake and tsunamis that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.

This book is funding itself through the Kickstarter program which can be reached through www.JapanNeedsHeroes.com or in the comics section directly on Kickstarter.com. It has already raised over fourteen thousand dollars, and hopes to achieve much more to help with the estimated $235 billion in damage these unprecedented disasters have caused.

“My wife is from Japan,” explained Powell, “and her family still lives there. We hear daily reports of the fear and uncertainty they face. I realized we had to do something. Comics have a power to reach massive audiences and that’s a powerful thing. As more and more creators join our cause I believe we can raise a lot of money to help. This transcends any genre, medium, or publisher. This need is bigger than anything our world has ever faced, and we truly believe that together we can make a difference.”

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