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ACTOR Launches in LA

The new non-profit organization will bring relief to comic book veterans

By Arnold T. Blumberg     July 03, 2001


Wizard Entertainment logo
© 2001 Wizard Entertainment
Veteran comic book writers and artists have often been some of the least appreciated and most marginalized members of the entertainment community, unable to claim ownership of most if not all of their work, and often going without the kind of benefits we take for granted in other professions. Although the men and women who crafted some of our most fondly remembered heroes from 1938 to 1970 are revered by comic book fans, these talented people usually went without proper compensation and suffered financial hardship later in life. Now, at last, an organization has launched that will help to bring relief to comic book veterans and address this long-standing inequity.

ACTOR (A Commitment To Our Roots) is a new non-profit organization based in Los Angeles and made up of high-ranking officials from Chaos! Comics, CrossGen Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, Marvel Comics and Wizard Entertainment. The announcement of ACTOR's formation coincides with the 40th anniversary of Marvel Comics and a resurgence of interest in comics from the mainstream press, thanks largely to film releases like THE X-MEN and the forthcoming SPIDER-MAN.

Jim McLauchlin of Wizard Entertainment conceived the organization and now serves as the President of ACTOR, which will help comic book creators of the past who may not have enjoyed health benefits or retirement plans due to their freelance capacity. Hollywood luminaries like comic book fan and CLERKS director Kevin Smith and SEINFELD writer David Mandel have pledged their names to the effort. Marvel Comics founding father Stan Lee is also a strong supporter, as is the current Editor-in-Chief of Marvel, Joe Quesada.

"I can't even begin to say how proud I am to be a part of ACTOR or of the wonderful work the organization is doing," says Quesada. "I know that there are many worthwhile charities in our wonderful industry but ACTOR seems, by far, to be addressing a problem that needs tackling immediately due to years of neglect and oversight. For this, ACTOR is near and dear to my heart, because everyone deserves a Golden Age!"

The legendary Lee concurs. "ACTOR needs and deserves everyone's whole-hearted support," says Lee. "There is no better way to show our appreciation to those who, in the infancy of comic books, gave so much reading enjoyment to so many for so little reward."

With an Executive Committee consisting of comic book industry giants like McLauchlin; Mark A. Alessi, CEO and Publisher, CrossGen Comics; Brian Pulido, President, Chaos! Comics; Pat McCallum, VP and Editor-in-Chief, Wizard Entertainment; Quesada; Jim Valentino, Publisher, Image Comics; and Mike Richardson, Publisher, Dark Horse Comics, ACTOR will gather funds from various donors and disburse them through another Committee including comic book veterans like Roy Thomas, former Editor-in-Chief, Marvel Comics; George Perez, Senior Artist, CrossGen Comics; Joe Kubert, founder of the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art; Dennis O'Neil, former Senior Editor, DC Comics; John Romita Sr., former Art Director, Marvel Comics; and Dick Giordano, former Editor-in-Chief, Charlton Comics.

For more information or to send donations:
ACTOR (A Commitment To Our Roots)
11301 Olympic Blvd, #587
Los Angeles, CA 90064 Tel: 310 268 1530

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