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by John Workman, now available.
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The story is pretty simple, really.
A young girl grows up knowing that her grandfather is one of the most talented and prolific comic book creators of all time. Unfortunately, he passes away before she was born and she never has a chance to meet him and to share a granddaughter’s love personally. Her entire life she hears stories about his generosity and accomplishments. As she grows into a young adult, she is surrounded by characters he created or co-created as they have become icons in popular culture. This all instills in her a great sense of pride and a strong attachment to maintaining her grandfather’s legacy. She creates and manages a successful, annual campaign intended to celebrate his birthday by raising money in his name and generates tens of thousands of dollars for a worthy charitable organization.
Nobody goes up a hill and dumps a pail of water on their head.
This Jack and Jill tale is a love story that continually gives back.
This is a story about Jack Kirby and his granddaughter, Jillian Kirby who, once again, is asking for our support for her Kirby4Heroes Kirby4Heroes.com campaign that this year celebrates what would have been Jack Kirby’s 97th birthday. Jillian’s goal this year is to raise $15,000 for The Hero Initiative, an organization that provides much needed support to comic creators that have fallen on severe hard-times due to health issues, age, and lack of income.
This charity is important to Jillian because she understands that some of the practices of the comic industry were not always fair to the people that created the comics we all enjoyed, leaving many of them destitute while characters they created continue to generate large revenue for the publishing houses. Her grandfather was as much a victim of these practices as anyone but was always able to support his family and maintain a respectable lifestyle until his death. This is what she hopes for other comic creators who were not as lucky.
She has gone “up the hill” merely to take the high road with no intention of “tumbling after.”
Jillian has chosen not to dwell on the widely publicized legal disputes involving her grandfather, family and Marvel. Her campaign is not intended to to support her or her family in any way other than maintaining the goodwill and legacy of her grandfather’s name by helping others in need and insuring that the contribution of Jack Kirby to the comics industry and popular culture is never forgotten.
Her efforts are noble and selfless and provides the comic industry with yet another positive female role model to be applauded.
She can’t do it alone and she needs all of our help.
August 28th is Jack’s birthday and comic shops across the country have joined Jillian’s campaign to donate a percentage of their sales that day to The Hero Initiative. Do your part by endorsing them with your patronage!
Of course there are other ways that you can become involved!
To find out visit Kirby4Heroes.com or HeroInitiative.org You can also join the Kirby4Heroes Facebook page where Jillian and her family post wonderful memories and art from Jack Kirby for everyone’s enjoyment.
What better way can you think of to wish the King of Comics a happy birthday than to help others in his name. With your continued support this Jack and Jill story can be “happily, never ending!”
There was no mistake that Robin Williams came into public awareness like most of our favorite superheroes do, in a garish costume that hid his identity. His was bright red with silver trim, his faced masked by the dark visor of a ridiculously huge space helmet. His character’s name was Mork from the planet Ork.
Rather than hide the identity of Robin Williams, Mork propelled him into public stardom, revealing his super powers. Where Mork could point his finger and make amazing things happen, Robin could do something greater. He could make the whole world laugh.
What an amazing ability he had to bring joy to a world that so needed it. His humor was spontaneous, infectious and, seemingly, never ending.
But Robin had another identity and power that he hid from us his entire life. One that we wish he had never shared. He had the ability to make the world weep.
Sure, we saw glimpses of this ability in his many brilliant dramatic roles. He knew how to reach into our hearts and stir up those feelings that moved us.
We were positive that was simply great “acting.”
This is what most of us wanted to believe, until his final “act” when Robin succumbed to his hidden self and demonstrated his other, more nefarious power, crushing the world with sadness.
Fortunately, he could only use that power once. Though his secret identity has been revealed, the shock and the sorrow brought by it will soon ebb, overshadowed by the lasting power of his laughter and talent that the world will forever recognize him by.
Most of us can never say we actually knew the man. Those that were fortunate enough to call him friend or family wish they could have known better what only he knew about himself. He took his true identity, with all its pain, to his grave.
We can only know what the existence of Robin Williams continues to mean to us each, individually. His loss has taught us all to look deeper into ourselves and each other, to see beyond the surface, no matter how brilliant or dull, how perfect or damaged. To realize that we all have our own secret identities.
We all wear a faux self that masks our true identities. It is our secret defense mechanism that helps us to survive our greatest fears of the world and ourselves. Call a it a facade, personality, likeness or attitude, it gets most of us through each day and through our lives.
Through this personal filter, most of us will chose to remember the Robin Williams that brought us so much joy. I can’t speak for him, but I will choose to believe that this is how he would like to be remembered.
Thanks for the happiness, Robin, whoever you are.
Signing out, Nanu Nanu…
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