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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Local comic store holds charity event for victims of Colorado tragedy

    Noelle R. Haro-Gomez/Arizona Summer Wildcat Fourteen artists went to Heroes and Villains, a local comic book store, to draw pictures of Batman for The New Venture Fund, a charity that supports the victims of the Aurora shooting. Artwork by Ryan Smith.

    Various organizations across the country, with the help of Warner Bros. Entertainment, have raised nearly $2 million to help the victims of the July 20 shooting in Aurora, Colo. In Tucson, local comic book store Heroes and Villains has made a conscious effort to help the victims — and spread the heroic morals that Batman embodies — by holding an all-day charity event Wednesday.

    Fourteen notable artists offered Batman sketches at the event in exchange for $10 donations to The New Venture Fund, an organization dedicated to helping victims of the shooting, as well as their families and other members of the community. The donations will help pay for medical and hospital bills, while some of the proceeds will go directly to the victims.

    Before the event even started, Heroes and Villains had received $300 in donations by phone. Calls came in not only locally but from fans as far as Hawaii, Australia, and London. Those who attended the event could purchase $2 memorial ribbons, as well as various comic collectibles. By the end of the day, the store had raised $2,590.

    The event was created by Eric Esquivel, the marketing specialist at Heroes and Villains, who reached out to the comic community and received tremendous support.

    “Tucson is insanely lucky to have so many comic book people,” said Esquivel. “They’re all people that we’ve had friendships with or relationships with.”

    Volunteers for the event are working artists who were looking to help.

    Volunteer Adam Rex is an artist and author of children’s books who became a New York Times best-selling author in 2006. His book, “The True Meaning of Smekday,” will be adapted into a Dreamworks Animation production to be released in 2014.

    Brian Augustyn, an award-winning comic editor and writer who contributed to classics, such as The Flash and The Justice League, also attended the event. Augustyn received the Wizard Fan Award for Favorite Editor in 1994.

    Elizabeth Danforth, another volunteer, is a popular illustrator, writer, editor, game designer and developer. She has worked with several noteworthy game publishers and produced multiple pieces of work for the collectible card game “Magic: The Gathering.” In 1996, Danforth was inducted into the Academy of Gaming Arts and Design Hall of Fame.

    “They’re big shots who are comic book fans,” said Esquivel.

    In creating this charity event, Esquivel said, he hoped to show that even though one man shot and wounded a total of 70 people, 14 people who are inspired by Batman can do something even greater.
    “Villains never win. Part of the fun of comics is that it’s a world where truth and justice always prevail, the good guy always comes out on top,” said Esquivel. “We’re blessed that the comic community is full of people who believe in Batman and not the Joker.”

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