Liverpool Lions Club have teamed up with some of the world’s best known cartoonists to produce a new comic and picture story magazine, Heroes!, for the patients of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
The new comic was prominently on display at the recent Liverpool Comic Con, where editor Tim Quinn, formerly of Marvel Comics, persuaded many attending guests and fans to pose with copies.
Drawing in part on previously published material Tim worked on some years ago that sadly had limited distribution, some of the names whose work appear in the comic book include Gordon and Maureen Grey, Russ Leach, Mario Capaldi, Charlie Adlard, Steve Parkhouse, Dicky Howett, George Sears, John Lupton and Nick Miller. The comic also gives children the opportunity to win a library of books!
“The comic is designed to thrill, entertain and instil a love of reading in children of all ages,” Tim enthuses. “as it takes them on adventures through time and space, and takes their mind away from all health worries.
“We are telling brand new stories about the worlds most beloved characters from literature including Aladdin, Snow White, Jack of the Beanstalk, and Cinderella.
Plus, there’s also the chance for readers to join a brand new super-hero team called The FAB 4000!”
It is the hope of the Lions and Tim that the comic will be an on-going publication and Tim intends to incorporate celebrity interviews into future issues.
“Once they recover from their medical problems, I will take children from the hospital to interview some of the biggest names in entertainment,” says Tim. “I’m keen to find new writers of tomorrow to create a positive form of journalism for the upcoming generation.”
HEROES! includes a few sequels to famous Fairy Tales, under the umbrella title “Twice Upon a Time’.
“I’ve always loved the original stories of Snow White, Tom Thumb, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin and the rest,” notes Tim. “But there was one thing I really didn’t like about those tales and that was the final line in each of the stories: ‘And they all lived happily ever after’. I hated that. I thought it was a cop out. Nobody lives happily ever after no matter how hard we try. Life is one great adventure after another. And that’s exactly what I wanted for my Fairy Tale pals. More adventures not domesticity.
“On my first day at Marvel Comics in New York, long, long ago, I was taken out to lunch by Stan Lee. We chatted on many topics including stupid people in the Marketing/Licensing Department at Marvel and newspaper comic strips back in the UK. But Stan’s eyes lit up when we touched on the subject of Fairy Tales. ‘The best stories ever written,’ he claimed. ‘That’s why they have lasted five or six hundred years!’
“Good point. He also felt it was nuts that there was only one story about each character. ‘That would have been like me finishing my first story about Spider-Man with the line: …and Peter Parker finally realised that with great power came great responsibility and so he lived happily ever after.’ Even better point!
“And so, for Heroes!, we’ve taken a look at those ancient tales and found a leap off point to allow those amazing characters to head off into a series of all-new adventures.
“It has been a delight to work on and reclaim some of these heroes from the icy clutches of the Walt Disney Corps and bring them home to their European roots.
So is this ‘Heroes!’ comic book all about fairy tales?
“In a word, no,” says Tim. “It’s Fairy Tales and so much more. We are entering the limitless expanse of childlike imagination. We will be pulling in characters from myths, legends, folk tales, literature and history.
“Expect to see Pegasus the flying horse colliding with Robin Hood, Robinson Crusoe and Medusa. Oh, and did I mention the Icemen? Jack of the Beanstalk discovers them at the centre of the Earth. The Heroes! Universe is coming….
“The added touch comes with the involvement of that fabulous organisation the Liverpool Lions Club. Together we are determined to work with a new readership of children to help create a caring generation determined to help make our world a better place. Quite a target, but together we can do it, or at least attempt to do it! Either way, it will be a mighty adventure.”
Plus, of course, Heroes! includes the latest outing for a new super team, The Fab 4000, “a team like no other and the Liverpool Lions Club and I want you to become members,” says Tim.
“The FAB 4000 prove that you don’t have to be born on planet Krypton or get bitten by a radioactive giraffe to become a super-hero. All you need is super-compassion to care about our world and your fellow Earthlings and you will be welcomed into the team.”
So… if action, adventure, fun, mystery and excitement are your cup of tea, then be sure to grab a copy of HEROES! No. 1!• HEROES! No. 1 is available now here. By buying a copy today you are helping the team behind it to supply future issues to the patients in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital free of charge | Check out the Heroes! Facebook Page here
• If you are local to Waterloo, Liverpool, ‘HEROES!’ is now available direct from Write Blend bookshop in South Road thanks to author and bookshop owner ‘Ballistic’ Bob Stone