The Hero Initiative’s ‘Batman 100 Project’ Raises Nearly $100,000 For Comics Creators in Need

Raising nearly $100,000 to help comic-book creators in support of the work of The Hero Initiative was the very best way to spend Batman Day.

Bill Sienkiewicz - Batman 75 Wraparound Sketch Sketch Cover - Joker Variant - Original Art
Bill Sienkiewicz – Batman 75 Wraparound Sketch Sketch Cover – Joker Variant – Original Art

On Saturday afternoon, Dallas-based Heritage Auctions sold 110 original Batman No. 75 covers illustrated by some of the industry’s best and best-known names, among them DC Comics Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee, Eisner Award-winner Arthur Adams and The Dark Knight Returns’ creator Frank Miller. And when the final hammer fell, less than an hour after the sale began, The Hero Initiative’s Batman 100 Project hammered at $98,535 thanks to the participation of more than 340 online bidders.

That money raised will go to writers and artists who might otherwise be unable to pay for rent or food or cover hospital bills.

The nonprofit Hero Initiative, now in its 20th year, began auctioning these singular one-offs in 2007, starting with The Spider-Man 100 project. In years past, these covers were sold during comic conventions and through retailers. But because of the global pandemic, DC Comics and the Hero Initiative made The Batman 100 Project available exclusively through the Dallas-based auction house.

“It was Heritage’s honour to be associated with The Hero Initiative this year,” said Heritage Auctions’ Vice President Barry Sandoval. “It’s always rewarding to see an auction do so well, but it’s doubly so when the money raised goes to benefit such a good cause.”

The total price realised for the auction was $118,242, which includes buyer’s premium on each cover sold. Heritage Auctions donated its entire seller’s commission for this event, and had each issue graded and slabbed by Certified Guaranty Corporation before the auction began.

  • Alan Davis – Batman 75 – Wraparound Sketch Original Art (Heritage Auctions)
  • Fred Hembeck - Batman 75 Wraparound Sketch Sketch Cover - Joker Variant Original Art (Heritage Auctions)
  • Dale Keown  - Batman 75 Wraparound Sketch Sketch Cover - Joker Variant Original Art (Heritage Auctions)
  • Adam Kubert - Batman 75 Wraparound Sketch Sketch Cover - Joker Variant Original Art (Heritage Auctions)
  • Jim Lee - Batman 75 Wraparound Sketch Sketch Cover - Joker Variant Original Art (Heritage Auctions)
  • Jim Lee Batman 75 Sketch Cover Variant Original Art (Heritage Auctions)
  • Al Milgrom Batman 75 Sketch Cover Variant Original Art (Heritage Auctions)
  • Byron Randall - Batman 75 Wraparound Sketch Sketch Cover - Joker Variant Original Art (Heritage Auctions)
  • Darick Robertson - Batman 75 Wraparound Sketch Sketch Cover - Joker Variant Original Art (Heritage Auctions)
  • Aaron Sowd - Batman 75 Wraparound Sketch Sketch Cover - Joker Variant Original Art (Heritage Auctions)

Art Adams can boast having the auction’s top lot: His stunning wraparound cover, featuring Batman, Robin and the original Batwoman squaring off against the Joker, kicked off the sale and hammered at $4,560.

Jim Lee’s squared-jawed Batman sketch was a close second at $4,080, followed by Alan Davis’ wraparound featuring Batman and his rogues gallery. It sold for $3,820.

At auction’s end, more than 20 of the covers – Batman No. 75 blanks provided by DC – sold for more than $1,800. Those include illustrations by Cinderella: From Fabletown with Lovecover artist Chrissie Zullo, Spawn and Uncanny X-Men’s Philip Tan, the legendary Bill Sienkiewicz (best known for his work on New Mutants), DC Comics Style Guide creator José Luis García-López, Batman: The Long Halloween’s Tim Sale, Crisis on Infinite Earths’ iconic penciller George Pérez, frequent Grant Morrison collaborator Frank Quitely, Adam Kubert and Frank Miller.

The Hero Initiative was co-founded in 2000 by longtime journalist Jim McLauchlin, and its disbursement board includes nine artists, writers and publishers, including Howard Chaykin, John Romita Sr., Ann Nocenti and Klaus Janson.

Since its inception, the nonprofit has helped more than 100 comic book creators keep roofs over their heads and food in their cupboards. It has also allowed them to visit doctors without worrying about mounting expenses. The Hero Initiative has covered medical and living expenses for Howard the Duck’s father Steve Gerber, colourist Tom Ziuko and, most famously, Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Famer Gene Colan, who said before his death in 2011, “If there was not a Hero Initiative, I probably would have gone under. Hero picked up the slack and made sure I didn’t drown.”

“Artists began working on the Batman 100 Project last year, which feels like a very, very long time ago now,” McLauchlin said Saturday. “It’s always nice when a task reaches its endpoint, and we’ve completed this mission.

“But the ongoing mission of The Hero Initiative goes on. It’s a 24/7 job. And today I am grateful to the artists, DC, the bidders and Heritage Auctions for doing their part in helping us continue our mission.”

The complete results from The Batman 100 Project are here on Heritage Auctions

To find out more, or donate to The Hero Initiative visit www.heroinitiative.org

Avatar

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Auction News, Comics Charity Projects, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Other Worlds, US Comics

Tags: , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: