Spurred by the story of four-year-old Spider-Man and Elsa fan and avid book reader Maisy on BBC Children in Need, who is being treated for cancer, comics artist Neil Roche is asking comic artists to donate drawings of the Marvel superhero to charity Read for Good, to cheer young patients’ day.
“I’ve been watching Children in Need tonight and this really brought a tear to my eye,” said Neil Roche, “And this brave little girls Maisy, is a massive Spider-Man fan.
“I’ve been in contact with the charity involved, Read for Good, and they said why don’t you send her a picture of her hero to brighten her day.”
“This got me thinking: what if we – comic artists, that is – all sent her something, not just to brighten one day but as many days as possible?
Writing on Facebook, Neil initially suggested a sketch, or a spare print, or a picture especially for Maisy – and comic artists from across the UK, and beyond, quickly voiced support, including Neil, Steve Austin, Doug Braithwaite, Nick Brokenshire, Dave Broughton, Ryan Brown, Al Byrom, Bern Campbell, John Charles, Simon Coleby, Boo Cook, Steve Denton, Ed Doyle, Dave Kendall, Gary O’Donnell, Marc Jackson, Steve Longdon, Neil McClements, David Millgate, Alex Mines, Joe Matthews, Tim Perkins, Ian Richardson, John Royle, Matt Soffe, Rick Stone, Jonathon Taylor, Lyndon Webb, Will B White and Dave Windett… many offering support within just a couple of hours of him first posting.
“We’ve got some big hitters,” Neil told downthetubes. “There’s a great mix of small press and pro artists.”
As these things do, the idea has quickly mushroomed.
“It would be great if we could do something for all of the hospitals and kids Read for Good work with,” Neil suggests.
Based on the responses so far, it looks like we might see that happen… another great comics community initiative supporting children in hospitals.
BBC Children in Need is part-funding Read for Good’s programme in four hospitals for the next two years: Bristol Royal, Royal Devon and Exeter, Royal Alexandra in Brighton and Royal Cornwall in Truro.
Read for Good motivates children to read for fun because we know that loving reading changes lives.
Their regular supply of beautiful, brand-new books and visits from professional storytellers, offer children in hospital the chance to escape to other worlds in their imagination. Find out more here.
Children in schools are motivated to read using free Readathon kits, which encourage them to chose whatever they like to read, from comics to classics, and audio books to blogs, all whilst raising money to get books to children in hospital, and books for their school.
• You can support BBC Children in Need at www.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk