A comics publisher and team of comics creators are showing that you don’t need to be faster than a speeding bullet to be a hero. Lion Forge has published a comics anthology to generate relief for Puerto Rico still suffering from the destructive effects of Hurricane Maria.
The Puerto Rico Strong anthology explores what it means to be Puerto Rican and the diversity that exists within that concept, all from the hottest comics creators from Puerto Rico working today. Stories range from the realistic to the fantastical. All profits will go toward disaster relief and recovery programs to support Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico Strong, which is on sale now, is co-edited by Lion Forge’s Desiree Rodriguez and Hazel Newlevant, alongside Marco Lopez, Neil Schwartz, and Derek Ruiz.
Rodriguez explained via email that Lopez came to her in late September to discuss a charity anthology for Puerto Rico, not unlike DC Comics’ Love is Love anthology. He had already brought Ruiz and Schwartz on board, and together they came up with the name, theme for the anthology and began reaching out to various potential contributors. Once Lion Forge picked it up, they brought in Newlevant (Comics for Choice and Chainmail Bikini) for her anthology experience.
“What we all hoped, of course, was that we would be able to raise money to aid the island,” Rodriguez tells SYFY WIRE. “Marco, Derek, and myself are all Puerto Rican so this anthology is held very closely to our hearts. We also wanted this anthology to provide people with an educational insight into Puerto Rican life, culture, history, and people.”
Added Rodriguez: “Puerto Rico has always been an ‘other’ in American history; something not fully acknowledged nor taught. One hope is this anthology can teach others a bit more about our history, culture, and people while also being an entertaining piece of fictional media.”
Puerto Rico Strong features art and writing by Rosa Colón (Soda Pop Comics), Vita Ayala (Bitch Planet), Naomi Franquiz (Misfit City), Javier Cruz Winnik (A Reason to Smile!), Sabrina Cintron (La Borinquena), Tristan Tarwater (Hen & Chick), Fabian Nicieza (co-creator of Deadpool), and Joamette Gil (Power & Magic).
All Lion Forge profits from the sales of Puerto Rico Strong will go to the Early Childhood Relief program, which will use the proceeds to create psychological support centers, reestablish nonprofit childcare facilities, and build schools and health care centers, among other initiatives. In addition, Lion Forge will match $25,000 of all profits from the sales of Puerto Rico Strong, and Diamond Comic Distributors will donate five percent of retail sales to United Way of Puerto Rico.
Separately, in November, several Avengers cast members assembled to organize a staged reading of Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta to raise money for Puerto Rico relief via the Hurricane Maria Community Relief and Recovery Fund. So, you see? Real life heroes are everywhere!