The Hero Initiative Dexter Vines testimonial: "Like that secret big brother"

(Image credit: The Hero Initiative)

Many Newsarama readers have probably heard and maybe even donated a few dollars or purchased a fundraising product from The Hero Initiative, the charity dedicated to helping comic book creators in medical or financial need. But less often do readers get to see the good the organization does on the ground. 

Wednesday Hero Initiative published their latest testimonial from a creator whose life has been touched through the aid they provide, to help illustrate the kind of work that the organization does and how important it is to keep seeking out ways to help more creators in need. 

The latest testimonial comes from popular Marvel and DC artist Dexter Vines, best known as inker to pencilers Steve McNiven (who he worked on Marvel’s Civil War with) and Ed McGuinness. 

Vines has been battling multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that also weakens the bones. In addition to suffering from symptoms of the cancer as well as from the treatment of the cancer, his back is broken in four places. All of this has rendered him immobile, left him with a numb drawing hand, and has made him unable to work. Faced with increasing bills and medical expenses, Dexter turned to Hero Initiative for help.

Here is Vines’ story, in his own words:

"The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. According to the organization, “Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterday’s creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.”

The Hero Initiative reports that since its inception it has granted over $1 million to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today.

For more information, please visit them at

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.