Hero of the Week Award: April 29

29 Apr

Hero of the Week

This week’s heroes are Zan Christensen and Mark Brill, creators of the anti-bullying comic The Power Within. Christensen is the Publisher of Northwest Press, a publishing imprint devoted to providing the highest-quality lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender graphic novels and comics collections. He has dedicated his career to creating and compiling comics and graphic art for and about the LGBTQ community.

In October 2010, Christensen and Brill came up with a project for 24-Hour Comics Day, a comic industry activity where creators design a whole comic in a single day. Because of the rash of teen suicides due to anti-gay bullying last fall, they decided to focus on the issue of bullying. The Power Within is the story of Shannon,

who gets picked on a lot at school because he is smaller, quieter and more “artistic” than the other kids. His dad and his teachers think the other kids wouldn’t tease him if he just “fit in” more. Their advice is for him to hide, or he’s bringing it on himself. Faced with all this, Shannon has created a super-powered alter ego that he can escape into whenever he’s in a bad situation. Pretending he’s a powerful hero helps him stand up for himself. But will the power within be enough to save him?

This week, Northwest Press announced its plans to do a full print run of the comic (originally distributed only at conferences from a small printing) for wider distribution. Says Christensen,

In addition to sharing a great story, our goal is to get copies of the book into the hands of young people through youth centers, gay-straight alliances, and teachers’ groups. Printing the book in a large print run will help us distribute free copies of the book to people who need to hear its message.

You can help Northwest Press meet its funding goal by contributing to their Kickstarter campaign for The Power Within. The total goal is a modest $3000 and even a small contribution will help.

Bravo to Zan Christensen, Mark Brill, and Northwest Press for creating a powerful and important story and for working to get it into the hands of the kids who need it most.

4 Responses to “Hero of the Week Award: April 29”

  1. Zan April 29, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    Thank you so much! We’re honored and so happy that you’re helping spread the word about this project. 🙂

    • rhulshofschmidt April 29, 2011 at 7:58 am #

      Glad to help. Thanks for your great work. We can’t wait to see The Power Within in wide distribution!

  2. Drew & John April 29, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    What a great project! We’ve signed up as backers and will spread the word.

    • rhulshofschmidt April 29, 2011 at 9:41 am #

      Thank you, Drew & John. Your support is greatly appreciated!

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