There is an expression that says 'pictures speak a thousand words.' Comic books rely on pictures to help convey a story, dialogue and emotion. Words are used, but sometimes, pictures have to carry the weight.
On Sept. 11, 2001, many people were left speechless as they watched the violent images broadcasted on television. The next day, newspapers captured still images of the events that displayed just as much emotion and horror. As the focus turns to that day's heroes, there are new pictures to display the emotion and support of a nation.
'HEROES' is a collection of pin-ups by today's leading comic book creators. Frank Miller, Joe Quesada and Todd McFarlane are only a few artists that contribute to this book. Some pictures are accompanied by short texts that add to the visual. Stan Lee, Kevin Smith and Alan Moore are some of the names lending their prose.
Pictures range from portraits of firefighters and police officers to scenes of rubble from the World Trade Center to the hijacked airplanes. Some feature Marvel super heroes like Captain America and The Hulk, but most only display the real heroes.
All proceeds from 'HEROES' go to the Twin Towers Fund, which provides financial aid to the families of uniformed personnel who died during the attack on the World Trade Center.
The Daily Cardinal had the chance to talk with Joe Quesada, the editor in chief of Marvel Comics, about the benefit book.
Whose idea was 'HEROES'?
The idea really originated with my assistant editor, Mike Raicht. He made the suggestion of having us do a poster book. The minute he said that, the idea for 'HEROES' exploded in my head like a big old light bulb, but it really was Mike's idea.
How was the book able to come about so quickly?
I think it came about so quickly because, No. 1, we felt the need to be urgent with it. Number 2, it was really cathartic for the entire creative community to try to do something to get this off their chests. They all stare at blank pages all day and create beautiful stuff from a blank pages and in the midst of 5,000 deaths you look at a blank page and wonder, 'what good is that'? I think this was the equivalent for the artistic community to go down to ground zero and lifting a stone.
Was it hard getting these artists to work on it together?
A lot of people were coming to us; we made a couple of calls, but unilaterally it was like 'yes, I'll do it' and then bam. Even guys who take forever with a page really cranked it out.
Why the pin-up book now and stories about that day later?
The pin-up book is easier to do quickly. A comic from fruition of concept until when the time it hits the shelves can take three to six months. When I heard of the pin-up idea I said, 'that's the one we can do quickly.' We had a couple of other ideas were going to do and 'Moment of Silence' is one of them.
Tell me about 'Moment of Silence.'
'Moment of Silence' is four separate silent stories running eight pages each. It just happened that in December we are doing an entire month called 'Enough Said' in which all our books are going silent. Basically, they are pantamines focusing on the artwork and the beauty of the artwork and show that comics can tell stories in so many different ways. I talked to [Marvel President] Bill Jemas and it seems appropriate that we do something silent for the World Trade Center.