Press Release

The Superheroes For Hospice Charity Comic Book Sale returns this weekend with additional opportunities for attendees to contribute. The charity, active since 2009, has raised more than $30,000 to date for Barnabas Health Hospice and Palliative Care Center (BHHPCC) by selling comics, books, toys and related items. Proceeds have helped assist individuals and families dealing with life-limiting illnesses.

Those attending on Saturday, November 10, 2012 are encouraged to donate a can or package of non-perishable food in exchange for a free comic book. Each food item will be donated to Last Resort Emergency Food Pantry, affiliated with the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in Asbury Park, New Jersey – an area particularly hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy.

Additionally, four 5’x4’ murals created by New Jersey resident Mike Ciccotello, a member of the non-profit artist collective Albus Cavus, will be auctioned to benefit BHHPCC. Starting bid is $250. Auction ends at 5:00 p.m. Winners are responsible for transporting the artwork.

Ciccotello has worked in a variety of media from 3-D animated motion graphics to large scale, outdoor murals to traditional comic illustrations. His work has appeared on various marketing materials for companies such as Liquitex and Winsor & Newton. His illustrations have appeared on both Fox News Channel and CNN. In 2007, Ciccotello received the L.A. Press Club Award for Best Editorial Comic for his illustration work on Schmooze or Lose. Having experienced hospice care in the past with relatives, he was excited to make this contribution.

The “Get Into Comics” lecture series, inaugurated at the charity’s April event returns for a third round of compelling talks about the comics medium from noted industry veterans and newcomers. The schedule for this weekend’s event is as follows:

• 12:00 p.m.: You Can’t Keep a Good Zombie (or a Bad One) Down! with Don E. Smith, Jr.
Comic book writer Smith delves into why supernatural figures keep rising and zombies and ghosts make for fun stories.

• 1:00 p.m.: Realism vs. Cartooning: The War Between Comic Art Styles with Paris Cullins
Artist Cullins compares and contrasts realism and exaggeration in comic art, with an emphasis on Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, Mike Golden, John Byrne and more.

• 2:00 p.m.: Get Started: Selling Your Comic Art at Conventions with Mindy Indy
Drawing from her own experiences, cartoonist Mindy Indy offers useful tips including how to print your comics on a budget and sell them at comic conventions.
• 3:00 p.m.: Comic Collaborations with Joe Endres
Indy publishing vet Endres leads a frank discussion about networking, getting to know other creative people, and what it takes to get talent to work together.

• 4:00 p.m.: Comic Book Publishing and Promotion Through Podcasting in The Digital Age with Steve Zinoda
Learn how to digitally self publish comics on your own website or through existing digital outlets as well as using the internet and podcasts to promote your projects.
• 5:00 p.m.: Digital Comics: Changing Our Medium…For the Better? with Christian Rubiano
While comic book heroes bring in big box office numbers, the audience for reading comic books is in decline! Writer Rubiano explores some of the reasons why, as well as advocates for how digital comics may hold the key to saving our beloved medium.

In addition to the “Can for Comic” opportunity, mural auctions and “Get into Comics” lectures, thousands of comic books and graphic novels will be on sale for readers of all age groups. Comic industry talents will also be on hand to autograph comics, books and original art and to draw sketch cards.
In addition to the lecturers above, scheduled to appear are veteran comics writer-editor Paul Castiglia, (Archie Americana Series, Archie’s Weird Mysteries, DC Showcase), Dave Ryan, award-winning artist of War of the Independents; Mark Mariano, comics and children’s book artist (Happyloo, No Sweets For Santa), and sketch artists Javier Cruz Winnick and Nick Mockaviak.
The event takes place from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 6th at the Barnabas Health Corporate Office, located at 95 Old Short Hills Road in West Orange (directly across the street from Saint Barnabas Medical Center). Admission is free. For more information or to make a comic book donation to Superheroes for Hospice, please contact Spiro Ballas at or 973-322-4866.

Established in 1981, Barnabas Health Hospice and Palliative Care Center provides comprehensive physical, emotional and spiritual care and support services to patients with advanced illness throughout ten counties in New Jersey. The program, which serves infants, children, adults and the elderly, honors the unique choices and values of patients and their families while offering full access to the broad array of services provided by the Barnabas Health. For more information, please visit


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