Press Release

As spring gives way to summer, a comic book fan’s fancy turns to more comics! After all, what better entertainment to bring to summer camp or read at the beach? Over 100,000 comic books — including high-end titles from the Silver Age — will be featured as part of the upcoming Superheroes for Hospice Charity Comic Book Sale. Also on sale will be a variety of comics-related merchandise including toys, action figures, t-shirts and more. Best of all, professional comics creators will be on hand to sell and autograph books and comics, draw sketches and sell original art and sketch cards.

Active since 2009, the charity has raised more than $100,000 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. Conceived by BHHPCC Volunteer Coordinator Spiro Ballas, the event has attracted top industry talent who often appear to sign autographs and give entertaining lectures about the art form.

“These comic industry veterans are so big hearted and willing to help this worthwhile cause,” said Ballas. “And the public has turned out time and time again to support our efforts by donating comics and attending the sale.”

The event will feature thousands of comic books and graphic novels for sale, including books for children and adults and back by popular demand, a dealer of high-end Silver Age titles, and appearances by sketch artists and other comic book professionals including:

NEIL VOKES has been drawing comic books professionally for 30 years: Superman Adventures;   Dr. Strange: From The Marvel Vault #1; Eagle: The Black Forest 1 & 2, among many others Currently working on Flesh & Blood with writer Bob Tinnell for Monsterverse Entertainment. http://vokesfolks.blogspot.com

PAUL  CASTIGLIA is a veteran comics writer and editor who has worked for Archie, DC, Dark Horse and others on titles including Archie’s Weird Mysteries, DC Showcase, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sonic the Hedgehog. Currently promoting Rise: Comics Against Bullying.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Castiglia

PARIS CULLINS is all about comic books, and that, he emphasizes, “is an understatement!”  He has devoted over 30 years to producing comics, and related crafts, venturing into designing toys, and story boards for commercials and video games, working for companies like Hasbro, Disney, Archie and Mattel.  He has even done animation for the Cartoon Network.  Cullins is best known for his work at DC Comics, especially on the title, the Blue Beetle, and as the original artist for the Blue Devil.    http://comicbookdb.com/creator.php?ID=467

STEPHEN COUGHLIN is the writer/artist of the “Sanctuary,” published by Slave Labor Graphics. He is also the artist for the children’s book Pirate Purple and Prissy Pink.  http://www.slgcomic.com/Sanctuary_c_269.html

VINCENT DELVECCHIO, JRs is a self-taught multi-media artist bringing his imagination to life in various dynamic formats.  www.facebook.com/vdjrart

SEAN DOUGLAS is a 25 year old comic artist/illustrator from N.J. He has currently been published in his first professional book called The Accelerators, from Blue Juice Comics.   http://douglsea.deviantart.com/

DARRELL “THE NIGHTRAY” GOZA  had been a studio assistant for 15 years helping creators get their books completed by doing the backgrounds on books for DC, Dark Horse, and  Neal Adams’ Continuity Comics, before becoming a creative director for Beatnik Productions and Dreadlockedninja Publications. For the past ten years been the publisher and driving force behind The ADAPT™ Project. http://www.creativeshake.com/Goza

MICHAEL GRASSIA, after all his years of studying and working, realized that his true passion is storytelling in illustration and animation. Currently,  he  teaches and produces his web-comic, Plunger Pup, a weekly, kid-friendly sci-fi adventure story about a dog who fights crime with a magic plunger. http://www.facebook.com/thecartoonartofmichaelgrassia.

THOMAS HALL is the writer and co-creator of Blacklist Studios’ KING! and the 2011 Digital Book Award winner for Best Digital Comic, R-13 (akaRobot 13).  http://www.blackliststudios.com

ALEX LOWE is the author of the terrifying new book, Hell On Earth: EXORDIUM©,  and the creator of The Magnificent Mariposa©, an exciting new comic book series  featuring the most beautiful super heroine ever to grace the pages of pulp fiction. www.mariposapublishingllc.com

DAVID E. MCCLAIN  started working as a penciler/inker in the small press arena in 1981, while still in high school.  Currently, he is writing and illustrating “The Artifyce Connection” ©, a web comic for the ADAPT™ Project, found on SmackJeeves.com. https://www.facebook.com/QsGrafix

JONATHAN MILLER is the co-creator, co-Founder and CEO of Outpouring Comics. He’s best known for writing the Outpouring Comic’s VODA series will soon be releasing his first novel, Second Great War of Mysterium, as well as writing the Briggs Empire series for the Outpouring Universe.  http://outpouringcomics.com/

TOM SCIACCA is a screenwriter, comics writer-artist, promoter and performer who has worked for both Marvel and DC alongside such luminaries as Stan Lee and Archie Goodwin. He helped run the 1976 Marvel Con and appeared as Spider-Man on Channel 9. Movies he worked on included Superman and the James Bond epic, Octopussy. He is currently reviving ASTRAL COMICS starring Astron Star Soldier, one of the first indie graphic novels, originally released in 1977 but co-created with comics legend George Perez in 1969.

WILL TORRES is a comic book fan at heart. Over the years he has trained himself to become a comic book illustrator. His future plan is to finish writing and drawing the adventures of a comic book character he has created with the help of legendary comic book legend icon, Stan Lee!   https://www.facebook.com/artofwilltorres

EMILIO VELEZ, JR. from the Bronx, NY, is writer/artist of The Dodgeball Teens comic book series; four issues are published and number 5 is on the way! www.dodgeballteens.com

The free event will take place on Saturday, May 30, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. It will be held 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, next door to the Atkins Kent building). For more information or to make a comic book donation to Superheroes for Hospice, please contact Spiro Ballas at sballas@barnabashealth.org or 973-322-4866.

About Barnabas Health Hospice and Palliative Care Center
The health care team at Barnabas Health Hospice and Palliative Care Center has been privileged to serve more than 52,000 patients and their families during one of the most personal times of their lives. Specially trained experts in end-of-life care are honored to provide comprehensive and compassionate medical, emotional and spiritual care at a time when it is needed most. Our programs, which serve infants, children, adults and the elderly, honor the individual choices and values of each patient and family, while offering full access to the broad array of services provided by Barnabas Health. For more information, please visit www.barnabashealthhospice.org.

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