I have been observing, for as long as I can remember, how all the kids I knew and most of the adults I have mingled with, that grew up with a steady diet of comic books, were remarkably clever, witty, worldly, have great problem solving skills, wide vocabularies, and a very strong sense of morality. They also tend to not exhibit much racism or sexism. Comic books seem to create the “good guys”.
Why Superliterate? Because there are a lot of kids that need our help. Particularly those abandoned or taken by Child Protective Services. Kids in foster care NEED role models, they need every edge they can get, and they need to realize that the best heroes DO come from adversity. In comics they pretty much all do!
They would do well to find out that they have been given the ingredients for the stronger, that the strife they are experiencing need not be permanent damage. They are simply experiencing the pressure and intense conditions that changes coal into diamonds. They can become the hero, the brave leader, the good example, and incidentally… Superliterate.
Most heroes are born from adversity that they overcome and use as fuel to become stronger. This could also be the journey of our challenged youth. These kids are ready to become heroes, all 28,000 of them, and that’s just LA county, 300 or more in Skid Row. We should not be okay with leaving them behind. Their lessons don't need to be learned the hard way. They just need reminding that they are NOT the damaged or the underprivileged, they are the pre-strengthened.
Initially what we will do is accumulate comic collections, through tax-deductible donations made to it as a non-profit corporation, allowing comic book sellers to get rid of old inventory and be able to write it off of their taxes. Or through purchase of large discounted collections with moneys raised from a Patreon account and from the sales of products we will produce as a means of generating income.
We will then put together gift sets for kids in need that can benefit from them. As soon as possible we will also provide space and facilities for weekly Book Club discussions and provide tutors to help with the reading, and understanding some of the more complex concepts. Intermingled with this will be ongoing counseling and real world coaching to help them learn to achieve and do good things with their life. A Superhero Academy if you will. The Los Angeles Superheroes. It could make for a really cool t-shirt.
This project is dedicated to Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Stan Lee, Jon Schnepp, John Rogers, Anthony Bourdain, and Batton Lash. This is a cause I would like to think that they would have loved and I know first hand that Batton did. They serve as ongoing inspiration and fantastic examples of the "comic book people" I gush about as being so great.
The SuperLiterate Project is founded by a disabled US Navy Veteran and plans to work with as many other vets as possible. Getting integrated back into society can be challenging for some Vets and this organization and it's giving forward is a good way to stay active and involved in a strong community. Escaping from a negative place by joining the Military was a smart move for many of us, it may be a valid option for many of the teens we work with to get a decent education.
Note: We are still in the process of filing all of the proper forms that will enable us to grant tax-deductible receipts for all donations and contributions, we can accept donations, receipts will be issued when paperwork is finalized.