Superheroes of all shapes and sizes recently showed up to help raise $4,300 for a Saint Barnabas Hospice and Palliative Care Center fund-raiser.
The final "" charity comic book sale of 2011 on Dec. 3 gave fans a chance to purchase back issues from boxes filled with thousands of comic book titles.
Comics from several decades and genres were on hand – everything from superheroes to funny animals.
Also on hand were a host of notable comic book industry writers and artists who signed autographs and did sketches.
"Projects like 'Superheroes For Hospice' are like a superhero’s alter ego, not flashy, but still an important part of the story," explained hospice Senior Volunteer Coordinator Spiro Ballas in a release.
"Fundraising enables us to provide care to those without insurance as well as additional support such as extra home health aide time,” Ballas said.
"It's also just a fun event," he added. "People can meet some comic book artists and writers and pick up something new for their collections, all for a good cause."
Ballas founded Superheroes for Hospice in December 2008.
Approximately $700 of the total was raised through the sale of comics, books, original artwork and sketches by comic industry professionals in attendance.
From seasoned veterans to up-and-coming talents, all volunteered their time to help out at the sale.
"It was a fun family event and there were genuine bargains to be had from the comics to the quick sketches from the pros – and all for a good cause," said longtime comics artist Rick Parker, a New Jersey resident best known for Marvel’s Beavis & Butthead comic books and Papercutz’ recent relaunch of Tales From the Crypt.
Fellow Jersey talent Mark Mariano, a more recent name on the scene, was also in attendance to introduce new fans to his whimsical children’s comics like Happyloo and Flabbergast.
"I am honored to be a part of such an important event and I'm happy to hear how much we raised for the cause," Mariano said in a statement.
"I urge all comic creators to donate their time and talents — all comic sellers — to donate some of their overstock and collectors to buy, buy, buy," he said. "Together we can help Superheroes for Hospice become stronger than the entire Justice League!"
Established in 1981, the Saint Barnabas Hospice and Palliative Care Center (SBHPCC), located at 95 Old Short Hills Road in West Orange, provides comprehensive care for patients with advanced illness, and their families, throughout 10 New Jersey counties.
The SBHPCC supports inpatient units at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, as well as Van Dyke Hospice at Community Medical Center in Toms River.
It also provides home care and services for individuals in long-term care and assisted living facilities.
To date, nearly 100,000 comic books have been donated to the project.
Comic books and related items including graphic novels, original artwork and unopened toys are still being collected for the Dec. 3 and future shows.
The next show takes place March 31, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the West Orange location.
For more information about Superheroes for Hospice, upcoming shows, or to make a comic book donation, get on the charity’s email list by contacting Spiro Ballas at SBallas@BarnabasHealth.org or (973) 322-4866. Further details are available here.