Hero Exclusive Overstreet #43Media Release -- For the fourth consecutive year, Gemstone Publishing and The Hero Initiative have teamed up to raise money for comic creators in need, and this time they're embracing not only indy comics but a cosplay theme with cover artist Terry Moore's Strangers In Paradise taking center stage.

Katchoo and Francine from Moore's long-running, award-winning Strangers In Paradise are featured on the cover of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #43 Hero Initiative Edition. This exclusive, 500-copy, limited hardcover edition of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #43 will go on sale at Comic-Con International: San Diego on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at the Hero Initiative booth.

Illustrated by Terry Moore and colored by Brian Miller of Hi-Fi Design, the Hero Initiative edition will be available exclusively from Hero with all money raised going to the 501 (c)(3) charity. An extremely limited number of copies will be available from Hero's website and through a select group of participating retailers. There will be no softcover edition of this version, and it will retail for $35.

"Since The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #40, the Hero Initiative Edition has become a tradition. Now, with Overstreet #43, we're very happy to see that tradition expand to include one of the best-loved indy creators the medium has known, Terry Moore. His Strangers In Paradise, Echo, and current series, Rachel Rising, have been beacons calling other indy creators to follow their own muses, and we're glad he shared his work with us to help a truly great cause," said Steve Geppi, President and CEO of Gemstone Publishing.

"Steve Geppi, Bob Overstreet, and their team at Gemstone Publishing not only deliver the Bible for serious comic book collectors each and every year, but their dedication to fundraising for Hero is something has been clearly demonstrated as well. People talk about raising 'awareness,' but they're helping us raise money to actually make a difference in the lives of the creators we help," said Hero Initiative President Jim McLauchlin.

"I miss them almost every day," Terry Moore said of cover subjects Francine and Katchoo from his Strangers In Paradise, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013. "The only way to write an ongoing series is to have the characters on your mind all the time in the most real way possible. You think of them, not as literary devices, but as people in your life. If you like them, and devote years to them, then you can't just cut them off."

"I'm not sure how many artists could do this but sure enough Terry has done it," said color artist Brian Miller of Hi-Fi. "He somehow manages to compose this stunningly beautiful concept with Katchoo and Francine as Zatanna and Wonder Woman then he incorporates all these little details which draws your eye into staring at the illustration for hours. The entire composition is a master class in visual storytelling. Once done admiring and absorbing all that he had created I could not wait to dive in and start coloring!"

This marks the fourth consecutive year that Gemstone and Hero have worked together to create a special limited fundraiser edition of the Guide. For The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #40, John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson and Dean White provided a 40th anniversary recreation of Conan The Barbarian #1. For The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #41, John Romita, Sr., Tom Palmer and Dean White presented a selection of top Marvel heroes. For The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #42, writer-artist Matt Wagner teamed his Grendel with DC Comics' Batman, colored by Ryan Brown. As is the case with this new edition, all funds from the sales of these volumes went to The Hero Initiative.

The standard editions of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #43 feature a bold "New 52" generation Superman by Andy Kubert in honor of the character's 75th anniversary and a commanding trio of X-Men by Mike Deodato, Jr. commemorating the team's 50th anniversary. Those editions are scheduled to go on sale in comic shops and at Comic-Con the same day, Wednesday, July 17, 2012. Retailers can still place reorders with Diamond Comic Distributors for those editions, while the limited edition will only be available from Hero.

About The Hero Initiative

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterday's creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment. Hero is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) charity. The Hero Initiative Limited Edition Hardcover version of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #43 is scheduled to go on sale at The Hero Initiative booth at Comic-Con International: San Diego on Preview Night, Wednesday, July 17, 2013 and afterward through a limited number of Hero affiliates. This version will be available in hardcover only and is limited to 500 copies. The retail price is $35. Information on special signings during the show will be released at a later date.

About Terry Moore

Terry Moore writes, draws and publishes comics through his own imprint, Abstract Studio. His first series, Strangers In Paradise is a genre-bending epic comic book series that ran from 1993 to 2007. Echo, his second series, is a sci-fi thriller that ran from 2008 to 2011. Rachel Rising is Terry's current series, a horror story about a woman who cannot die. He has drawn and written comics for other publishers over the years, including Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Image. His work has won many awards, including the Eisner and Harvey Awards, and two GLAAD Awards.

About Brian Miller

Brian Miller founded Hi-Fi color design in 1998 to talented creators together with one goal, great visual storytelling. Hi-Fi is best known for comic book coloring and also creates fully painted storybooks, artwork for video games & toy packaging, art instruction books and more. Behind the Hi-Fi name stands a team of talented color artists bringing your favorite comic books to life with beautiful color.

About Gemstone Publishing

Best known as the home of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, Gemstone Publishing was formed by Diamond Comic Distributors President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen A. Geppi as a conduit for his efforts in preserving and promoting the history of the comics medium. Gemstone's product line includes publications such as The Overstreet Comic Book Grading Guide, The Big Big Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, Hake's Price Guide To Character Toys, The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Comics, and Comic Book Marketplace. Gemstone also publishes Scoop, a free weekly e-newsletter which looks inside the world of pop culture with a focus on auctions, toys, comics, posters, art and anything and everything pop culture.