Digging in the storage unit today, I ran across an odd artifact: the letterhead of the Narrative Art Alliance Inc. Never heard of it, huh?
The NAA was probably the second not-for-profit incorporated related to the American comics industry, after ACBA, which went defunct in 1977, around the time the NAA was founded. The founders were mostly young people in the field, concerned with a number of issues, including the way comic conventions could be altered to make them more beneficial to the creative talent. We were full of good intentions, but sadly didn’t make them—or the NAA—a concrete reality that lasted. Most of the folks made lasting differences in the comics community, though, one way or another, and stayed friends for many years.
Based on the yellowing sheet of letterhead, our initial board included Steve Gerber as Chairman, Carla Conway, Scott Edelman, Carl Gafford, Stu Hellinger, David Kraft, Doug Murray, Marty Pasko, Jim Salicrup, David Simons, Mary Skrenes, Roger Slifer, Ed Summer, Duffy Vohland and me. I also recall Irene Vartanoff serving as our treasurer, as she watched the tiny treasury fade away over the next few years.
It makes me all the more grateful for the hard work the founders of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the Hero Alliance did to make those organizations into enduring institutions, and to hope that the several smaller not-for-profits in comics grow and prosper.