"Growing up different can be difficult. Growing up like Cliffy Goldfarb or any of the other 1 in every 120 kids in the world born with a congenital heart defect can be harder. Living a life of rules and physical limitations is the norm for these children, making it harder for them to live a life most would consider 'normal'. A life limited of sports, climbing, and the overall rambunctiousness of being a kid like Cliffy can make you feel like the odd one out.
The summer after his first heart transplant, Cliffy's mother sends her nervous young son off to Camp Bravehearts. A place that's unlike any other summer camp, where kids with other varying conditions like Cliffy can be together to compare 'war wounds', and realize that maybe being 'normal' isn't all it's cracked up to be."
THE ZIPPER CLUB
Written by Len N. Wallace
Illustrated by Brenda Liz López
Brought to you bi-monthly and ongoing in the pages of...
It's a story very close to my heart literally, as a grown adult who has lived his whole life with a congenital heart defect, and was given a very small life expectancy when I grew up. Camp Bravehearts is a real place that I've had the pleasure of counseling for over 14 years of my life now. While the Camp Bravehearts in the comic is a little more fictionalized than the real one, the feelings and emotions that come from the comics are very real. When GATHERING publisher Andrew Goletz asked me if I wanted to contribute something all-age appropriate to his new independent anthology series, I spent a couple weeks racking my brain to come up with an idea, until I came up with this idea. This is the most important story I never realized I wanted to tell.
Click here to get your copy of THE GATHERING #2, featuring our first installment of THE ZIPPER CLUB, as well as stories by Jeffrey Burandt (Americans UK), Brian Koschak (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Gail Simone, (Birds of Prey, Secret Six) and many, many more talented creators.
I encourage everyone to check out what Brenda and I are doing here, because it's something we're both very proud of. A very personal story from myself, as well as a chance to work with an artist I've been crazy about, and trying my damnedest to work with more and more in the last several years.
Best of all, this is only the beginning!