Free comics since 2023


26-11-23 | Before venturing into online stories, Peter Pan Comics was a legitimate publisher of physical comic books. And earlier this year I donated the last of those books to an incredible organization called Terre des Hommes. Founded in 1960 in Switzerland, Terre des Hommes successfully wages war against the exploitation of children around the world. By donating 1.000 books I was able to make a humble contribution to their quest to rid the globe of child abuse.

Linda ten Have of Terre des Hommes Netherlands, was kind enough to talk to me about the important work the organization does. ‘Terre des Hommes fights child exploitation across the globe, which ranges from sexual abuse to extreme forms of child labour. Also very important to us is the work we do in war zones and disaster areas. We fight exploitation by working directly with governments, creating a dialogue with manufacturers, but also simply by creating awareness.’ We’ve featured our share of superheroes on this website, but it’s fine people like those working for Terre des Hommes that truly make a difference in the real world.

An important pillar of the work Terre des Hommes does is working locally with families. And most importantly: with children. ‘We find it very important that we understand what children need. By working closely with children we come to understand and appreciate their immediate needs. Not only do we work with children, you might say we work for children.’ By working alongside manufacturers in third world countries, Terre des Hommes is able to positively affect the lives of many children in these areas. ‘Of course you cannot halt illegal child labour overnight, but we strive to be the dripping water that hollows out the stone.’

It does mean that people like Linda are exposed to the horrors of child exploitation on a regular basis, which would make me – being an infantile nerdy fantasist – rather uncomfortable to put it mildly. My passion has always been to move away from reality and play with dreams. Does wallowing in the harsh reality of child exploitation affect you as a person? Linda doesn’t seem to think so. ‘More than anything working for Terre des Hommes has shown me how good and kind-hearted people can be. The tireless field workers, committed researchers … many of them volunteers who devote their time to better the lives of people they’ve never met! Terre des Hommes shows me what people are capable of.’     

‘A musician I admire, Wende Snijders, sings of being ashamed of having ‘clean hands’. As though being born in a First World country is something to apologize for. Well, I am privileged in that my work allows me to make a huge difference to a lot of young people. That opportunity grants me and my colleagues so much positive energy. One kind act can overshadow a thousand horrors.’ Despite my personal contribution to Terre des Hommes being humble to say the least, I recognise the feeling. I could have easily made some money out of my remaining comic books, but working with Terre des Hommes felt far more comfortable and honourable.

British readers will be aware of the phenomenon known as Oxfam Shops, hundreds of stores across the UK which sell used goods to consumers in an effort to raise money for Oxfam Novib. The Terre des Hommes stores serve a similar function in the Netherlands. I regularly pop round my local Terre des Hommes store, which offers a wide range of products including a superb collection of comics and DVDs. The prospect of my books ending their journey in one of these charity shops, well-kept and run by kind-hearted volunteers, filled me with joy.

‘Yes, we’re very proud of our volunteers.’ adds Linda ‘They are the backbone of our stores and responsible for generating around two million euros each year, which we funnel directly into our projects. We cannot thank them enough for donating their time, which they could have easily spend somewhere else.’ Talking to Linda it becomes clear to me that passionate people run Terre des Hommes at every conceivable level. ‘It’s the cause. Children are our future. We can make a difference in the lives of so many youngsters. Every single person at Terre des Hommes is dedicated to fighting child exploitation, whether it’s my management team or the volunteer that comes in once a week. It’s the cause – to end the exploitation of children – that unites us all’.

Buying one of my comic books in a Dutch Terre des Hommes store near you is one of the ways you can support the fight against child exploitation. ‘Donating your used books and products is another, or you could volunteer at one of our many stores across the country. Both your Dutch and international readers could donate some money to Terre des Hommes. If only a few euros, because every cent truly counts. Twenty euros is all it takes to send a child to school for sixth months in India. A mere ten euros will allow poor Ugandan children to get a full medical checkup. Your donation changes lives. You can make a difference.’

So buy those comics, donate those goods, but most of all – support Terre des Hommes by sending them some money. Let your single euro be the drop of water that hollows out the stone. Be a superhero. Thank you and God bless Terre des Hommes!

– – –

Peter Pan Comics releases Kapitein Nemo in West-Europa, Het Grote Superheldenboek and Science-Fiction Comics are now available in a Terre des Hommes store near you.