The Good Fighters: Pam Noles

If you’ve been lucky enough to go to Comic-Con International in San Diego, you’ve seen Pam Noles. As a prominent volunteer in their Guest Relations Team, Pam is often zooming across the exhibit floor with a walkie-talkie in one hand, her guest’s schedule in the other, and a bag overburdened with Things Her Guest Requires slung over her shoulder.

As a volunteer, Pam is indefatigable and single minded in her drive to fulfill her mission. It’s made her an incredible asset to us at CBLDF, for whom she volunteers for when she isn’t whisking the likes of Neil Gaiman or Bruce Campbell to safety at Comic-Con. Actually, if you’ve been unlucky enough to get to a Neil Gaiman signing at the CBLDF booth after we’ve capped the line, but you were able to get a signature, she’s probably the one who made that happen.

Pam aids the CBLDF when we do fundraising in California and has always been a valuable resource for the organization behind the scenes. We’re grateful to have found her standing still long enough for a quick chat about her drive to volunteer and her work for rights organizations like ACLU and the Fund in this first installment of The Good Fighters, CBLDF’s volunteer profile series.

CBLDF: You spend a goodly amount of your life volunteering for causes and art. Tell me why volunteerism is important to you.

Pam Noles: You have to do things not for yourself alone. Free-range money is not something I have, but I’ve got a variety of skills I’m happy to put to use in the service of causes I believe in. I come from a long line of activist volunteers, so service to a bigger cause comes natural to me. On the practical side, I’ve discovered abilities I didn’t know I had due to volunteering, and I’ve met and made many wonderful friends because of volunteer activities. Volunteering is great for your social life!

CBLDF: You’ve worked for rights organizations, professionally for ACLU, and as a volunteer for CBLDF. What is the importance of working for rights in the modern day?

Noles: No higher power is going to just hand over fundamental rights — you have to claim them, defend them, and work to expand protections to populations historically deprived of them. If you don’t take a stand and do your part for the cause – however small – one day you’ll find your bubble of complacency popped when The Powers That Be come after a basic freedom you care about.

CBLDF: What are your feelings about CBLDF and the work it performs?

Noles: Free speech, one of the five freedoms contained in the sentence that leads off our Constitution, must be defended at all times. Comics are particularly vulnerable to attack for reasons of political expediency and, frankly, persistent ignorance about the form. The Fund leads a two-front war of legal advocacy and educational outreach. No other organization is doing that very expensive, extremely difficult and absolutely necessary work. I feel every person who participates in comics (consumer, creator, retailer or publisher) should directly support the Fund via membership or volunteer labor. If we don’t directly defend ourselves, who will?

Pam is currently at work on ! Death 40-Feet Tall !, a one-hour live show about two best friends, their geek life, giant robots and the quest to become your own Prime. It’s storytelling, not a showcase, about one hour long and family friendly. Details on the show are here, and its Kickstarter page is here.