With the mass chaos and uncertainty that the physical comic book industry is in as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, comic book writers and artists are finding unique ways to try to help comic shops. As we have detailed earlier, comic professionals are also affected by this pandemic in real financial terms. As their income streams dry up and “pencils down” orders are given, the community searches for ways to survive.
We are confident that the medium of sequential art will not go away, but it may emerge from this crisis altered. Will it be for the better? It is impossible to tell. In the meantime, the community is trying to support each other.
Today, we want to highlight some of the innovative efforts to support both creative talent and comic shops.
Love and Capes Returns
We told you in an interview earlier that cartoonist Thom Zahler has been working on the new Love and Capes: The Family Way series, and selling small print run single-issues at conventions. IDW will be collecting and printing a Trade Paperback this summer, but with all conventions on hold, Thom came up with an inventive way to get the story and get new inventory into the hands of comic shops that are still open in whatever form.
He is offering a way for comic shops to order the individual issues directly from him, and is, even, offering a way for the issue covers to be customized. Comic Shops can get all the details and links to the order forms on Zahler’s website. Orders are being taken until Friday 4/17 at Noon!!
Fans can reach out to their Local Comic Shops and encourage them to order the new content.
An event is going over in the Twitterverse. Over a hundred comic creatives are auctioning off artwork, books, and experiences through the #Creators4Comics. The auctions will end on Monday 4/20. The funds raised will be donated to The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, an organization that supports independent booksellers, including comic shops.
There are some amazing items available for bidding. Here are a couple:
I’m taking part in the #Creators4Comics auction starting TODAY! I have a signed Superman statue I designed for @DCComics, along with the original design art! Both the base and box are signed- and I doodled on the box! Opening bid is $200. Here’s what you do… 1/1 pic.twitter.com/ptsIU6navi
— Cully Hamner (@CullyHamner) April 15, 2020
I’m auctioning off an ORIGINAL EROTIC SHORT STORY, featuring YOU, which I will read to you sensually via Zoom! All for #Creators4Comics!
• Bid by replying to this tweet!
• Opening bid: $40!
• Auction ends April 20 @ 12 PM EST
• Winner donates directly to @BincFoundation
— Chip Zdarsky (@zdarsky) April 15, 2020
A set visit to any show I am associated with. Lodging/transportation not included. Subject to any studio requirements.
• Bid by replying to this tweet
• Opening bid: $5000
• Auction ends 4/20 @ 12 PM EST
• Winner donates directly to @BincFoundation
— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) April 15, 2020
Raising money for comic shops – #Creators4Comics. Win Kelly Sue DeConnick’s personal CAPTAIN MARVEL CAST & CREW jacket – signed:
• Bid by replying to this tweet (INTL or US).
• Auction ends April 20 @ 12 PM EST.
• Winner donates directly to @BINC. https://t.co/WLNC1PYE27 pic.twitter.com/VAzu9FnMST
— Kelly Sue DeConnick (@kellysue) April 15, 2020
Had to repost because I tagged the wrong Binc. Starting bid was $8.13 (naturally) and current bid is $26! https://t.co/FbfwbVOqcH
— Joe Eisma (@Supajoe) April 16, 2020
This is just a small sampling. Go check out this hashtag, bring your wallet, and you jaw will drop. Luminaries such as Jim Lee, Gail Simone, Matthew Modine, and Jimmy Palmiotti are participating. More about the charity can be found in this New York Time article by George Gene Gustines.
Heroes Initiative Getting Innovative
Heroes Initiative, one of our favorite comics charities, is offering interesting opportunities for one on one interactions with creators such as Brian Michael Bendis, Tom King, Timothy Seeley, and Fabian Nicieza. Some are already sold out but great offers are still available.
You can check out the availability here.
Creators Get Creative
Many comic professionals are beginning to feel the strain of this national economic disruption. They are finding ways to support themselves. The methods include everything from online art sales to commissions and new Patreon pages.
Patreon is a great way to support writers and artists. For a few bucks a month, you can support art and get access to exclusive content.
Comic writer Jarrett Melendez has started collecting a list of comic pros who are running sales and charity drives. It is a fantastic starting point. Check the comments of this post:
The current health crisis is very serious. Please follow the advise of health professionals. We hope you will find this list a way to engage in entertainment distractions and support the art that brings joy into so many lives.