While the vast majority of Americans self-isolate to flatten our communities’ respective curves, small business owners across the country are wondering if they can afford to re-open after stay-at-home orders subside. Comic book shops have been especially hard-hit. As lauded stores shutter and the industry struggles to adapt to the times, high-profile comic creators Jim Lee are auctioning original superhero illustrations to raise money for their brick-and-mortar comrades.
The project started on Monday when D.C. Comics publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee posted a hand-drawn sketch of character Nightwing to his Instagram. Lee’s illustrious career began at Marvel, where he worked on such titles as The Punisher and X-Men, then founding WildStorm Productions, which sold to DC Comics. He’s since illustrated some of DC’s most famous characters, like Batman and Superman, before attaining the role he holds today.
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Nightwing! Here’s a chance to get some original art and do something good during these unprecedented times. I’ll be drawing and posting 60 different sketches—one a day over the next two months which I will then be auctioning off with all the proceeds going to different random brick and mortar stores. High bidder of each sketch gets to pick the next DC character I draw for the very next sketch! No character to be repeated! PLEASE DO NOT BID NOW. Will start officially this Wednesday (4/1) but just wanted to give all of you who want to participate a heads up. #sketchingathome #notanaprilsfoolsjoke #DCcharactersonly
Following Lee’s post on Monday, illustrator Rob Liefeld followed suit, posting,
“WIN ORIGINAL ART! Comic books gave me my career! I love this art form so much and it’s time to give back! I’ll be auctioning off one original sketch every day here on @instagram with proceeds going towards comic book stores in need! They need our help now more than ever in these difficult times!”
His first sketch, auctioned Wednesday, featured Deadpool and Harley Quinn and raised $1,350 for Zeus Comics in Dallas, Texas. The shop posted a sincere thank you, “We are humbled he thought of us and our community. He proves once again he’s a true hero for local comic shops.”