Comic book retailers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis have a new dedicated relief fund designed to provide financial assistance to comic shops and their employees. Led and managed by the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), the formation of the COMICBOOK UNITED FUND has galvanized the comics world, including Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group and DC, who made the joint announcement today.
Last year, Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group recognized the need for long-term solutions to help comic book stores following a series of debilitating natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey, and introduced the “Forge Fund” providing monetary support for comic retailers and their employees during times of hardship. To date, $100,000 has been donated to the Forge Fund which is operated by Binc, and the company continues to donate five percent of proceeds from ongoing select titles.
Now, during this new crisis facing comic book retailers, DC has announced it is donating $250,000 to Binc for the shared vision of also supporting comic shops and their teams in need. Together, the two donations are being rolled up into the new COMICBOOK UNITED FUND. The goal will be to provide one location for fans, creators, comic industry partners and executives to make contributions to support comic book shops and their employees. A dedicated link has been established at https://secure.donationpay.org/bincfoundation/ComicBookUnited.php.
Many groups and individuals are already participating. DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee is auctioning 60 original sketches of DC characters in 60 days on eBay. In addition, a coalition of artists, authors, comics creators and other supporters have joined forces to raise money for the COMICBOOK UNITED FUND and The Binc Foundation through more than 600 auctions on Twitter at @Creators4Comics.
“The comic industry has a long history of banding together to protect and promote the art form we all love. We hope that this incredible action from DC will inspire a new wave of generosity and support for the great number of individuals and shops struggling through these times,” said James Lucas Jones, President and Publisher of Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group. “Comics is an expansive community that still feels like a close-knit family, and these efforts feel like we are helping family members.”
“If this pandemic has taught us anything it’s how precious and fragile the things that bring us happiness are, so we must protect the lifeblood of our industry,” Lee said. “Oni-Lion Forge saw the need for this type of relief before there was a crisis, which is why DC is proud to now stand alongside them in this time of need for our retailers.”
“Little did we know when we launched the Forge Fund that the world would be plunged into such a dreadful pandemic, but here we are, and happy there was a starting point for relief,” said Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group Chairman David Steward II. “Binc and DC are powerful allies who we admire, commend and feel bonded to through this effort. This is an epic team-up in the grand comic book tradition and we look forward to welcoming more publishers to this effort over the coming days and weeks.”
“We are grateful and humbled to work with industry leaders Oni-Lion Forge and DC. By working together to create the Comicbook United Fund, Oni-Lion Forge and DC are demonstrating their dedication to comic retailers across the nation,” said Pam French, Binc Executive Director. “Binc is honored to help carry out their philanthropic vision. The outpouring of support and innovative ideas we’ve seen from across the industry has been inspiring and gives us great hope for the future.”
Managing the COMICBOOK UNITED FUND is an extension of the mission of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, which was created in 1996 to provide financial assistance and charitable programs to the wider bookseller community. Since its inception, the Binc Foundation has awarded over $7 million to more than 7,800 families. Fans can also donate directly to the COMICBOOK UNITED FUND here.