Comics retailers are a scrappy bunch, but they live with thin margins.An event such as Hurricane Harvey – which has affected several retailers – can be a devastating blow. A new charity Helping Comic Retailers with Issues (“HCR Issues”) has just been formed as a sort of Heroes Initiative for retailers: distressed retailers can apply for assistance.
The organizers are retailers Dennis Barger, Christina Blanch and Jen King. Barger has a somewhat, um, controversial reputation among his fellow retailers but he’s often spoken up about the need for this sort of organization. More information can be found on the group’s FB page, linked above. PR below:
The Comic Shop is the backbone of the comic book industry, but unfortunately many shops are struggling to stay in business in this current climate. The retailers that run these stores are passionate about comics but many lack the resources necessary in the lean times. Helping Comic Retailers with Issues (“HCR Issues”) is a new charity formed by several comic retailers who have banded together to help brick and mortar comic book stores in their time of need. Executive Director Dennis Barger, Jr., Treasurer Jen King, and Secretary Christina Blanch are proud to announce the formation of this charity, an LLC company pending 501(c)(3) approval.
HCR Issues is set up to immediately take donations, either monetary or items to auction, to raise money for the charity. When retailers are in need, they can request a confidential form from Diamond that will not be shared outside of HCR Issues. Asking for help can be difficult and the retailers that formed HCR Issues understand this, which will make everyone involved more comfortable.
HCR Issues was formed due to seeing what is happening in this volatile industry and natural disasters like the one facing the gulf coast of Texas right now. The founding members have witnessed multiple stores, large and small, go out of business over the last year. Comic Shops are vital to growth of this industry and are important in the communities where they exist. As Dennis Barger, Jr. points out, “the elimination of 1000 comic shops in the industry is also the elimination of about 3000 employees and this industry’s biggest fans.”
These are tough times for brick and mortar comic retailers. Help keep these vital parts of the comic book industry by supporting small business and by donating to HCR Issues. Donations can be sent to the address above. Please contact a founding member for more information.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.