A long brewing project to help comics retailers hurt by the pandemic was announced today: Give Comics Hope, a new comics charity founded by former Diamond comics VP/Pacific Comics founder Bill Schanes. The website has just launched. (Disclosure: I am among the organization’s advisers for the bookstore market.)
Give Comics Hope aims to run a series of auctions with proceeds donated to comics shops that have been impacted by COVID-19. It’s designed “for all members of our community to rally together to provide vital aid to comic book stores, the heart and roots of our vibrant comic book community.”
Members of the comics community have also recorded many supportive videos, which you can see at the YouTube channel.
The organization will launch with two auctions and is soliciting more donations from industry members. It’s also suggesting people can donate directly to BINC (the Book Industry Charitable Foundation) that has been helping retailers since the pandemic began.)
#GiveComicsHope is working directly with BINC, Heritage Auctions and retailer Jesse James Comic Book Shopping Network to set up the auctions. There are many once in a lifetime items going on sales, including Walking Dead covers, Bill Sienkeiwicz art, and much more.
Time to look through those longboxes, bookshelves, and closet and find some items that you can donate to this cause!
More in the PR:
GIVE COMICS HOPE’s initial charitable efforts will be focused on two auctions designed to raise an initial slate of funds to be distributed to comic book stores in early 2021. GIVE COMICS HOPE is calling on publishers, creators, retailers, fans, convention organizations, printers, media, and indeed every member of the community to unite together and give back to comic book shops by donating premium collectibles from their personal collections to two upcoming charitable auctions.
“I’ve been blessed to work in the comic book industry for almost 50 years as a publisher and distributor,” said Bill Schanes, founder of GIVE COMICS HOPE. “But I began my journey as a professional in comics as a retailer which is how I know that retailers are the heart of the comic book community. Now is the time to pay it forward and save comic shops not only for ourselves, but for future fans to come.”
The first auction will be conducted by Heritage Auctions, the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer, for all received donations with an estimated value of $500 or more to take place between Wednesday, October 28, 2020 and Wednesday, November 11, 2020. The initial auction will include donations from industry insiders including cover art from The Walking Dead donated by Image Comics partner Robert Kirkman, paintings by legendary artist Bill Sienkiewicz, Star Wars original art by award-winning artist P. Craig Russell, original art from New Mutants #88 by Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld, original art from X-Factor #55 and Amazing Spider-Man #326 signed by New York Times bestselling artist Colleen Doran, , Excalibur #125 original art signed by Dave Hoover, and many, many more. Public donations for the first auction are due by Friday, October 2, 2020.
“Heritage Auctions has long been proud and honored to be the premier auction house for comic books, comic art, and related collectibles,” said Barry Sandoval, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “When Bill approached us with the opportunity to give back to the comic shops that spark the lifelong love of this medium in countless fans and collectors, we leapt at the chance.”
The second auction will be conducted by Jesse James Comics/Comic Book Shopping Network in partnership with eBay. All public donations with an estimated value of $499 or less will be offered through public auctions and “Buy It Now” opportunities on eBay between Wednesday, November 11, 2020 and Friday, December 11, 2020. Public donations for the second auction are due by Wednesday, November 4, 2020.
“It’s been my privilege to provide great comic book experiences and the best in comic book therapy for almost 40 years,” said Jesse James, owner of Jesse James Comics and President of Comic Book Shopping Network. “Our industry is stronger when customers have many options to find the comic book community that is right for them. It’s my pleasure to help my retail brethren by leveraging our brand’s strength on eBay and the power of CBSN to raise money for GIVE COMICS HOPE.”
GIVE COMICS HOPE has partnered with the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to assisting comic retailers and booksellers, to oversee the management and disbursement of the funds raised by GIVE COMICS HOPE. The initiative will take no organizational fees, and will only deduct any actual, direct costs incurred from the funds raised. Since its inception, Binc has provided over $9 million in financial assistance and scholarships to more than 9000+ families. Support for the Foundation’s programs and services comes from all sectors of the book and comic industries. The Foundation was imagined and built by booksellers and proudly continues to be their safety net. In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the book and comic industries came together in an extraordinary way allowing Binc to help 2,191 booksellers, comic retailers, and stores with $2.7 million in urgently needed assistance.
“We are honored to work with Bill and his team of passionate volunteers to further help comic book stores during this unprecedented time. We know the funds raised from this visionary initiative will help neighborhood comic shops continue to serve their customers and their communities,” said Pam French, Binc Foundation’s executive director. “Together, we are working to help comic retailers through the many challenges they are faced with, so they can continue doing the work they love – selling comics.”
More information on how to support the movement can be found at the website. For continuing news on GIVE COMICS HOPE and its auctions, follow @givecomicshope on Instagram and Facebook, and @comicsgive on Twitter.