As we continue to watch the horror of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unfold, comics are taking their place as they do in any world event: Ukrainian cartoonists continue to make comics showing the realities of the war and using humor to criticize war criminal Vladimir Putin. And international fundraising efforts are beginning to spring up in the comics space.


One such effort is Adopt a Ukraine Publisher, a fundraiser beguin by First Second publisher Mark Siegel to aid Ukrainian comics publisher IRBIS COMICS. As Siegel explains:

IRBIS COMICS is Ukraine’s comics and graphic novel publisher for young readers. Across Ukraine thousands of children are displaced by the horrors of war. Along with basic needs for survival, these children also welcome the staples of a normal childhood . . . including the vital pleasure of reading.

IRBIS has been donating its graphic novels in Ukrainian, but will need support to stay afloat through these times, and help to sponsor more comics donations during these times of extreme difficulty in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian publishing industry, along with its free press, were targets of Putin’s war machine long before the invasion. Supporting our colleagues and comics friends in Ukraine can contribute to Ukraine’s future, now in such delicate balance.

Small donations add up fast and will turn into moments of needed relief for young readers in Ukraine—and support a Ukrainian publisher in the process. 

A look at the Irbis home page shows such universal pleasures as the Smurfs and Geronimo Stilton, as well as a graphic novel about local hero Vladimir, a historical Ukrainian figure. Also a comic book about teeth – “zubsy” in Ukrainian.

This fundraising campaign will go directly to help Irbis – and the children who need stories to help them.

KidLit for Ukraine, is another fundraiser focused on material for younger readers. Organized by the KidLit community, this is a benefit event that will be streamed on KidLit TV, featuring notables from both prose and comics. The lineup of both Ukrainian and American creators includes Victoria Amelina, Kathi Appelt, Adrianna Bamber, Samantha Berger, Nick Bruel, Jason Chin, Carmen Agra Deedy, Nikki Grimes, Donna Barba Higuera, K.A. Holt, Olha Kupriyan, Tara Lazar, Minh Lê, Jarrett Lerner, Kate Messner, Roxie Munro, Neal Shusterman, Charles R. Smith Jr., Duncan Tonatiuh, Padma Venkatraman, and Rita Williams-Garcia. 

The event takes place Tuesday March 22nd, streaming at 7 pm, and promises the authors telling short, true stories of hope. 100% of the proceeds of the event will go to Save the Children.