§ Obviously there’s a lot going on in the world right now, most of it pretty awful. I’ve rounded up a few news items below stemming from the murder of George Floyd and the resulting protests as they affect the comics industry. There’s doubtless more and we’ll report more later. But just to be clear: the ongoing, longstanding and institutional racial injustice in America is intolerable to anyone who believes in human dignity. Or really, the idea of America as a place of fairness and opportunity. Not that that has ever been true, but a lot of people like to believe in it. Anyway to give this a comics spin, I’d recommend that you read Truth: Red, White and Black by the late Robert Morales and Kyle Baker. It’s long out of print and can never be reprinted, but if you ever find a copy…it’s very good.
§ Also, do not give me any #AllLivesMatter shit. I’ll let Randy Orton explain why.
— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) May 29, 2020
§ Remember that pandemic thing everyone was talking about a few days ago?
§ Molly Ostertag and Noelle Stevenson were witnesses and participants to some of the LA protests and subsequent violence.
this is the 1st time i've seen myself and the people i was with at a protest get physically attacked by police. we're okay and safe but trust me when I say: protestors did not incite this. We were peaceful, marching and chanting, and police cornered us and attacked us with batons
— Molly Knox Ostertag (@MollyOstertag) May 31, 2020
Got hit with a baton (I'm fine) and my phone was taken. If any friends need to get in touch please DM me here or email! https://t.co/EswUYW2yKN
— Noelle Stevenson (@Gingerhazing) May 31, 2020
§ Marvel tweeted a statement….
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) May 31, 2020
…which was tweeted by all Disney-owned brands.
….and Twitter reacted poorly to these tweets. Like posting this Chinese version of the Force Awakens poster which removed John Boyega. Oops.
As someone who’s been at Disney for four years I (and many others) would like to see more solid commitments to hiring Black people, supporting them on the job, and donations to help the Black community. https://t.co/RULD71r1yh
— Molly Knox Ostertag (@MollyOstertag) June 1, 2020
§ Several comics shops were caught up in the looting that followed the protests. The Golden Apple on Melrose was hit but not as hard as surrounding stores.
Owner Ryan Leibowitz wrote:
For the record, we support the cause and justice needs to be had, but we do not endorse these acts of vandalism, theft, arson and violence. Scroll to see all the damage to our shop and neighbors @standingsbutchery
We were supposed to have a “soft opening” Monday for the first time in over two months and rejuvenate our small business post-COVID. This is just another set back that we will overcome. We have served this community for over 40 years and plan to be around as long as people want to buy comics and collectibles.
However, we favored much better than many other shops on Melrose Ave and nearby Fairfax, who’s businesses were looted and set ablaze 🔥 For instance, our former location at 7711 was burnt to the ground as well as many other mom and pop shops looted, vandalized and burned.
The Melrose and Fairfax Shopping Districts will be rebuilt and reopened in the near future and we plan to be apart of the biggest block party in years.
§ HiDeHo in Santa Monica was also hit; also, co-owner Kristen Parraz noted wryly in a FB post, that some undesirable Funko Pops had been spared.
§ Chicago’s Challengers Comics in River North was looted, although, co-owner Patrick Brower noted, that “many, many things taken (although weirdly almost no comics or graphic novels were stolen).”