Canadian retailers The Dragon, Gotham Central Comics and Collectibles, Cyber City Comix, and this humble writer’s local store Heroes World are banding together for a fundraiser aiming to keep the Canadian comics market afloat due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Be Our Heroes, Canada fundraiser will be hosted on Facebook Live, and will take place over the course of two days on May 16 and 17.
This news comes on the heels of initiatives such as the US’s Creators 4 Comics and Canada’s Canucks 4 Comics, both of which took place on Twitter with individual creators auctioning off their own comics or original artwork in a bid to provide aid to retailers. Be Our Heroes aims to do things a little differently by highlighting both individual stores and creators including Brendan Fletcher, Jason Fabok, and noted Canadian Chip Zdarsky, giving stores an allotted time slot in which they will be focused on.
Interestingly, this isn’t an initiative which will only benefit retailers. According to Be Our Heroes’ press release, organisations such as libraries and publishers will also benefit from the funds raised by the fundraiser.
For a more detailed explanation on how the fundraiser will work, as well as a glimpse into the creators involved, check out Be Our Heroes’ press release below.
GUELPH, ON – As brick and mortar retailers around the world find creative ways to preserve their businesses during unprecedented circumstances, forward-thinking comic book retailers across Canada will come together with notable comic book artists and writers to benefit their business, and preserve their audience they have worked so hard together to serve.
“Be Our Heroes, Canada” is a collaboration between Canadian comic book shops and creators to leverage each store’s individual audiences to both build and strengthen the national comic book community and generate income for all.
“What started as a conversation between four retailers on how we could cross-promote our shops turned into this idea of a national fundraiser to help preserve Canada’s unique comics landscape” says Jennifer Haines, owner of The Dragon. “Now more than ever, we need to come together to support one another, and provide our respective communities with a way to stay connected, all while protecting retailers that might otherwise fall through the cracks of government funding.”
The event has been organized by Jenn Haines of Guelph Ontario’s The Dragon family of stories, along with Ontario retailers: Carlos Camara of Mississauga’s Gotham Central Comics and Collectibles; Andre Greenidge of Markham’s Heroes World, and Darryl Spiers of Toronto’s Cyber City Comix. The event will take place over two days through Facebook Live, with scheduled slots for creators and stores. Funds raised through this two day national celebration of the comic arts will be collected and distributed by the Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund, a Canadian-based non-profit organization protecting free speech in the industry, supporting retailers, schools and libraries, creators and publishers alike.
“Be Our Heroes, Canada” is currently accepting offers of participation among the Canadian creative community, and will announce the full list of participating stores and creators in the comic days. Current participants include: Adam Gorham, Andy Belanger, Brendan Fletcher, Casey Parsons, Chip Zdarsky, Dylan Burnett, Ed Brisson, J. Torres, Jason Fabok, Jason Loo, Jay Stephens, Karl Kerschl, Ken Lashley, Michael Cho, Ray Fawkes, Richard Pace, Scott Chantler, Seth, Shawn Daly, Svetlana Chmakova, and Yanick Paquette.