April 23, 2020

DC lends its weight to comics relief effort


In recent weeks we have seen a great deal of mission-driven activity from the publishing world. From free children’s books, to literary and mental health projects published with proceeds going to book business and healthcare causes.

But as we wrote last week, those categories are traditionally resilient and seem to be adapting to the economics of social distancing while the comic book industry has been disproportionately hit.

Now, the comics industry has its own relief effort: the Comicbook United Fund, a partnership of Book Industry Charitable Foundation (or friends of the blog, BINC), the comics for all ages publisher Oni-Lion Forge, and now the mighty DC Comics.

As Graeme McMillan writes for the Hollywood Reporter:

Combining the $100,000 pledged last year to BINC from the Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group to support comic book retailers with the $250,000 pledged earlier this month by DC, the Comicbook United Fund is intended to be the central location for any and all figures and organizations hoping to raise money for comic book retailers.

“If this pandemic has taught us anything it’s how precious and fragile the things that bring us happiness are, so we must protect the lifeblood of our industry,” DC chief creative officer and publisher Jim Lee said Tuesday in a statement about the formation of the new fund. “Oni-Lion Forge saw the need for this type of relief before there was a crisis, which is why DC is proud to now stand alongside them in this time of need for our retailers.”

To continue fueling the fund, artists, writers, and other comics industry boosters have taken to Twitter, starting over 600 auctions of original work.

And if you’re looking to support the industry directly through your local bookstore, you might be interested in the news that DC will end its month-long lockdown hiatus on new comics, by selling a select few new titles to stores that are open (or have managed to continue selling) beginning on April 28th. As of now, similarly limited releases are slated to occur on May 5 and 12th.



Ryan Harrington is a senior editor at Melville House.