The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, in partnership with the newly created Comicbook United Fund, have raised more than $950,000 to be used to support comic shop retailers struggling to survive during the pandemic lockdown.
In mid-May Binc plans to begin distributing funds ranging from about $800 to $2,400 to 637 verified and qualified comic book shops across the U.S. and U.S. territories. Binc has already delivered more than $174,000 to support 156 comics retail employees and owners to help them pay personal expenses during the pandemic.
Managed by Binc, the Comicbook United Fund, organized to support comic shop retailers, was created by the ForgeFund, a comics retailer charitable foundation formed by Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group, along with funding from the comics community via #Creators4Comics, artist/DC publisher Jim Lee, and DC. DC donated $250,000 to CUF, while the comics community raised more than $430,000 for the fund via #Creators4Comics, a hashtag movement organized by comics artists such as Jim Lee that auctioned original artworks on Twitter.
#Creators4Comics co-organizer and comics writer Sam Humphries, said “Comic book stores have supported us for years, now is the time for us to support them. Binc's experience with donations and distribution was crucial— without them, our community would not have been able to respond with such overwhelming support.”
“Helping our industry brethren is of the utmost importance to Oni-Lion Forge,” Oni-Lion Forge chairman David Steward II said. “We’re inspired by so many others who share this sentiment and have acted on it. The comic industry is as vibrant, strong-willed and resilient as any, and will thrive beyond this pandemic,” Steward said.
DC's Lee added, “DC is so proud to be a contributor to Binc and the Comicbook United Fund as well as part of this grass roots movement that is bringing fans and readers and creators and comic shops together to fight for our artform and our industry,”
Binc executive director Pam French said, “We have been overwhelmed by the number of people from across the comic industry who are rallying around their local stores and employees during these uncertain times. We are proud to be a part of helping comic retailers, but the real heroes in this story are the comic shop owners themselves who are facing an unprecedented challenge and are continuing to work tirelessly to reinvent themselves and continue to serve their communities.”