Rebellion, publishers of Judge Dredd Megazine and 2000AD, is helping out London's Cartoon Museum and its fundraising activities. They are creating a special T-shirt, profits from which will go towards keeping this museum going through these rough times.
The new T-shirt, available exclusively from the 2000 AD and Treasury of British Comics webshops, features the cover of Battle Picture Weekly #423 (cover date: 11 June 1983) by master artist Eric Bradbury. Beneath the museum's logo, the cover from the 'Invasion 1984' strip shows a very different kind of crisis – Piccadilly Circus being invaded by aliens.
All profits from the sale of the shirts will go towards the independent museum's £150,000 fundraising appeal, which seeks to help it through the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
Director Joe Sullivan said: "We are incredibly grateful to our friends at Rebellion for their kind offer to help with fundraising towards The Cartoon Museum's survival during this difficult time. It is humbling to receive support from our peers and colleagues in the UK comic and cartooning scene, and shows the depth of feeling for the museum. We hope Rebellion fans and our visitors love the brilliant shirt design, and look forward to continuing to work with Rebellion in the future."
Jason Kingsley, CEO of Rebellion, said: "Comics have a vital place in Britain's culture and heritage, and The Cartoon Museum does great work protecting that legacy, preserving it for future generations, and showcasing the best creators of today. The heritage sector has been hit really hard by Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown, and so we're delighted to do what we can to help this nationally important museum survive and thrive."
The museum, which receives no regular government or local authority funding, has been hit hard after closing on 18th March. Seventy-five per cent of its yearly income came from admissions, shop purchases, school visits, and venue bookings. Even when visitors return, the museum is expecting an 80 per cent drop in numbers.
Such a big expected drop in revenue, along with the longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on key audiences for the museum such as schools and overseas tourism, has huge implications and so The Cartoon Museum is fundraising to survive the closure period.
Set up by the Trustees of The Cartoon Museum, so far the fundraising appeal has raised £86,000 towards a total goal of £150,000. Contributions have been made in a variety of ways, including small grants, proceeds of a half-marathon, cover price and book sale reductions from publishers close to the museum, proceeds from a sale of one-off comic art, and donations from friends and the public. In July 2020, the museum announced an award of £98,700 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Direct donations can also be made here.