With the added pressures, challenges and obstacles thrown in the way of local comic shops over the past three months, AfterShock Comics, led by Publisher Joe Pruett, announced the release of Support Our Shops (S.O.S.), a 48-page comic featuring seven stories from top creators. The comic book will be distributed at no cost to comic shops through Diamond Comic Distributors, to be sold at their discretion to raise money for the store.
S.O.S. emphases what it sees as a fundamentally irreplaceable role played by comic shops in their lives and in the lives of fans. The title includes exclusive stories from Cullen Bunn, Stephanie Phillips, Zac Thompson, Steve Orlando, Jamie McKelvie, Jerry Ordway and Aaron Douglas, with art from Leila Leiz, Don Kramer, Szymon Kudranski, Ro Stein & Ted Brandt, Gordon Purcell and Cliff Richards, with cover conceived and executed by David Mack.
"This benefit book celebrates the central and critical role that comic shops have always played in fostering a love of the medium among fans – many of whom have gone on to become creators in their own right," said Pruett. "It might be a drop in the bucket, but it's a hell of a drop in the bucket. These are heartfelt stories, crafted by creators with deep, lasting connections to the comic shops of yesterday, today and, we have no doubt, tomorrow."
S.O.S. will be distributed to Diamond's top-ranked 200 AfterShock accounts, which will each receive 20 free copies (per storefront) to go on sale on the 24th of June.The next 300 highest ranked stores will each receive 10 free copies. Stores not included in this ranking may receive a number of copies upon request to MarcHammond@AfterShock.ninja or RuThompson@AfterShock.ninja.
"Speaking and connecting with hundreds of comic shops regarding the challenges they face – as an overall retail channel and as individual and independent business owners – we felt an obligation to give something back, something that was uniquely AfterShock," said Steve Rotterdam, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at AfterShock. "We've always been about creators and their visions, so this was an easy decision."
"S.O.S. is our small way of saying 'thank you' to all of the wonderful stores that have supported AfterShock since the beginning," added Mike Marts, AfterShock's Editor-In-Chief. "Now it's our turn to give back."