American Comic Stores Begin to Receive Hardship Grants From BINC

The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation has begun distributing funds from the newly created Comicbook United Fund on May 12th to comic book store owners. The contribution of the likes of #Creators4Comics, Jim Lee, DC, and Oni-Lion Forge raised almost a million dollars to help American comic book retailers in trouble during the current local situation.

Binc will be distributing funds ranging from $800 to $2400 to 637 verified and qualified comic book shops during this week, a couple of examples who have been tweeting out above. In addition to the $950,000+ being distributed to comic stores this week, another $174,786 has been distributed to 156 comic retail employees and owners helping them to pay for personal expenses including rent, mortgage, utilities, food and other necessities during this pandemic.

Executive Director Pam French commented, "Everyone's collective effort means that hundreds upon hundreds of comic shops across the country will be receiving emergency store assistance that they would not have otherwise been able to obtain. This undeniable message of support and solidarity from individuals and every sector of the comic industry demonstrates how deeply people value their local comic shops and the valued roles they continue to hold in their communities. 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. We are grateful to be part of the solution in helping these shops continue to do the work they love."

Harley Quinn writer and #Creators4Comics fundraiser Sam Humphries said "Comic book stores have supported us for years, now is the time for us to support them. Comic book creators and fans recognized the need immediately and powered our campaign to over $430,000 in five days. Binc's experience with donations and distribution was crucial— without them, our community would not have been able to respond with such overwhelming support."

Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group Chairman David Steward II said, "In these most trying of times, helping our industry brethren is of the utmost importance to Oni-Lion Forge, and 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. But for now, these assistance measures are needed, and we're happy donations from all who have participated are being put to use immediately."

Jim Lee, DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher added "DC is so proud to be a contributor to Binc and the Comicbook United Fund as well as part of this grassroots movement that is bringing fans and readers and creators and comic shops together to fight for our artform and our industry. Thanks also to the fans for supporting my sketch campaign, I'm halfway through the 60-day challenge and hope to continue to grow this campaign and find some extra gas in the tank for the final stretch"

In addition to accepting applications for emergency store assistance related to the pandemic, Binc states that they continue to steward donor funds according to its core mission of helping individual store employees with emergency household assistance. Did your store get a payment? Get them to tweet it out. Here's Jim Lee and Scott Williams' latest…

American Comic Stores Begin to Receive Hardship Grants From BINC.
American Comic Stores Begin to Receive Hardship Grants From BINC.Art from Jim Lee and Scott Williams.

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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