At the Diamond Retailer Breakfast at New York Comic Con this morning, Lion Forge announced plans to expand a vital safety net for the comic book direct market by establishing The Forge Fund in partnership with Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc). Lion Forge will donate $100,000 of seed money to establish the fund as well as 5% of proceeds from select titles, starting with Seven Days. The fund will provide "confidential financial assistance to comic retailers and booksellers, who have a demonstrated need arising from severe hardship or emergency circumstances," including "financial challenges due to illness, death in the family, expenses associated with escaping domestic violence, homelessness prevention, natural disaster recovery and more."
It sounds like a great resource in an industry where safety nets are virtually nonexistent, so good on Lion Forge for stepping up to the plate.
Hopefully, more comic book publishers, especially ones backed by massive global conglomerates, will consider pitching into the cause as well. Also, hopefully, supervillains do not mistake the Forge Fund for the Fantastic Four and launch attacks on it based on their logo.
Check out the full press release below for more details:
ST. LOUIS—Just before the doors opened to this year's pop culture spectacle at the Jacob K. Javits Center, David Steward II and Annie Philbrick of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) greeted a room full of retailers at the Diamond Comics breakfast with the introduction of The Forge Fund, a renewal of their partnership to support direct market retailers and their employees in times of hardship.
Lion Forge has donated $100,000.00 of seed money to Binc to establish this special fund for comic shops. In addition to this initial investment, going forward, 5% of proceeds from select titles will go to Forge Fund, with this week's release of the Gail Simone written Catalyst Prime series Seven Days to be the first in the program.
"The Forge Fund expands a vital financial safety net and enables the Binc Foundation to help more comic book retailers across the country," said Binc Executive Director Pam French. "Our most recent survey results let us know that one in five store employees have experienced a personal financial crisis within the past twelve months. This new fund gives the Foundation the ability to assist those working in the comic book industry who are facing financial emergencies today and in the future. Our thanks and gratitude go out to Lion Forge for recognizing this need in their community and taking action to help."
"Comic shops and their employees are the reason we are all here, and the assurance that we can continue to evolve our customer base and grow the readership of this medium we ALL love so dearly" says David Steward II. "As the industry finds itself in a time of transition, and in the wake of recent natural disasters, we knew that we had to do something meaningful to help. It's for those reasons that today, we introduce the evolution of our partnership with Binc, and 'The Forge Fund.' I also would like to personally encourage other publishers to join us in this effort, as this is an investment in the future of our industry."
The Binc Foundation provides confidential financial assistance to comic retailers and booksellers, who have a demonstrated need arising from severe hardship or emergency circumstances. Retailers and their families who are suffering from financial challenges due to illness, death in the family, expenses associated with escaping domestic violence, homelessness prevention, natural disaster recovery and more now have a place to call when help is needed.
Retailers, look for titles in Diamond's PREVIEWS catalog carrying The Forge Fund logo, and visit the Binc website for more information, on how you or your employees can access this program. Publishers, join Lion Forge in supporting our retail partners by contributing to the Forge Fund today!