Former Vice President of Purchasing of Diamond Comic Distributors and co-founder of Pacific Comics, Bill Schanes is calling on comic book fans and professionals to contribute and of their unique collectable item to Give Comics Hope, a new charitable initiative to provide vital aid to comic book stores, with Filip Sablik of Boom Studios and Dirk Wood of Image Comics helping spread the word.
Give Comics Hope's initial charitable efforts will be focused on two auctions designed to raise an initial slate of funds to be distributed to comic book stores in early 2021. Publishers, creators, retailers, fans, convention organizations, printers, media, are being asked to give back to comic book shops by donating premium collectibles from their personal collections to two upcoming charitable auctions.
"I've been blessed to work in the comic book industry for almost 50 years as a publisher and distributor," said Bill Schanes. "But I began my journey as a professional in comics as a retailer which is how I know that retailers are the heart of the comic book community. Now is the time to pay it forward and save comic shops not only for ourselves, but for future fans to come."
The first auction will be conducted by Heritage Auctions, the world's largest collectibles auctioneer, for all received donations with an estimated value of $500 or more to take place between Wednesday, October 28th, 2020 and Wednesday, November 11th, 2020. The initial auction will include donations from industry insiders including cover art from The Walking Dead donated series creator Robert Kirkman, paintings by Bill Sienkiewicz, Star Wars original art by P. Craig Russell, original art from New Mutants #88 by Rob Liefeld, original art from X-Factor #55 and Amazing Spider-Man #326 signed by Colleen Doran, Excalibur #125 original art signed by Dave Hoover, and many, many more. Public donations for the first auction are due by Friday, October 2nd, 2020.
"Heritage Auctions has long been proud and honored to be the premier auction house for comic books, comic art, and related collectibles," said Barry Sandoval, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. "When Bill approached us with the opportunity to give back to the comic shops that spark the lifelong love of this medium in countless fans and collectors, we leapt at the chance."
The second auction will be conducted by Jesse James Comics/Comic Book Shopping Network in partnership with eBay. All public donations with an estimated value of $499 or less will be offered through public auctions and "Buy It Now" opportunities on eBay between Wednesday, November 11, 2020 and Friday, December 11, 2020. Public donations for the second auction are due by Wednesday, November 4, 2020.
"It's been my privilege to provide great comic book experiences and the best in comic book therapy for almost 40 years," said Jesse James, owner of Jesse James Comics and President of Comic Book Shopping Network. "Our industry is stronger when customers have many options to find the comic book community that is right for them. It's my pleasure to help my retail brethren by leveraging our brand's strength on eBay and the power of CBSN to raise money for Give Comics Hope."
Give Comics Hope has partnered with the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to assisting comic retailers and booksellers, to oversee the management and disbursement of the funds raised by Give Comics Hope. The initiative will take no organizational fees, and will only deduct any actual, direct costs incurred from the funds raised. Since its inception, Binc has provided over $9 million in financial assistance and scholarships to more than 9000+ families. Support for the Foundation's programs and services comes from all sectors of the book and comic industries. The Foundation was imagined and built by booksellers and proudly continues to be their safety net. In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the book and comic industries came together in an extraordinary way allowing Binc to help 2,191 booksellers, comic retailers, and stores with $2.7 million in urgently needed assistance.
"We are honored to work with Bill and his team of passionate volunteers to further help comic book stores during this unprecedented time. We know the funds raised from this visionary initiative will help neighborhood comic shops continue to serve their customers and their communities," said Pam French, Binc Foundation's executive director. "Together, we are working to help comic retailers through the many challenges they are faced with, so they can continue doing the work they love – selling comics."