Despite these huge societal transformations, comic book stores have always been there for me. I first started going to them when I was eight, in search of three-for-a-dollar Jughead comics (some things never change) and now I frequent them to catch up not only on a jaw-dropping array of titles, but collectibles that my tween counterpart could only dream of. They are safe havens from the outside world, and they are in serious trouble.
As a result of Covid-19, comic book stores are struggling to survive. Even as many brick-and-mortar stores pivot to online sales, factors such as paying rent and employees mean that many retailers are just barely hanging on. Enter Give Comics Hope. Created by Bill Schanes — co-founder of Pacific Comics and an employee of Diamond Comics for 28 years — the initiative “calls on all members of our community to rally together to provide vital aid to comic book shops.”
To do so, Schanes has partnered with eBay and famed comics seller Jesse James Comics to raise money for stores in need. But they need your help. From now through Nov. 5, they’re calling on comics fans to donate items from their collection which will then be auctioned off on eBay, with the proceeds going to help comic stores in need. Jesse James will kick off the Give Comics Hope auctions on Nov. 11, so if you don’t want to donate and instead are looking for new pieces to acquire for your collection, the price of your purchases will go to this good cause.
“I’ve been retired for a few years now. I was traveling in Europe and as the pandemic hit, I was in Italy which was one of the first countries that got hit by the pandemic wave,” Schanes tells us. “As I was traveling back I was thinking about what I can do to help out. I can’t create a vaccine, but I do have a great contact list, which is pretty rich from my 50 years of contacts.”
It was here that the idea for Give Comics Hope was born.