Lee’s efforts have raised over $90,000 so far for the BINC foundation, and he’s not the only one helping. DC is backing the art legend up with an additional $250,000 donation, and Image Comics and BOOM! Studios have also committed support. And Lee is roping a ton of friends in as well – Bryan Hitch, Rafael Albuquerque, and Ivan Reis are just some of the artists who are also auctioning art to benefit closed shops.
These efforts are desperately needed. Comic shops are anchors of the real world comic book ecosystem, places where a community that shares a love of the medium and the characters can be developed and nurtured, and where new voices can be shepherded into the medium. And almost all of them are in trouble. Some stores have been able to subsist on internet sales of existing stock, but it’s been several weeks since new issues have been shipped to stores, and there’s no clear end in sight. If you would like to help your shop, check out Comic Shop Locator and give them a call or an email to see what they’re still selling, then order something and have it delivered (via USPS, too – they could use a hand as well).