The Coronavirus crisis has had a devastating impact on the comics industry. Some publishers have issued “pencils down” orders. Others have furloughed staff. And for comics retailers, many are struggling to stay in business. Because of that, Insider Art has been established to benefit those comic shops that are owned and operated by women. On a personal level, this means a lot as my own local shop – A Hero’s Legacy Comics & Collectibles in Manchester, CT – falls into this group.
So how are they going to raise fund? Through a digital comics anthology. Available in June on Gumroad, the anthology will offer readers 200 pages at pay-what-you-want price point, although $9.99 is the suggested amount. That suggested price will be worth it, as the anthology will feature the works of creators such as Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Stephanie Hans, and Tini Howard. For more information, check out the press release below.
Announcing INSIDER ART: A Digital Comics Anthology and a Female Comic Book Retailer Fund
Female comic book creatives join forces to assist female comic book retailers through INSIDER ART: a digital comics anthology and a Female Comic Book Retailer Fund.
The INSIDER ART: Female Comic Book Retailer Fund has been set up and is being administered by Jen King, owner of Space Cadet Collections, and previous organizer of The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. The INSIDER ART project will be raising money for this fund in three key ways:
1) the INSIDER ART digital comics anthology
2) an INSIDER ART fabric
3) auctions of exclusive artwork, signed prints and various collectibles
INSIDER ART DIGITAL ANTHOLOGY
Chock-full of crafts, comics & cats, INSIDER ART is a digital anthology designed to entertain readers of all ages who are stuck indoors or just in search of new creative outlets. Set within the walls of eight different rooms in one peculiar house, eight editors were tasked to curate and edit comics, prose, games and how-to crafts. From recipes for comfort food and quarantine bread, to attic treasures and a brief history of Garage Rock, INSIDER ART is guaranteed to conquer the tedium of the great indoors.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to acknowledge the female comic book retailers who are on the front lines every day, spreading the good word about our favorite medium. Over 50 female comic book creators have donated their time and mad skills to support female retailers who have lost incredible amounts of money due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Shelly Bond, a 30-year veteran comic book editor (DC/Vertigo, Black Crown/IDW), who set the project in motion.
All-star contributors include Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Stephanie Hans, Lilah Sturges, Janet K. Lee, and Trina Robbins, exciting newcomers Lola the Illustrator, Myriam Bloom, Jessi Jordan, and Amanda Gonzalez, and fan-favorites Tini Howard, Chynna Clugston Flores, Magdalene Visaggio, Margaux Saltel, and Vita Ayala among others. Topics and themes include creativity during isolation, positivity, cli-fi (climate fiction), and empowerment as well as sheer fun and games. Readers of all ages can “pay what they want” for over 200 pages on Gumroad with a suggested donation of $9.99. The digital anthology will be available in June.
In addition to the funds raised through the digital version of INSIDER ART, there will be two fabrics available in the coming months via Spoonflower; one featuring cat art by noted comic book professionals, and another by a host of young female artists. “Creative people have a need to share stories, ideas, projects, and the love of making things. INSIDER ART is a way for us to help each other, to make new things, tell new stories, give each other hope and support in a pretty scary time,” says editor and writer Mariah McCourt (Angel, True Blood, Stitched).
Texas retailer Jen King, owner of Space Cadet Collections and host of CBSN, her Comic Book Shopping Network FaceBook Channel, is not only the retailer in charge of administering INSIDER ART: The Female Comic Book Retailer Fund, she’s also running auctions, live on FaceBook and on eBay, to raise money. Jen says: “I’m super proud of what Shelly Bond and the seven editors have achieved in such a short time, in assembling the talented creators that are giving from their heart and soul for this project. I am thrilled to be able to use my skills to help turn these unique donated items into money to help female comic store owners pay the bills during this difficult time.”
Additional items available at the live auction include original art, exclusive signed art prints from Mark Buckingham, Becky Cloonan and Michael Allred among others, and various collectibles from personal archives. If you’re interested in donating to the live auction, please contact Jen King via our website at insiderart.net. All monies raised will support INSIDER ART: The Female Comic Book Retailer Fund.
“We’re living in strange times — experiencing things that, as of a few months ago, we only read about in comic books,” says Bond. “Helping female retailers while entertaining and inspiring readers through arts & crafts & comics is a triple-win.”
For more information, you can visit the website at insiderart.net and donate now. Follow INSIDER ART social media @insiderartproject.