At Local Comic Shops across the nation, today would be New Comic Book Day (NCBD), but there are no new comics.
Today, nationwide, many comic shops sit closed due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, a pandemic that has forced 32 states to implement some form of stay-at-home orders putting three out of every four Americans under some type of lockdown.
In many places, non-essential businesses, as defined by the government, have had to shut their doors to customers. While most of us might argue in a time like this Local Comic Shops are essential to maintaining mental health and passing the time, they are still considered “non-essential” businesses. For the first time in my lifetime, New Comic Book Day is effectively canceled.
Local Comic Shops are to comic lovers and tabletop gamers what the ‘Cheers’ bar was to Clif and Norm. They are the places you go to hang out with friends, where you chat about the things you love with people who know you, know what you like, what you hate, and often have overlapping interests. Sure, we spend money, but we also spend time. It’s more than just a place to get the recent comics or the latest MTG release. Local Comic Shops are effectively the social club of geek culture. Then came COVID-19.
There’s no missing the way the Coronavirus crisis is taking a devastating toll on people, cities, and our economy. It’s all you read or hear in the news these days. Social Media is rife with accounts of small businesses struggling as people hide indoors to avoid contracting and spreading the virus. Society retreated to a virtual world online for communication, shopping, work, study, and entertainment. That left many small shops, the ones that rely on the physical presence of people strained financially. Once the stay at home orders hit, many of them began working on modifying the way they do business. Even with contactless pick-up and mailing pulls out to customers, it became harder and harder to maintain business.
Even before the lockdowns, corporations began shutting down offices, events rescheduled or canceled, resulting in massive job losses. The average family tightened down expenses, and comics sales lagged further. Then came the one-two punch of non-essential business closures and Diamond Comic Distributors Inc. announcement. Comic shipments halted for an indefinite period.
No comic books to sell and lockdown orders are putting these cherished geek gathering places in a financial bind.
Most Local Comic Shops aren’t run by billionaires the way many large corporations are and yet, they are often time more concerned about their employees’ well-being and financial health than your megacorporations have ever been. So in honor of New Comic Book Day, we here at Geek Mom & Geek Dad want to say thank you to these shops that were/are our “home away from home” and much like extended family.
Second and more importantly we want to offer up ways that each and every one of us can help protect and support these wonderful shops and show owners during this crisis. Below we are listing some ways that those of us fortunate enough to work from home, or be relatively stable financially can assist our Local Comic Shops during this unprecedented time.
These are the places we are familiar with but if your Local Comic Shop is struggling and has a way that geeks everywhere can help then please drop a link to them and their fundraiser in the comments below.
First I’d like to share that nearly every comic I’ve reviewed for the past year and a half has come from my Local Comic Shop: Krum’s World.
Di and Kim have become more than just friends to us since our sudden relocation to the area. They were the first people we met that didn’t think my husband was the comic buyer (he just steals mine) and watching this happen to then has broken our hearts. Krums World is Located in Winter Garden, Florida. From Comics to Slot Cars, Anime to Models Krum’s world is where locals go for a fun place to hang out with the people and things that make you happy. They offered Open tabletop gaming on Thursday, Magic the Gather Drafts of Friday, Pokemon on Wednesday, and Tabletop RPGs on Sundays.
Their Comic Subscription service required no minimum number of titles every comic came with a free bag & board. You can show them support through buying gift certificates or donations on their site or by supporting their Go Fund Me:
Zombie Planet specializes in roleplaying games, miniature games, collectible and non-collectible card games. they offer a large assortment of historical and fantasy /Sci-Fi board games, as well as a wide selection of comic books and graphic novels and novelty toys, action figures and statues. It’s a well-known fact that New York has been hit hard by the Coronavirus Outbreak. You can help support Zombie Planet during this time by purchasing gift cards through the link below.
Oblivion Comics & Coffee has one of the coolest backstories. They were the brainchild of a small group of friends. The concept was inspired by the Oblivion Bar, a pocket universe within DC Comics where conflict is restricted, heroes and villains can congregate with suspended plans, and enjoy a brew together. How can you not get behind a place like this?
Unfortunately, they are located in Sacramento, California. California is another of the states hit hard by COVID-19. You can support Oblivion Comics & Coffee through their Go Fund Me link in the image below.
We’d be remiss closing out this article without giving a shout out to Mad Cave Studios, Miami-based comic book publisher for stepping up and putting together a relief fund to a one-time donation to comic shops around the U.S.
This is a great gesture including the fact they put in $10,000.00 of their own money into jump-start the relief effort. Sadly, I don’t see the biggest publishers making this kind of move. Yeah, I’m looking at you Marvel & DC. So if you’d like to help Mad Cave help Local Comic Shops nationwide, you can do so through the linked image below.