Yesterday at the Revival Bar in Toronto, ON – a group of concerned individuals within the city’s comic book, animation and illustration communities organized the Artists Help Japan fundraiser at which a number of creators gathered to produce sketches and run an original art auction to benefit the victims of the devastating earthquakes and tsunamis which rocked Japan last month. All proceeds from the event went to the Canadian Red Cross.
It was really a who’s who of the Toronto comics scene, with people like Stuart Immonen, Dale Keown, Francis Manapul, Agnes Garbowska, Marcus To, Michael Cho, Ramon Perez, Jim Zubkavich, Alvin Lee, Kagan McLeod, Bobby Chiu, Steve Murray aka Chip Zdarksky, Kei Acedara, Kalman Andrasofszky, Ken Lashley, Scott Hepburn, Marcio Takara and dozens of other artists there donating their time and energy to creating some incredible pieces for the fans that came down to the event.
I made it back from my trip down to Pittsburgh around 5pm and since Deb was already down at the event I thought I might head down and check it out. I arrived around 6:30 to find Revival packed with people and spent the next five hours having a great time enjoying chatting with folks in this relaxed and cool atmosphere. Quite a few familiar faces haunted the lines: Jason and Danny Truong, Jamie Lee, Joshua Cheung, Edward Gulane, Ryan Aleong, Myles McInnis, Andrew Uys, Matthew Allen and many, many more.
I’ll publish the official fundraising report when the final numbers are tallied, but based on what I saw, a TON of money was raised at this event, especially at the charity auction where pieces ranged from the $50 mark to some stunning paintings and prints getting $500-1000 each, including a beautiful one of a kind canvas print of the digital illustration by Kei Acedara that served as the poster and print for the event itself.
I had my eye on an amazing Michael Cho painting of the backstreets of Toronto (I hear the paintings are going to be collected and published by D+Q), but was outbid by the one and only Francis Manapul. So I went and spent the money I would have spent on that piece getting a stunning painting from Francis himself of Power Girl! (Alas, I don’t have a pic to show at the time this report is being written)
Congratulations to organizers Bobby Chiu, Jim Zubkavich, Alvin Lee, Chris Butcher, Erik Ko and all of the additional folks that helped make this a stunning success!