A little under two months ago, comic book retailers across Canada had to close because of the unprecedented threat of spread of the coronavirus. This also affected the largest distributor of comics across North America, who stopped shipping new product in the last week of March. Since then, while other distributors may still be delivering or publishers may have sought alternate avenues to get their product to stores, the stores themselves have been closed to customers and have had to rely on alternate means to get product into customers hands like curbside pickup, mail order and delivery.
Some provinces have begun reopening non-essential retail with social disancing procedures in place, and by the end of May most comic shops will also be receiving new product from Diamond who resume shipments for Wednesday, May 20th.
In the meantime, many folks in our community have been working behind the scenes to help retailers financially during this unusual situation. As previously reported, the Canadian Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund (CLLDF) stepped up and was able to be a hub for redistributing money raised by online auctions and private donations to help stores in need pay their rent. We here at the Joe Shuster Awards were proud to offer our assistance in spreading the word to creators about the #Canucks4comics initiative, which has raised well over $16,000 dollars at the time of the publication of this article.
Meanwhile four Ontario-based shops decided to go one step beyond that and the result is BE OUR HEROES, CANADA, a two day live event running on Facebook.
These are weird and wild times, that is for sure! Every level of our industry is struggling to some degree or other.
Join us on May 16 and 17th for a two-day series of Facebook Live sales showcasing the amazing retailers and creators across Canada.
We need to make sure the Canadian comics landscape comes out of this as unchanged as it possibly can, and it’s only through working together that that will happen.
Your purchases from stores will go directly to those stores, and purchases from creators will go to the CLLDF to be redistributed where there is need in our community.
We all can’t wait to get back to selling you amazing comics in person! Thank you for your help in making that happen!
Jenn Haines – The Dragon, Guelph, Ontario
Andre Greenidge – Heroes World, Markham, Ontario
Carlos Camara – Gotham Central Comics & Collectibles, Mississauga, Ontario
Darryl Spiers – Cyber City Comix, Toronto, Ontario
The hosts have gone on to gather a massive compliment of creators and cross country retailers who will be all appearing at different times via livestream on the BE OUR HEROES, CANADA Facebook Page
Event Schedule (may not be complete at the time this is posted as they are still adding events, as some creators on the banner don’t have time slots yet):
16-May Retailer Spotlight: Heroes World 10 AM
16-May J.Torres Reading Teen Titans Go 10:30 AM ·
16-May Mark Askwith interviews Neil Gaiman 11 AM
16-May Retailer Spotlight: Heroes’ Beacon 11:20 AM
16-May Retailer Spotlight: Freakshow Comics 11:40 AM
16-May Q&A with Chip Zdarsky 12 PM
16-May Live Drawing with Andy Belanger 1 PM
16-May Jim Zub Talks Writing Technique 2 PM
16-May Live Drawing with RAID Studios 3 PM
16-May Retailer Spotlight: Book Fair Comics 4 PM
16-May Shawn Daley Talks About Comics 4:20 PM
16-May Retailer Spotlight: Gotham Central 4:30 PM
16-May Richard Comely Live Drawing 5 PM
16-May Retailer Spotlight: Words & Pictures 6 PM
16-May Jason Fabok talks about Three Jokers 6:20 PM
16-May Retailer Spotlight: Legends 6:40 PM
16-May Mike Rooth Live Drawing 7 PM
16-May Casey Parsons Live Drawing – Part 1 9 PM
16-May Retailer Spotlight: Dave’s Pop Culture 9:20 PM
16-May Casey Parsons Live Stream – Part 2 9:40 PM
17-May Retailer Spotlight: Cyber City Comix 10 AM
17-May Ed Brisson Talks Comics 10:20 AM ·
17-May An interview with Seth 11 AM
17-May Retailer Spotlight: Strange Adventures 11:45 AM
17-May Retailer Spotlight: Need a Hero? Comics 12:20 PM
17-May Adam Gorham live drawing 1 PM
17-May Retailer Spotlight: Timemasters 2:00 PM
17-May Yanick Paquette live drawing 2:20 PM ·
17-May Retailer Spotlight: Comic-Kazi 3:00 PM
17-May Jay Stephens live drawing 3:40 PM
17-May Isola Team Chat & Live Drawing 4 PM
17-May Retailer Spotlight: Rogues Gallery Comics 5 PM
17-May Retailer Spotlight: Redd Skull Comics 6:20 PM
17-May Retailer Spotlight: The Beguiling 7 PM
17-May Richard Pace live drawing 7:20 PM
17-May Jason Loo live drawing 8:00 PM
17-May Commissions with Svetlana Chmakova 9 PM
17-May Retailer Spotlight: The Dragon 9:40 PM