– With Hurricane Sandy having hit New York (as well as New Jersey and other northeastern states) roughly a week ago, the focus has shifted towards rebuilding and recovery for those effected. This has become a matter of providing for people in neighborhoods without power or gas, and often without livable homes. These efforts have included comic creators, as the heart of the comic book industry seems to exist in New York.
Brooklyn was hardly spared the wrath of Hurricane Sandy; Coney Island was among one of the most battered areas of NY. To this end Brooklyn based creators Dave Kelly and his partner Lara Antel are donating 100% of the sales of their creator owned comics (both online and in print) to the Food Bank For New York City between now and November 10th. That date is the date of THE BROOKLYN COMICS AND GRAPHICS FESTIVAL, to be held at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn from noon – 7 p.m. The creators also plan to make a donation matching their sales of their comics to the food bank as well. Their comics include WALKING INTO TRAFFIC, a quirky strip based in Williamsburg, along with TALES OF THE NIGHT WATCHMAN, which stars two “baristas by day, heroes by night”. More details about this “comics for a cause” project can be had at Kelly’s blog. The BCGF has been held in Williamsburg for four years and this year it has a cause beyond highlighting locating talent.
Meanwhile, Rich Ginter (a Disney employee) and Jim Viscardi (a Marvel employee) have begun organizing an ART FOR SANDY RELIEF auction on eBay offering artwork from professional comic book artists. These include a page of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #577 donated by artist Paolo Rivera, as well as a page from Dark Horse Comics’ FEAR AGENT by Tony Moore. Other artists offering work for this charity auction include Mark Brooks, Tommy Lee Edwards, and John Paul Leon. Collectively these initial efforts promise to raise almost $1,500 for relief efforts, with more artwork and higher bids expected to come in the near future. The auction has its own Facebook page with updates as well.
– Former FABLES and JACK OF FABLES scribe Matt Sturges is set to launch two projects for FIRST COMICS next year. The first is the ongoing series PUBLIC RELATIONS with artist Dave Justus, which is a comedy/fantasy series about an executive who has to repair the public reputation of his father, who is the king of a magically powered country. The second is a graphic novel called THE FOUR NORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE by artist John Lucas.
– Howard Shapiro and artist Joe Pekar are set to release an all ages graphic novel called THE STEREOTYPICAL FREAKS on November 14th at Amazon as well as other bookstores. The story follows four teenagers who unite for a “battle of the bands” competition at their school and find something greater for their efforts than winning a contest. Newsarama describes it as “a Breakfast Club with a little bit of rock n’ roll mixed in”. Comic books and music (especially rock/metal) have seemed to always go hand in hand from song lyrics to CD art and musician’s tattoos, and this work continues to forge that creative unity.