For those of you who don't know, a good portion of the comic book industry, including Marvel, DC, Archie and Valiant, is located in New York...which means a good portion of writers and artists working in the comic book industry live on the East Coast, and suffered significant damage and hard-ship due to Hurricane Sandy. There's also - in case you couldn't guess - a lot of comic book shops in the Tri-State area, that were also hit particularly hard.
What does this mean for your weekly stack? Not a ton, as most places had comic books released on time on Wednesday, and comiXology - also based in New York - was even able to release comic books digitally just a few minutes later than usual. But still, anything in Southern Manhattan, like Midtown Comic Downtown, is without power and closed, leading to a significant loss of income. And we've heard horror stories about artists like Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who's J.K. Woodward, whose entire house was flooded, and was only able to salvage the two upcoming issues of the book he was working on. For an artist like Woodward, who depends not just on current comic book work, but also sales of his previous art, that's devastating.
So this is the time for you, the comic book fan, can give back:
1) Donate: Of course, donate to relief efforts authorized through the city, state, and national government first. Here's a link to the Red Cross' donation page, which is of course a great place to start. Some charities and shelters might also make particular requests for laundered clothing, new books & toys, and other items for those in need. (Editor's note: we just gave a bunch of stuff to a local shelter in Brooklyn -- maybe your neighborhood has a similar program, use this link to find the shelter closest to you!).
2) Buy Comics From NYC Stores: We have to imagine that a giant company like Midtown is generally going to be okay, but they're still taking a hit, as are pretty much every shop in Downtown New York, and Staten Island in particular. SI's branch of Jim Hanley's Universe is heroically staying open without power, so if you're in the area head on over. And to find a local shop, check out http://www.comicshoplocator.com. Additionally, here's a list of websites for NYC area stores; so even if you don't live here, you can shop online:
Bergen Street Comics: http://bergenstreetcomics.com/
Desert Island Comics: http://www.desertislandbrooklyn.com/
Forbidden Planet: http://www.fpnyc.com/
Jim Hanley's Universe: http://www.jhuniverse.com/
Manhattan Comics and More: http://www.manhattancomics.com/
Midtown Comics: http://www.midtowncomics.com/
3) Buy Local Comics: Again, not to trivialize, but on a whole, Marvel and DC are going to be OKAY. Instead, when you contact the shops listed above, ask if there's a local artist or writer you haven't heard of you can support. That money goes more directly to them, rather than to a big company. And if you know an artist who lives in the area who was hit - like how Woodward was - contact 'em, and see if you can buy a piece of their art.
That all said, if any creators, companies, or fans are having any comic themed benefits, shoot me an e-mail, and I will add it to this post. And don't forget, the most direct method is still the donation kind. we just want our comics creators to be taken care of, too.