A lot of businesses have been hit hard by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Among these are comic book stores who are in danger of closing down permanently due to the lockdown. This prompted comic book creators to come to their aid.

CBR reported that comic book creators have launched an initiative which is called #Creators4Comics. They have also launched a website with a list of all the creators that’s been involved. This website also contains details for fans to pitch into the effort.

Among the plans that comic book creators have come up with to help struggling comic book stores are to auction off autographed comic books as well as to sell original artworks. There are also “unique events and experiences” which will be held on Twitter, in keeping with the rules of social distancing. The auctions will reportedly start today and will last until Monday next week.

The proceeds are going to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, an organization raising money for comic book stores heavily affected by the coronavirus lockdowns. Fans can claim their items from the auctioneer through a “proof of donation.”

Comic book stores are part of smaller businesses that had been struggling in the face of closures due to the lockdown imposed to flatten the curve of the current pandemic. According to Screen Rant, they have been dependent on the direct market for years. There’s also the problem that most of these comic book stores’ stocks are pre-paid for several months ahead, causing cashflow problems that are hard to overcome, especially when there’s no cash coming in.

The store owners, for their part, have released a list of how people can help them survive the lockdowns. This includes identifying issues that a person is interested in buying and letting the retailers know. Additional orders on top of existing ones are also a great help to bring in cash when stores are able to sell once the lockdown ends.

Creator Greg Capullo shared to his Twitter account this sample up auction:

Kieron Gillen, for his part, auctions one issue of our The Ludocrats:

Other major creators involved in the initiative to help coronavirus-affected stores include Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns, Scott Snyder, Marc Guggenheim, Gail Simone, James Tynion IV and Mariko Tamaki. The auctions, meanwhile, are coordinated by Kami Garcia, Gwenda Bond, Phil Jimenez, Sam Humphries and Brian Michael Bendis.

This image courtesy of Heritage Auctions shows a copy of Marvel Comics number one, the 1939 comic book considered the "Big Bang" of the Marvel Comics Superhero Universe This image courtesy of Heritage Auctions shows a copy of Marvel Comics number one, the 1939 comic book considered the "Big Bang" of the Marvel Comics Superhero Universe Photo: Heritage Auctions / HO