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The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the comics and collecting industry, forcing the postponement and cancellation of conventions, festivals, auctions, and other events, as well as closing or limiting comic and collectible store access. These changes result in the loss of revenue and financial security for many people in our community. But several individuals and businesses are finding new ways to keep our industry moving.

It’s also changing the game for comic book publishers, such as BOOM! Studios, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, and others as they move to find creative solutions to work with their retailers.

Comic book stores are staying open by offering curbside pickup of comics or are offering free local delivery. New Hyde Park, New York’s Best Comics remains open as regular for now, but are closely monitoring the situation.

The Comic Book Depot, for instance, has canceled all gaming events until further notice. They will remain open, but with shorter hours.

“New comics will be available every Wednesday like usual,” said owner Alan Paperin. He said the store has also started to offer curbside pick-up.

“You can call up the store and we will have your comics ready for you. When you get here, call the store and we will bring them out to you,” he said.

Even though they have canceled all gaming and other events (the store generally has several each week), they are cleaning all tables and chairs and will continue to do so on a regular basis.

“It should be pretty obvious at this point, but if you think you’re sick or have been around someone with the virus, please don’t stop by. Otherwise, your comics will be here and waiting for you,” he said.

Their new store hours are as follows: Sunday 12-6 PM, Monday 1-6 PM, Tuesday 4-8 PM, Wednesday 1-8 PM, Thursday 1-8 PM, Friday 1-8 PM, and Saturday 12-8 PM. The Comic Book Depot is located at 2847 Jerusalem Avenue, Wantagh, New York 11793. Their phone number is (516) 221-9337.

Aw Yeah Comics began what they are calling their “Permanent Food Drive.” As of March 16, 2020, both the Illinois and New York locations of Aw Yeah Comics will have an area of the store where customers can drop off canned and other non-perishable goods. At least every two weeks, the stores will be distributing these donations to those in the stores’ respective communities who need it most.

“As more workers are working from home and schools are shut down, one of the things we will see is the poorest among us struggle to feed themselves and their children. On any given day this is a problem, but current events will create untenable situations for many,” Aw Yeah Comics owner Marc Hammond said on Facebook.

Comic shops aren’t the only ones reacting, either. While many conventions have been forced to cancel or at least postpone, artists like Terry Moore and Aaron Lopresti are hosting online conventions or illustration demonstrations, where fans can buy books, art, get commission sketches, and even hosting virtual panel discussions.

No doubt more inventive solutions will follow.

If you are a retailer who is beginning a new program at your business, a loyal customer who wants to comend a shop, or a creator reaching out to fans, Scoop would like to hear about it. Please email samanda@gemstonepub.com with details and we’ll make sure to include it in the weekly newsletter and online.