Lion Forge And Binc Partner To Create Forge Fund For Comic Shops

by James Ferguson

David Steward II and Annie Philbrick of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) introduced The Forge Fund at the Diamond Comics retailers breakfast during New York Comic Con. This serves as a renewal of their support for direct market retailers and their employees during times of hardship. Lion Forge has donated $100,000 of seed money to Binc to establish this fund. Additionally, 5% of proceeds from select titles will go to the Forge Fund, beginning with the recently released Catalyst Prime series, Seven Days.

Binc Executive Director Pam French says:

The Forge Fund expands a vital financial safety net and enables the Binc Foundation to help more comic book retailers across the country. Our most recent survey results let us know that one in five store employees have experienced a personal financial crisis within the past twelve months. This new fund gives the Foundation the ability to assist those working in the comic book industry who are facing financial emergencies today and in the future. Our thanks and gratitude go out to Lion Forge for recognizing this need in their community and taking action to help.

The Binc Foundation provides confidential financial assistance to comic retailers and booksellers who have demonstrated a need from severe hardship or emergency circumstances. This includes illness, death in the family, expenses associated with escaping domestic violence, homelessness prevention, natural disaster recovery, and more.

David Steward II added:

Comic shops and their employees are the reason we are all here, and the assurance that we can continue to evolve our customer base and grow the readership of this medium we ALL love so dearly. As the industry finds itself in a time of transition, and in the wake of recent natural disasters, we knew that we had to do something meaningful to help. It’s for those reasons that today, we introduce the evolution of our partnership with Binc, and ‘The Forge Fund.’ I also would like to personally encourage other publishers to join us in this effort, as this is an investment in the future of our industry.

In a perfect world, a fund like this wouldn’t be needed, but fortunately the comic book industry is looking out for its own with something like this. Books carrying The Forge Fund logo will be identified in Diamond’s Previews catalog. More information can be found on the Binc website on how employees can access this program. Contributions can be made directly to The Forge Fund online.

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