Iconic comic book artist Jim Lee has embarked on his own lockdown challenge in order to raise money for comic book stores financially hit by the coronavirus outbreak. Lee, who is currently chief creative officer at DC Comics, decided to draw one sketch a day for a total of 60 days and auction them off on eBay. He is currently 23 days in, and it's safe to say it's been a big hit.
Featuring big players in the comic book world such as The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man, the illustrations have been snapped up – with auction winners also given the chance to choose the subject of the next piece of art.
CYBORG Original Sketch by me!The superhero connected to all things digital, now drawn w/pen/ink& red marker on 9x12” board. Proceeds to benefit comic shops in need via @BincFoundation. Winner chooses the next character drawn. This sketch is #23 of 60https://t.co/qC09zc4TF9 pic.twitter.com/211VRB2t6uApril 27, 2020
As well as sketches based on his own WildC.A.T.S. super team, Lee's creations draw inspiration from across the comic book realm: currently up for grabs is Cyborg (see above). The project has even attracted other comic book artists to join in – a total of 15 so far, including Bryan Hitch, Tony Daniel and Joe Bennett.
So, although you may have missed your chance to get your hands on gems such as Wolverine by Art Adams, and Lee's own Batman: Gotham by gaslight, there's plenty more to look forward to as the project isn't even halfway through.
As promised. Here is the fund where the proceeds from the 60 sketches I will be drawing over the next two months (1 a day) will be going👉🏼 @DCComics is providing 250K, working with the @BincFoundation to benefit struggling Comic Book Shops during this pandemic crisis. https://t.co/h1NxKIcfRfApril 4, 2020
As Lee explains in his above tweet, which accompanies his second sketch of the series, the auction proceeds will be donated to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc).
The foundation, which was set up to provide relief to independent bookshops facing financial strife due to Covid-19, has now established a 'Comicbook United Fund'. This fund is supported by DC and Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group and will provide financial relief to comic book stores and their employees.
Excuse me while I sell everything I own to get money for this.April 20, 2020
Comic book fans have been widely positive about the project (see above), with most, expressing their enthusiasm for the artwork and mission. But some voices on Twitter claim the efforts to be no more than a 'Band-Aid' for a struggling industry badly hit by the outbreak of Covid-19.
Whether that's true or not, there's some serious money being made here. The below image gives an idea of the kind of bids being made on the artwork on sale (a staggering $12,323 with almost three full days to go):
The creative community has tremendous power to help each other at this time, as these crowdfunding projects for freelancers confirm, and the creativity being shown is excellent news for the world art and design, too. Head to Jim Lee's Twitter feed to feast on more.