Two California comic book stores, including The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, are pledging 20 percent of their store profits from May 29 to June 4 to Freedom to Marry (www.freedomtomarry.org) a coalition dedicated to winning and keeping the freedom to marry for same-gender couples.
The coalition first came to The Comic Bug’s attention when DC Comics announced that Orson Scott Card was going to be writing the first issue of “Adventures of Superman,” according to co-owner Mike Wellman.
According to Wellman, some customers asked that the store not carry the book due to the well-known author's efforts against same-sex marriage. It was an interesting conundrum for the comic book store to be in. To carry the title would be an endorsement of Card’s politics and beliefs and to not carry it would be tantamount to censorship. So The Comic Bug pledged to donate 100 percent of the sales from the book to Freedom to Marry.
Anna Warren Cebrian of Illusive Comics & Games in Santa Clara noticed The Comic Bug’s solution and decided to join in on the store’s efforts. Other retailers around the country began coming up with their own solutions, from ignoring the controversy altogether to only carrying the book for those who pre-order. As the controversy grew, the artist of Card’s contribution, Chris Sprouse, dropped out of the project, leaving Card’s story without an artist and DC Comics with an easy exit strategy.
Even though the controversial author’s story won’t be seeing print this week, The Comic Bug’s owners Jun Goeku and Wellman felt that Freedom to Marry should still benefit from the fundraiser that was planned for that week. Wellman contacted Illusive Comics & Games’ Cebrian and the two stores decided to donate 20 percent of store profits for that week to Freedom to Marry as originally planned.
“The customers who shop at The Comic Bug are from all walks of life and with this week’s fundraiser, we want to let them know that we embrace them all,” said Goeku.
“As I keep telling Jun, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything,” added Wellman. “This is how winning is done.”
In addition to donating proceeds from the week’s sales, both stores will have a donation jar available to customers who would like to make an extra contribution to Freedom to Marry.
The Comic Bug is located at 1807 Manhattan Beach Blvd. in Manhattan Beach. For more information, visit www.thecomicbug.com or call (310) 372-6704.
Illusive Comics and Games is located at 2725 El Camino Real, Suite 105 in Santa Clara.
For more information, visit www.illusivecomics.com or call (408) 985-7481..