Tomorrow is May 7: the first Saturday of May, and it’s Free Comic Book Day.
While traditionally Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) is a day where we celebrate comics and do our best to introduce the medium of comic books to kids and the uninitiated, this year’s FCBD has a bit more sombre undertones happening here in Alberta.
The joke I read online a couple days ago goes, “Welcome to Alberta! Where you’re either sinking on Atlantis or the ninth plane of hell!” In 2013, Alberta dealt with the flooding that decimated Calgary’s surrounding towns and cities (as well as Calgary’s downtown and other sections of the city); this year, it’s not water but wildfire up north. As of May 6th, approximately 88,000 people have been evacuated from Fort McMurray and the surrounding area due to raging forest fires that have devastated sections of the northern city. I just heard this afternoon that the nearby town of Anzac has started to suffer fire damage (it too having been evacuated).
Things look grim–feel grim, but it was yesterday when I saw Rex Murphy offer his opinion on this disaster that I was struck.
What really stuck with me was, “Tragedy grinds the soul, but it also inspires.” Truly it does. The list of businesses and individuals doing what they can–big and small–to help out is too long and extensive for me to list here. Honestly, I get choked up when I see just how many people are, without hesitation, helping in any way they can.
Another quote that resonates with me (and keeps my weeping for our future at bay) comes from Fred (Mister) Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” And that is Alberta right now: you would have to travel far indeed to not find people who are helping.
So we’re doing our part too: Free Comic Book Day is one of our best days for the store’s sales during the year. This year, with the wildfires up north, Imaginary Wars will be donating five percent of the day’s sales to the Alberta Red Cross (we also have plenty of incentives to help loosen wallets–and we’ll also have a jar for direct donations, for those who prefer to donate that way).
Also, we have some local comic artists who plan on being at the store, selling their own works, working on their projects and perhaps even doing sketches for people. Though each artist will likely be doing it a little bit differently from one another, they too will be donating money earned to the Red Cross.
Red Cross Donations
I’ve already had one person take issue with us donating to the Red Cross, saying that they divert funds to other disasters (so you can’t trust them to help the Fort McMurray cause). So Jim and I did some digging–and when I say “Jim and I,” I really mean just Jim. While that person isn’t entirely wrong with their assertion, the Red Cross operates differently during major disasters–they announce an emergency appeal; with emergency appeals, no less than 91% of funding goes directly to the crises at hand.
And it makes even more sense to donate to the Red Cross right now as both the Provincial government and the Federal government will match your donation, dollar for dollar. This means our 5% of our total sales donation will be tripled.
Anyway, this is just a quick post today and is meant to remind people that Free Comic Book Day is tomorrow and what we’ll be doing to raise funds for the Red Cross. Below is a list of the deals we’ve already announced on Facebook.