Looking Back on Saturday's Blue Line Pro Sketch Card for Cancer Event
Sketch Card Gallery Exhibit
The event raised over $7,000 to help fight cancer!
Though delayed a week due to sever weather on the original scheduled date (3/8/08), the good folks at Comics2Games and Blue Line Pro pulled off an event that proved both impressive, ultimately charitable and well worth driving to see.
Nestled just off I-75 in Florence, Kentucky, you will find Comics2Games. This comic ship is actually physically attached to Blue Line Pro (located behind and below the Comics2Games store). Both Blue Line and Comics2Games hosted the evening's gallery show and artist reception to, at times, a packed house.
The original event called on the comic community to submit sketch cards art which would then be auction off on ebay to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Over 500 pieces of original artwork arrived and were subsequently auctioned on ebay. Those auctions began on March 8th and a week later, the day of the rescheduled show, they closed raising $7,014. That figure actually won't be the final total raised as there were an additional 150 cards set to go off later in the week and a series of silent auctions which took place in store throughout the event.
This year's sketch card event proved so popular that art is already on hand for the 2009 follow-up which is now in the planning stage. Next year's fundraiser is already looking like it will be a much bigger event. Why? This was a start-up year for the Sketch Card for Cancer Event. Word went out on web sites, blogs, social networks and message boards, but it was still a new idea. Given this year's success, the organizers plan to build on the momentum going into 2009 promoted the event at upcoming comic conventions and in other, yet to be announced, arenas.
In store on Saturday, wine (sparkling cider), cheese and cookies were served. Attendance for the evening was impressive given the fact that this event was delayed a full week. There were times when the store was packed with artists, visitors and customers. It's clear from talking with store owners that there would have been more artist representation had the event not been rescheduled (some were even coming from as far away as New York).
The evening proved exciting. There was just something about being there as those auctions were ending. There was an electricity in the air that might have been missing a week earlier. As the totals were coming in, they were being called out by store personnel. As the money was going to such a great cause, it only added to the festive air.
The card art itself was solid, from start to finish. Given that Billy Tan, Steve Rude, David Mack, Jimmy Palmiotti, Neil Vokes, Dick Giordano, Steve Bissette, Todd Nauck, Jim Valentino, David Peterson, Steve Conley, Tony DiZuniga, Uko, Greg LaRocque, Mark McKenna, Brendon, David Arhar, Brian Fraim and David Michael Beck had work on hand, it was to be expected. What wasn't as expected was the outstanding work by artists whose names I didn't recognize. A lot of people are taking home some great art auction wins this week.
I tried to capture a sample of what was represented in the gallery I posted yesterday but even that doesn't do it justice. As a gallery show of small scale art, it was outstanding as it spanned two display areas (hung from floor to ceiling on T shaped racks). The cards were encased for their protection and staggered so spectators could see the artist names on the reverse side as they looked at the art. It was really a great set-up and fit well within a shop loaded with great comics, graphic novels, toys, comic related merchandise and art supplies. Personally, I made two trips to my car after purchasing things I bumped into within the store. Nice!
I can't end my coverage of the 2008 event without talking, just a bit, about the staff of this store. I have to say, a finer group of comic store owners you would be hard pressed to find. I entered the store for the first time on Saturday, found people excited about comics and left feeling like family just a few hours later. If it weren't for gas prices, I would consider driving an hour and 20 minutes north once a month just to buy my books at Comics2Games. If you're in the area, you have to stop by and pay them a visit. Tell them Comic Related sent you!
All funds raised will be donated to the American Cancer Society during their Relay for Life, June 13-14 2008
We're now pleased to share 50 photos from the event
We're already looking forward to the 2009 event!