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As news spread of Typhoon Haiyan, which has displaced 800,000 people, left 2 million without food, and caused at least 1,700 deaths in the Philippines, comics creators began to organize to help. Actually, some were already poised to send aid to the devastated nation, as Haiyan is its second catastrophe in the past couple of weeks: A 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattled the region on Oct. 15, leaving a reported 222 people dead and 976 injured, and destroying 73,000 structures.
At the moment, most of the efforts are local, reflecting the country’s robust comics community, but here’s one that anyone can participate in: Yale Stewart, the creator of the webcomic JL8, doesn’t live in the Philippines, but a big slice of his audience does, so he was one of the first to create a Haiyan benefit: He’s offering a wallpaper/cover bundle to as a reward for donations to UNICEF Philippines, and he will be auctioning off his original art as well for the same cause.
A number of creators are offering original art to be auctioned off. Much of the fund-raising will occur at this weekend’s Komikon, where Reno Maniquis will be offering sketches at a discount, and Elbert Or will donate all the proceeds from comics sales at his booth to typhoon relief. A group of comics artists from Pangasinan will sell their first anthology to benefit the typhoon victims as well.
The Manila comics shop DK Comics is hosting a benefit on Nov. 23.
Writer and artist Gerry Alanguilan noted at his blog that the Komikero artists group will make an announcement about their fund-raising efforts at Komikon. They are already running a fund-raising auction to help Filipino artist Vergil Espinosa, who’s struggling with kidney failure and needs help to pay his medical bills; after the Oct. 15 earthquake, they expanded the scope of the fund-raiser to help the victims of the earthquake as well. Alanguilan will be auctioning off one of his “Elmer” images specifically for Espinosa.
Of course, if you don’t want to wait, you can donate directly to the aid organizations working in the affected area; in addition to UNICEF (linked above), many of the creators are donating to the Philippine Red Cross (which, conveniently, takes PayPal).