Three comic store owners have announced the formation of a new charity to help struggling brick and mortar comic stores stay in business.

The idea has been in the works for a while, but in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the group chose to go public this week.  "We talked about it for a long time," Dr. Christina Blanch, the organization’s Secretary and owner of Aw Yeah Comics of Muncie, Indiana told ICv2, "then Texas happened."

The Helping Comic Retailers with Issues (HCR Issues) charity launched this week because the group’s Treasurer, Jen King, owner of Space Cadets Collection Collection in Oak Ridge North, Texas, is located in the middle of the area hit hard by Harvey (her own store is fine).  The disaster hitting so close to home galvanized the group into action.  "There is the Hero Initiative, the CBLDF, but nothing specifically for store owners having a hard time," Blanch said.

"The founding members have witnessed multiple stores, large and small, go out of business over the last year," the organization’s announcement says.  "Comic Shops are vital to growth of this industry and are important in the communities where they exist."  HCR Issues hopes to help alleviate stores’ financial strain by paying down debt to Diamond Comic Distributors, Blanch told ICv2.  When retailers are in need, they can request a confidential form from Diamond which will not be shared outside of HCR Issues.

The group is set up to begin taking donations, either monetary or items to auction, immediately.

HCR Issues is the brainchild of Blanch, King, and Dennis Barger, Jr., owner of Quick Stop Comic Shop in Lincoln Park, Michigan, who serves as the Executive Director. HCR Issues is an LLC company pending 501 (c)(3) approval.