Black Mask Studios and Vault Comics have offered creative ways to help comic stores survive the coronavirus crisis.

Black Mask Studios has offered to send 50% of any sales from its online store to a local comic store designated by the customer as a “Special Instruction” at checkout. This seems like a great way to support stores, as everybody wins.  The publisher gets an online sale, albeit at reduced margin; the retailer gets the profit from a sale without stocking the book or interacting with the customer; and the customer is able to get reading material during isolation time.  We first saw it done in the games space when Japanime Games announced a similar program last week (see “Japanime Games to Paypal 50% of Purchases to Stores”).

Vault Comics has offered to send free early digital copies of two upcoming launches to customers who send a proof of purchase for a gift card from a local comic store.  Buying gift cards is a great way for consumers looking for ways to support their store to help keep the cash flow going, and this helps incentivize that behavior.  Consumers that send in any proof of purchase via the Vault Comics website will receive free copies of Heavy #1 by Max Bemis & Erik Donovan, and Hundred Wolves #1 by Myke Cole & Tony Akins months ahead of release.