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Exclusive: Jim Lee reveals latest sketch in marathon fundraising effort for local comics shops

By Matthew Jackson
Jim Lee Batman At 80

The COVID-19 pandemic has, like many crises do, revealed some astounding efforts to help those in need, and the comics community has stepped up in a big way over the past few weeks to help its own. As local comic book stores affected by shutdown orders and lack of new product struggle to stay afloat amid the crisis, comics creators continue to do their part to raise funds for retailers in need. Jim Lee, DC Comics' Publisher and Chief Creative Officer, has been at the forefront of that effort for nearly a month now.

Back in March, Lee decided his own personal form of relief for the comics community would come directly from his own pencil. He launched a marathon effort to produce 60 different superhero sketches in 60 days, and put each one up for auction with all the proceeds going to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC), which provides aid to indie bookstores and local comic book stores. In the week since he began the effort, Lee has raised massive amounts of money for BINC, drafted other comics legends to join in, and of course, churned out great art. Today, SYFY WIRE is pleased to exclusively real the 27th sketch in Lee's 60-day series: the legendary Swamp Thing.

Jim Lee Swamp Thing

In the first 23 days of his 60-day effort, Lee and his friends — including comics legends like Tony Daniel, Ivan Reis, Bill Sienkiewicz, Walt Simonson, and many more — have raised more than $227,000 for BINC's Comic Book United Fund, a recently established BINC offshoot co-founded by Oni-Lion Forge and DC Comics earlier this month. Lee's efforts are part of an ever-growing fundraising drive from the comics community that includes a $250,000 donation to the fund from DC Comics and the recently completed Creators 4 Comics fundraising drive, which raised a total of more than $430,000. 

That's a lot of help for local comic book retailers in the midst of a crisis, and Lee and his friends are far from done. It'll be exciting to see what he comes up with as he nears the completion of his first month of sketches. The latest sketch will post on Lee's Instagram page later, and will then be placed in a three-day eBay auction with all proceeds going to BINC.