With Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month right around the corner, comics publishers are announcing more and more initiatives highlighting their AAPI characters and creators, and today it was Skybound Entertainment's turn. The Image Comics imprint founded by The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman revealed Thursday that it plans to drop a series of more than half a dozen variant covers for its May single-issue releases, all drawn by creators of Asian and AAPI descent.
Each of the covers, which will span titles ranging from Kirkman and Chris Samnee's Fire Power to Chip Zdarsky and Ramon Perez's Stillwater, will go on-sale exclusively at comic book stores, and all proceeds from the sales of the variant cover issues will go to Chinatown Community for Equitable Development (CCED), a Los Angeles-based, volunteer-driven nonprofit that "builds grassroots power through organizing, education, and mutual help."
“With the dramatic rise in hate crimes against the AAPI communities, Skybound decided to launch this new initiative to raise awareness of this epidemic and to raise money to support the excellent work that CCED is doing here in Los Angeles,” Sean Mackiewicz, SVP/Editor-in-Chief at Skybound Entertainment, said in a statement. “We recognize that it isn’t enough for every single one of us at Skybound to simply oppose these racist actions—we must also take actions to support those in AAPI communities doing the work at a local level to affect meaningful change.”
Skybound also revealed a first look at one of the covers for the initiative on Thursday: A variant cover for The Walking Dead Deluxe #14, featuring fan-favorite character Glenn and drawn by Ethan Young. Check it out:
Other yet-to-be-revealed variants include Fire Power #11 by Erica Henderson, Birthright #49 by EJ Su, Stillwater #7 by Soo Lee, Ultramega #3 by an artist still to-be-announced, The Walking Dead Deluxe #15 by Cynthia Young, Excellence #11 by Robin Ha, and Manifest Destiny #43 by a still-unannounced artist.
For updates on these releases, which will begin dropping at local comics shops on May 5, keep checking Skybound's official website.