Celebrities partner with local comic book store to boost local literacy | Winchester Star

WINCHESTER – Comic book enthusiasts have the chance to help Literacy Volunteers Winchester Area by bidding on original designs created and donated by professional and amateur artists around the world.

Four Color Fantasies at 80 Weems Lane is holding its third annual “FCF Covers Literacy” auction of comic book covers especially for fundraising. The winning bids will be announced on Saturday, the same day the store hands out free comic book cases to celebrate Free Comic Day and welcomes four artists and writers – Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Ally Cat, Caitlin Yarsky and Hobbes Holluck – who agreed to come out to the store and greet the fans.

Mike Kwolek, who has owned Four Color Fantasies for 34 years, said dozens of original comic book covers can be won at auction for the right price.

“We have professional comic artists who are well known, we have premises, we have clients,” Kwolek said. “We have a broad spectrum.

There’s even a comic book cover drawn by Thomas Lennon, a comedian and actor best known for creating and starring on the “Reno 911” TV show. It is the first work of art ever created by Lennon for a charity auction.

Other prominent illustrators who contributed to this year’s auction include Bob Layton, well known for his work with “Iron Man” and other Marvel Comics titles, and Martin Simmonds, an artist from the Marvel Comics. series “Something Is Killing the Children” and “The Ministry of Truth.

“These are both in excess of $ 300 in auction right now,” Four Color Fantasies director Erik C. Jones said Thursday afternoon.

Works by world-famous artists are on display alongside comic book covers drawn by several residents of the Winchester area, at least two of whom are young children.

“It’s a good mix of artists,” Jones said, noting that the artwork donated for the auction came from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain and Australia. . “I sent [blank covers] in Croatia but they did not return.

This year’s auction also features original murals, a hand-sewn quilt, a miniature figurine, and even a handmade mask, all of which are sold with the comic book covers.

In 2019, the first year of the auction, Jones said “FCF Covers Literacy” raised $ 2,140 for literacy volunteers in the Winchester area. Last year it brought in $ 5,180.

Based on the bids that have already been submitted, this year’s auction promises to raise the most money to date.

“So far we’re bidding at $ 6,368,” Jones said, and bids are expected to continue coming in until auction closes on Saturday. “It snowballs every year.”

“All funds except sales tax go to Literacy Volunteers Winchester Area,” Kwolek said, noting that his store covered the costs of blank comic book covers and shipped them to artists. “My goal for this year is $ 8,000, so we can say we’ve raised $ 15,000 in three years.”

Andy Gail, executive director of Literacy Volunteers Winchester Area, said he was thrilled to be part of an event that supports his organization and encourages young people to pick up a comic book and start reading.

“We’re really touched and it’s going to make a big difference,” said Gail.

Auctions for this year’s “FCF Covers Literacy” auction are already underway on the Four Color Fantasies Facebook page, by email at fourcolorfantasies@gmail.com and in the store. Auctions will end at 5 p.m. on Saturday, which promises to be an eventful time for Kwolek, Jones and the rest of the store workers.

“Saturday Free Comic Boy Day, so it’s going to be crazy already,” Jones said. “In this last hour people will hang around and the bidding war will start.”

To learn more about “FCF Covers Literacy” and to submit an offer on an original work of art, visit Facebook.com/FCFcomics.

Daniel K. Denny