Rebellion, the renowned publisher behind one of Britain’s biggest comics, 2000 AD, is raising funds to help the UK’s only musem dedicated to comic books survive the current Covid-19 pandemic. In an effort to support The Cartoon Museum in London, the outfit has launched a special t-shirt bearing classic art from the heyday of British comics.
The new T-shirt is available exclusively from the 2000 AD and Treasury of British Comics web shops and features the cover of Battle Picture Weekly #423 (cover date: 11 June 1983) by the artist Eric Bradbury. As well as the museum’s own logo, it features the cover from the Invasion 1984 comic strip, depicting a Piccadilly Circus invaded by aliens.
All profits from the sale of the shirts will go towards the independent museum’s £150,000 fundraising appeal, which seeks to help it through the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.
The Cartoon Museum’s director, Joe Sullivan, said: “We are incredibly grateful to our friends at Rebellion for their kind offer to help with fundraising towards The Cartoon Museum’s survival during this difficult time. It is humbling to receive support from our peers and colleagues in the UK comic and cartooning scene, and shows the depth of feeling for the museum.
“We hope Rebellion fans and our visitors love the brilliant shirt design, and look forward to continuing to work with Rebellion in the future.”
Jason Kingsley OBE, the CEO of Rebellion, said: “Comics have a vital place in Britain’s culture and heritage, and The Cartoon Museum does great work protecting that legacy, preserving it for future generations, and showcasing the best creators of today. The heritage sector has been hit really hard by Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown, and so we’re delighted to do what we can to help this nationally important museum survive and thrive.”
75 per cent of the museum’s yearly income is from admission, shop purchases, school visits, and venue bookings. However, since its closure on March 18th at the hands of the pandemic, the museum has been hit hard, with no regular government or local authority funding to supplement it. When visitors do return, the museum is expecting an 80 per cent drop in numbers.
Such a big expected drop in revenue, along with the longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on key audiences for the museum such as schools and overseas tourism, has huge implications and so The Cartoon Museum is fundraising to survive the closure period.
Set up by the Trustees of The Cartoon Museum, so far the fundraising appeal has raised £86,000 towards a total goal of £150,000. Various contributions have come in the form of small grants, proceeds of a half marathon, cover price and book sale reductions from publishers close to the musem, proceeds from a sale of one-off comic art, and donations from friends and the public.
In July 2020, the museum announced an award of £98,700 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The Cartoon Museum champions cartoon and comic art, highlighting its importance to culture and society. Since 2006 it has received 420,000 visitors, and built a nationally important collection of 4,300 cartoons, comics and caricatures, and a library of 18,000 items.
The Cartoon Museum runs a well-attended school programme and sell-out school holiday workshops, and over 50,000 children and adults have attended cartooning, comic and animation workshops and the museum receives 3,000 student visits each year. The museum is a registered charity.
If you would like to help secure the museum’s survival, you can donate to the appeal at www.cartoonmuseum.org