Due to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States and around the world, many large and small scale anime conventions and events across the globe are having to be postponed or cancelled. That presents a huge problem for folks whose income relies on these events to make ends meet. Whether they are speakers, performers, dealers, or artists, many people could be significantly financially harmed by the cancellation of these events.
I say this not to complain about the events themselves being cancelled. According to federal, state, and professional guidelines, cancelling large events is the best way to prevent the spread of the virus, however the economic impact on these folks cannot be overstated.
“So, how can I help?“
If you have a favorite artist that you follow on Tumblr, Twitter, or Instagram, consider buying one of their prints from their online store or commissioning them for work (if their commissions are open).
This also applies to cosplay guests you were looking forward to seeing. Do they sell prints? Patterns? Tutorials? Consider purchasing from them!
Were you saving up some cash to spend on figures or merchandise in the dealer’s room? Consider checking to see if any convention dealers have eBay stores. If you don’t know, message them! I’m sure they’d be willing to answer your questions.
Is there a special guest speaker, author, or panelist that was going to appear at the convention? Go over to their website and see if they have books, t-shirts, stickers, or other goods for sale. If they have a Ko-Fi, drop them a couple bucks. If they have a Patreon, consider subscribing.
Is there a musical act you wanted to see, go buy their CD, merch, or digital music from iTunes!
There’s no guarantee that this virus will pass by quickly, and definitely take advice from places other than an anime blog, but the effect on the convention community will not go unfelt. Some people’s livelihoods will be challenged, and some significantly. Consider doing what you can to support those in this community to the best of your ability. Anime conventions don’t magically appear, and they don’t magically dissappear either. As much work as it takes to put on an event, and equal amount of pain can be felt when they don’t. I say that not as a gloomy sentiment, but as a challenge for us to come together in ways that we can help one another, even when we can’t literally come together.
Stay safe and stay well, all.