Donors step up to help ToonSeum

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Donations of money, books, comic books -- even an offer of storage space -- are pouring in to help the ToonSeum replace the thousands of comic books and other materials destroyed when last week's rains came through a leaky roof in its North Side warehouse.

Although there were no collector's items among the lost books and comics and no original artwork stored in the warehouse, losses plus cost of cleanup totaled $20,000-$25,000, according to executive director Joe Wos.

By Thursday afternoon, donations from comic book fans as far away as Georgia and California had reached a little over $10,500, Mr. Wos said. The largest was a $5,000 anonymous match donation that came earlier in the week. Others, including one from the Furries, have ranged from $10 to $500.

Other fans have offered to donate "boxes and boxes of comics," Mr. Wos said, and publisher Hermes Press is donating its entire catalog of more than 60 books about comics and cartoons.

Books will be accepted at ToonSeum's booths at Pittsburgh ComiCon and at C2E2, Chicago's comic and entertainment expo, both in April.

"If they have huge collections, we're asking them to call first as we have to find a new location to store them," he said.

Guardian Self Storage has offered the museum space in its Strip District facility. "It's climate-controlled, probably the best place for your comics in the world."

Meanwhile, he added, "We have had everything from book stores to hoagie shops offering to do fundraisers for us, so the Downtown community has been very supportive."


Pohla Smith: psmith@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1228.


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