04-NOVEMBER-2011 This year was certainly memorable at the Comic Fusion charity weekend. Our annual October two-day fundraiser was more like February. Somehow, the comic shop never lost power even though the rest of the town (and most of the state) did. We were able to raise over $6,000 for SAFE in Hunterdon through the comic art auction, raffles, and donations.

The freak nor’easter that swept through the tri-state area on Saturday, October 29th hit hard. Towns were virtually shut down by trees crashing down and blocking roads. Parts of the country were consumed with economic turmoil as the “Occupy” movements brought to life the frustrations people are having with financial corruption. All of us involved with the fundraiser this year are dealing with our own personal financial crises. We knew asking for donations would be tougher than we ever faced before. When my mother asked me how I thought things were looking, I said I’d be fine if the NJ chapter raised $5,000 considering the economy and poor turn out that the weather caused. I was relieved when Stacy Korn at Comic Fusion said it was over $6,000 by the end of Sunday.

I’ve been sick for weeks and not able to do the amount of publicity that I normally put into the event. I look back at the 2010 entries and see all the interviews I did and I feel like I let down a lot of people because I couldn’t pull things together the same way this year. Then I had a week delay in uploading any photos or thank you messages because we’ve been without electricity and internet since last Saturday’s storm. It’s a terrible feeling that the universe is somehow conspiring against us in NJ when all we wanted to do was raise money for charity.

The good things will have to be remembered too. Our silver linings like gorgeous artwork donated by many talented people from the comics industry; the books and signed prints that were donated by creators and collectors; and the volunteers and artists who came out to be together even when there were no customers in sight.

Nick Mockoviak, Charles Wilson III, J.K. Woodward, Jamal Igle, Tom Schloendorn and Neil Vokes were the artists that dutifully battled the elements and trekked from the far reaches of NJ and New York City to spend the days with fans. They donated not only their time but also the money from their sketches.

The new cafe Coco’s on Main Street in Flemington isn’t even open yet and unlocked the doors so that the costumed heroes had a place to sit down when it was impossible to be outside. They offered up free coffee and tea to us and made us feel welcome. Other local merchants donated sandwiches and bagels.

Thank you!

All the cosplayers that came out and those that couldn’t but tweeted and blogged for us, thank you so much! I especially have to thank Ashley Neuhaus for trying to keep me from losing my marbles, Andrew Moser for always giving his all to Comic Fusion, and Gareth Hoskins, our Batman for traveling the farthest; he came all the way from Virginia to support our cause!

The artists, creators, crafters and businesses who donated for the auction, raffles and daily needs of the volunteers, thank you!

Bill Meccia, Stacy Korn, the SAFE in Hunterdon helpers and Andy Mangels from Women of Wonder Day, thank you for all that you did to pull off another lovely event that will benefit our community!

And of course, the fans that bid on the art and bought tickets for the raffles, thank you because your contributions will help the survivors of domestic violence that use SAFE in Hunterdon’s resources.