The greatest thing about comics that I’ve found and witnessed is the sense of community. You don’t have to go far in order to witness it, either. Go to your local comic shop, or to a local convention, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
You don’t have to be a creator in order to witness this, although it is generally creators that need help—especially the older generation of creators who have been through the muck and have laid down the roadmap of what to do (and not do) for us to follow. Creators can get into trouble, through no fault of their own, and the comics community will rally around that person and do what they can to help. Fires, stolen/lost art, becoming destitute…creators have been through it all, and while not being unscathed, they’ve survived. This is due to the community.
Retailers have also gone through it. Remember that, as creators, retailers are our partners. We have the wares, but without them, we have nowhere to sell them. Not physically, and with a longer reach than a comic convention. But retailers have turned to the comics community for a variety of things: fires, break-ins, property destruction, staving off closures… When help is needed, the community shows up and does what it can to give it.
The community is also extremely tolerant. (I believe that it’s because we know what it’s like to be different and the pain of growing up “different” is something we know intimately.) Age, sex, religion, creed, sexual orientation…while there will always be those who are aggressively intolerant in every culture and subculture, as a whole, those who are part of the comic book community are tolerant of others. It’s really an amazing sight to behold.
We can always do better, though. There’s always something that can be done, done better, or done bigger. Always. There are charities, or there is basic help of any kind that can be given.
I’m always saddened to see a creator or retailer going through the fire, but I’m always heartened to see the comics community rally around that person and help out. Always proud.
You should be, too.