Please feel free to republish this announcement. Thanks! – Chris

Toronto comic artists and DJs band together for Japanese Quake & Tsunami Relief

Artists Help Japan: Toronto is proud to announce that their 12 hour live art/DJ event on April 17th was an extraordinary success, raising $20,000 towards Tsunami and Quake relief in Japan.

Spearheaded by a consortium of Toronto illustration studios, the Artists Help Japan: Toronto event was the local iteration of a charity movement begun by Dice Tsutsumi at Pixar. The Toronto edition featured live art and DJ music, a silent auction and dozens of artists selling commissioned drawings, which raised about $18,000 over the 12 hour event. Event organizers UDON Entertainment have stepped in with an additional $2000 donation to help bring the final total to $20,000, with all proceeds being donated to the Canadian Red Cross.

The organizers of the event would like to thank all of the talented artists, illustrators, and DJs who donated their time and expertise, and the hundreds of Torontonians that came out in support of this event. The organizers will continue their various fundraising efforts over the weeks and months to come, including a series of special auctions featuring artworks donated by artists at the fundraiser! Look for details on these auctions in the next week.

Some words of thanks from the organizers:

Erik Ko, founder of UDON Entertainment: “I have a lot of friends and colleagues in Japan who were affected by this unfortunate event. I felt a real need to try and lend a helping hand to the people there and I really appreciate so many people supporting us! Thank you so much!”

Bobby Chiu, head of Imaginism studio: “People were incredibly generous with their money that day. It was truly touching to see a city come together to support the people of Japan.”

Alvin Lee, comic artist on Street Fighter and Birds of Prey: “It was awe inspiring to see the outpour of support and compassion from Toronto’s Art and Music scene. To give back to a country that has influenced so many of today’s artists, including myself – I felt like it was the least I could do.”

Krystle Tabujara, Library Services Coordinator for The Beguiling: “Having recently travelled to the Pacific Rim with my partner, I felt an obligation to be a part of such a great cause. It was an honour to be working alongside some of Toronto’s most talented artists.”

Jim Zubkavich, writer/creator of Skullkickers from Image Comics: “All of us involved with this event feel a deep connection to Japan and we’re ecstatic that so many people came out to show their support. To the artists, musicians and donators – Thank you everyone!”

Christopher Butcher, manager of The Beguiling and Director of the Toronto Comics Art Festival: “Japan has been an inspiring, near-mythical presence in my life since I was very young, and their culture and traditions have had a huge influence on my writing and career. Coming together with so many like-minded people to give something back has been similarly inspiring, and I’m humbled by the generosity of our volunteers, artists, DJs, and the hundreds of attendees who came to the event. Thanks everyone and please, if at all possible, don’t stop giving.”

The organizers would also like to thank the many volunteers and supporters who helped make the event a success, including: all of the wonderful artists and publishers who donated art and other items for our silent auction; Jeff at Imaginism; Michael, Akiko, Magda, Marc, Andrew, and Shane who helped out on the day-of; Peter Birkemoe and The Beguiling; Joe Saturnino and the entire staff of Revival.


Artists Help Japan is a charity movement initiated by Dice Tsutsumi, an art director at Pixar Animation Studios, who was also behind 2008 Totoro Forest Project to help preserve Sayama Forest in Japan and Sketchtravel Project, to gather the force of communities of artists and creative minds around the world. We believe artists have special roles to contribute to the society.

Artists Help Japan: Toronto was spearheaded by Imaginism Studios President and illustrator Bobby Chiu, who was contacted by Dice Tsutsumi to run the Toronto event. Working with Illustrator Alvin Lee, UDON Entertainment CEO Erik Ko, writer/artist Jim Zubkavich, and Christopher Butcher of Toronto comic book store The Beguiling and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, the team brought together Toronto’s diverse and exciting artistic community to engage the public in an unprecedented fundraising endeavour.

Participating artists at Artists Help Japan: Toronto included: Agnes Garbowska, Alex Milne, Alvin Lee, Bobby Chiu, Brian McLachlan, Chip Zdarsky, Dale Keown, Eric Kim, Eric Vedder, Francis Manapul, Jason Bradshaw, Jeff Lemire, Jim Zub, Joe Ng, Julie Faulkner, Kagan Mcleod, Kalman Andrasofszky, Kei Acedera, Ken Lashley, Marcio Takara, Marcus To, Michael Cho, Ramon Perez, Ray Fawkes, Scott Hepburn, Stuart Immonen, Svetlana Chmakova, and a number of other local artists who showed up on the day of the event to offer their support and assistance!

Participating DJs at Artists Help Japan: Toronto included: Riviera [Perfecto,Myth, Kinetika NYC], Felix & Gani [Milk. Audio], Lazy Ray [Nighttrackin’], Gerrence [Nighttrakkin’], Alvaro G [Kings Of Late Night], Roland Gonzales [Studio+], Carlovega [Studio+], Jason Ulrich [Lab.Our Union],Shingo [Hot Sauce], Uncle Matty & Dutty Maus [The Beacs], and Illscience.

All proceeds from Artists Help Japan: Toronto will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross, specifically earmarked to aid in Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief.


Revival Bar has been entertaining guests, visitors and fans as a premium event space since 2002. Revival generously donated the use of their main space for the Artists Help Japan: Toronto event, and donated $1 from the cost of every drink towards fundraising efforts.

The Beguiling Books and Art is Canada’s premiere source for comics, comix, and high-art funnybooks. Visit us online at


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