Meet Carlos and Daryl

When you’ve been involved with a comic book store for 20 years, participating in Capes for Kids seems like a match made in heaven.

That’s what Daryl thought when he came across an ad for the campaign on YouTube. Running it by his friend Carlos, the owner of Gotham Central Comics, the two then decided to pair up and make a difference.

“When you think about it there are so many things going on in the world, there are so many people asking for help and some of the most vulnerable people are children,” says Daryl.

“And being able to help them in some way, shape, or form, as far as I’m concerned, is what we should all be doing.”

Each year, Carlos and Daryl try to extend the length of the campaign, creating fundraising opportunities even months after the March kick-off.

During their first year fundraising, Daryl showed up to work with a cape and the store hosted a mini in-store auction. But the year after, they wanted to do something bigger and better.

“Obviously, it just mushroomed and we decided to continue to do it. And we it gets bigger every year,” says Daryl.

Now Carlos hosts a Sketch Duel, where, each year, 30 to 40 artists show up at the store to participate in a live art competition. For the first round, contestants draw and the finished products are then posted online and voted on by followers. Elimination rounds occur, cutting the contestants down to 16, then 8, then 4, then two until a winner is crowned.

On top of a little creative competition, Carlos also has a donation box set up at the cash, plus, the art made from the competitions is sold to help raise more funds.

They’re also working to get more stores and comic book aficionados on board.

“If I can give back somehow in another way, I think it’s important to be able to do that,” says Daryl.