Pay-It-Forward Penguins

At Lilac City Comicon 2019, I had someone come to my table. He paid the adoption price for a costumed penguin and asked me to find a good home for one of our penguins. It was hard to do so because all of the children I saw after that had brothers and sisters. If I gave one child a penguin, I would need to give all the children a penguin. Since I only had one pay-it-forward penguin, I had to use my patience and wait for the right moment.

A girl in pink came to our table with her friend and loved our penguins. She asked about the adoption prices, touched the penguins and sighed. She left without a penguin. I kept watching the children go by. Some just ran by the table without stopping. Others glanced at the table but kept moving. Parents wrangled their kids away from looking at the penguins.

If we would have had a pay-it-forward penguin on the first day of Lilac City Comicon, I know exactly who would have gotten it. A little girl loved our penguins so much, she cried when her dad said she couldn’t have one. I felt bad for the father. He eventually bought Lucky at a discount, but she didn’t want a tiny penguin. She wanted a regular-sized penguin she could love. I offered to take Lucky back, but the dad declined. We can’t go back and change the past.

The girl in pink came back to our table and asked which of the penguins were $25. I pointed at our two penguins without costumes, and she pulled out her money. Then I said that we had a pay-it-forward penguin, so she could choose any penguin she wanted. Her eyes lit up, she started laughing, and she chose Flopsy Penguin dressed in her pink bunny outfit.

Both Jenya and I would love to give every child we see one of our penguins. (Some adults need them, too.) It’s just not financially feasible.

Just recently, one of the people who has already adopted a penguin from us asked if it were possible to pay a penguin forward. Brilliant! If you want to pay the adoption process of a penguin and find someone who will love it, we will do so. Our next scheduled event is at Salem Holiday Market in Oregon; we’d love to be able to give away some penguins there! All you have to do is go to our pay-it-forward page and pay the adoption fee. You don’t even have to worry about shipping and handling!


Pay-It-Forward Penguins Take Flight

Checkers and his Bright Light Nails family were the first to jump in and pay the adoption fees for one of our Pay-It-Forward Penguins. Checkers has been having so much fun in New Zealand that he and his family decided to help someone else experience the joy of having a stuffed penguin friend this holiday season.

Jenya and I were so excited when we saw that the first official Pay-It-Forward Penguin was already on its way within the first hour of posting the project on our website: Join Checkers and Bright Light Nails this holiday season and pay a penguin forward for a child at the Salem Holiday Market in Oregon. We will also be donating a dollar to the Global Penguin Society for this penguin adoption.

Checkers is the salon penguin for Bright Light Nails. He loves chocolate and traveling through New Zealand when he isn’t helping with the great promotions and nail work being done in the salon. There’s been talk that he will get his own Instagram account, but for now, you can find him at the Facebook and IG accounts for Bright Light Nails. Thanks again to Checkers and his family!

(The first Pay-It-Forward penguin was adopted to a girl at Lilac City Comicon 2019. The adoption fees were paid anonymously. That interaction was one of the factors in creating an official program.)

Lilac City Comicon 2019 Wrap up: Pay-It-Forward and Penguin Adoptions

Nathan O’Brien and his team put together another great show as fans from Spokane and around the world gathered to celebrate pop culture and comics at Lilac City Comicon 2019.’s table was a dream, and we were so happy to meet so many new people and see some from the last year we were here.

We had five penguins adopted. Lucky, our smallest penguin went to a home with a little girl and her siblings. Perry, our last book bird, is rumored to be headed to Iceland and then to have a Summer at Sea! GooseBeret found a forever home right here in Spokane, and Donald the Auktioneer, our Pirates of the Caribbean tribute penguin, was plucked from the penguin crowd with few words said.

Perhaps, our best moment of the day was when one of the guests decided to pay-it-forward. He bought a $45 penguin and asked us to give it to the next child who really loved the penguins. A girl showed up at our table twice and was ready to get a penguin, not in costume, when we told her about the pay-it-forward, she was so happy. She picked up Flopsy in the pink bunny outfit and took her home. (Unfortunately, we forgot to attach Flopsy passport, so if she contacts us, we will mail it out.)

I sold five books, and the Russian lobby cards were a big hit this time around. Normally, I would do a “loot” video, but my budget this year was small. I was super excited to get a Chunx from Matt Brazee; these toys are stackable. I picked up Sprocket the Comic-Cat because of Sprocket’s connection to Lilac City Comicon. However, Matt is already on at least his fourth series of Chunx, and they are super cool.

I also picked up the start of a new series, “The Memoirs of Elikai,” by D. Alexander. I haven’t time to read it, yet, but the story is about the struggle between destiny and free will. Give it a shot; it’s always nice to help out a new author and you may find a story that you love.

In case you’re keeping count, we’ve sold eight penguins so far this year. We will be making a donation to the Global Penguin Society of $1 per penguin sold near the end of the month. That means right now, we’ve pledged $8 to save penguins in the Southern Hemisphere and the Galapagos Islands (because that’s the only place in the Northern Hemisphere where penguins are naturally occurring.)