ComicsPRO.org

ComicsPRO is the only trade organization dedicated to the progress of direct market comic book retailers.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

ComicsPRO Programming @ Comic-Con International: San Diego

Join us for ComicsPRO programming at San Diego's Comic-Con on FRIDAY JULY 19

9:30-10:20 Room 19

ComicsPRO "Fresh Start"
Your day at Comic-Con gets off to a friendly and professional start with ComicsPRO, the retailer trade association. Retailers, publishers and distributors are welcome to kick off their convention day with colleagues, coffee, bagels and conversation. Bring your business card! (Open to comics industry business professional only!)

10:30 - 11:20  Room 18
FCBD Wrap Up 
FCBD 2013 is behind us and the feedback from retailers has been overwhelmingly positive, with record turnouts being reported across the country and beyond. Join ComicsPRO for a review of this banner year, talk about the things that worked, the things that maybe didn't, and pick up (and share) some ideas to make your next FCBD your biggest ever!


11:30 - 12:15 Room 18
State of the Industry
These are heady times in the comics business. Sales are up across the board and enthusiasm for all things comics-related seems to be at an all-time high. How do we work together as an industry to keep pushing ahead? What are the pit-falls to avoid and the paths to take? Join ComicsPRO and Diamond Comic Distributors to discuss just where we're at and how high we can go.


2:30-4:00 Room 18
Eisner Spirit Award Video Viewing 
The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award is the industry's "Hall of Fame" for progressive retailers. Spirit Award facilitator and award recipient Joe Ferrara (Atlantis Fantasyworld, CA) presents the videos for this year's award finalists, with discussion about each nominated retailer, the store's display techniques, and other unique features every attending retailer can learn from. Hey,
retailers! This is a great place for getting new ideas!

4:00-5:30 Room 28DE
So You Want To Be A Comics Retailer?
ComicsPRO presents an opportunity for those interested in opening their own comic book specialty store. Our veteran retailers know you have questions and they can give you the answers! Join Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff (Concord CA), ComicsPRO President Thomas Gaul (Corner Store Comics, CA) ComicsPRO Vice President Carr D'Angelo (Earth-2 Comics, CA), Jennifer Haines (The Dragon, Ontario) and Chris Powell (Vice President, Retailer Services -Diamond Comic Distributors) for a fun and informative peek behind the curtain of the magic of comic book retailing!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Executive Director Emmert steps down


A note from Amanda Emmert, ComicsPRO Executive Director:

To the ComicsPRO membership,

The biggest event of ComicsPRO's year, our Annual Membership Meeting, has wrapped up. The biggest event of the comics retail year, Free Comic Book Day, is also behind us. Both were extremely successful, and it feels good to have helped with two major events that promote comic book stores.

The organization has a bit of breathing room now as we start prepping for the rest of our convention schedule and set-up for the fourth quarter 24-Hour Comics Day event. So, it's a good time to make an announcement and a change: I'm resigning my position as Executive Director of ComicsPRO.

As a company, ComicsPRO is stable, established, and financially sound. For many years I've been very careful with our budgets, and we're set to enter the next phase of the organization with a firm footing, which will allow the association to run successfully for many years. I am confident that our leadership will continue to improve the organization for our members, and I'm excited for the next wave of retailers to step up and take charge of our association.

In 2004, after many discussions with retailers and with publishers for the need for a new trade association, I incorporated ComicsPRO and set up its not-for-profit status. My best friend Gary Dills, of Phoenix Comics (which later became Laughing Ogre Comics) funded the nascent organization, helped me construct the initial bylaws, and helped choose the initial board of directors. I told everyone at the time that I wouldn't do the work unless Joe Field, of Flying Colors Comics, would agree to be president, and I've been very proud to work with Joe ever since. In 2005, we took on our first members, many of whom are still active members today even as the organization has expanded and changed.

In 2007, the organization was large enough and busy enough to need someone running it full time, and I became ComicsPRO's first employee. As we've grown, we've changed my title and job description, but my main duty, my main love, has been the same -- working with amazing retailers who do everything they can to help improve our industry.

Joe stepped down as President this year, and Gary stepped down as Vice President, both after 9 years of intense volunteer work, both still serving on the Board. Thomas Gaul, of Corner Store Comics and Carr D'Angelo, of Earth-2 Comics, have stepped up as President and VP and I'm excited by the plans they have to improve ComicsPRO. I know that they, along with the rest of our amazing Board of Directors, will make the organization better than it has ever been. It's a great time to be a comic book retailer, it's a great time for change in our industry, and it's a great time for ComicsPRO to enter into its next stage with a new Executive Director.

I am very proud of what I've been able to accomplish with ComicsPRO over the years, and prouder still of my colleagues, all of them. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I've been given to work with all of you, and I look forward to seeing how you continue to improve our market. Thank you for everything you've done, and everything you've given me.

Amanda Emmert

Thursday, March 28, 2013

C2E2 2013 Programming



Join us in Chicago at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo!

We'll be hosting two panels:

ComicsPRO Retailer Programming: New Product Lines 

Friday, April 26           
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm                                     
Location: W470a

Comic book retailers: are you looking to diversify your product selection? ComicsPRO is a trade association of retailers from around the world. Join us as we discuss new product lines to enhance your store. Get contact lists for vendors and distributors you may not be working with yet!   


So You Wanna be a Comic Book Retailer, Now What?

Friday, April 26           
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm                       
Location: W470a

Whether you want to open a comic book store, you're just starting out in retail or you just have questions, we're here to help! Meet with members of ComicsPRO, a retail trade organization for comic book retailers, to talk about your upcoming plans.


If you don't have time for panels, please stop by our booth on Friday, Saturday or Sunday! Booth #710

Retailers: if you join ComicsPRO during C2E2, you'll get $50 off the cost of your membership dues for the first year!

See you in Chicago!

Friday, March 01, 2013

See you at C2E2!



Join us at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, April 26-28! ComicsPRO will host panels for retailers and you can visit us at our booth! More details coming soon.



Friday, February 22, 2013

Fournier receives ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation Award; Eisner receives memorial award

Cindy Fournier,VP of Operations for Diamond Comic Distributors, was named the recipient of ComicsPRO’s Industry Appreciation Award during the ComicsPRO Annual Members Meeting in Atlanta, Ga.

Fournier works from Diamond’s home office of Timonium, Md.

Fournier oversees the myriad of duties related to transportation, warehouse management and operations.

In a very critical role for the industry, Fournier is responsible for pulling together all the various aspects of making sure retailers get their shipments in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Fournier has worked in the comics field since 1987, starting with the mail order division of Mile High Comics. She then went on to work for Alternate Realities Distribution Company, which was then acquired by Bud Plant Distribution. After Bud Plant sold to Diamond, Fournier was transferred to Hayward, CA, to run Diamond’s distribution center there.

The Industry Appreciation Award celebrates those who help behind the scenes of the comic-book direct market. The direct market has been crucial in developing comics’ place in pop culture and remains the way most comic-book stories get from creator to fan, ComicsPRO states. The organization aims to honor those people who stand in that gap and help smooth that process.

ComicsPRO members also created the Industry Appreciation Memorial Award to honor those who have passed away, but whose work left a positive mark on the comics specialty retailing.

The recipient of the Industry Appreciation Memorial Award was Will Eisner.

About Eisner:

Will Eisner’s breadth of material spans the eight decades of American comics history, veering from his earliest efforts in adventure and superhero comics while the medium was in its infancy, to 35 years of more mature work best exemplified by the standard-bearer for all graphic novels, A Contract With God. He is credited as an early proponent of the graphic novel and of keeping evergreen material in print. His impeccable design sense raised the bar for every artist that came with and after him. On the business side, Eisner understood the unique relationship between creator and retailer, founding the “Spirit of Comics” award that recognizes the work of the industry’s brightest retailers.

- Matt Price

http://blog.newsok.com/nerdage

Gaul elected ComicsPRO president; new board members named

Thomas Gaul of Corner Store Comics and Beach Ball Comics in Anaheim, Calif., has been elected president of the board of directors of ComicsPRO, the national comic-book retailer organization. Gaul becomes the second president in the organization’s history. Gaul replaces Joe Field, who has served as the organization’s president since its incorporation in 2004. Gaul was nominated by Field to the office of president, which is voted on by the board of directors.

New director Ralph Mathieu, of Alternate Reality Comics, Las Vegas, was elected to the board. Directors Carr D’Angelo, Earth 2 Comics, Sherman Oaks and Northridge, Calif.; and Eric Kirsammer, Chicago Comics and Quimby’s, Chicago, Ill. were re-elected to the board.

In addition to Gaul, new ComicsPRO officers are as follows:

Vice president, Carr D’Angelo (He replaces Gary Dills, Jr. of Laughing Ogre of Ohio and Virgina, who remains a director.)

Recording secretary, Calum Johnston of Strange Adventures, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. (He replaces Thomas Gaul.)

The ComicsPRO board now includes Gaul, D’Angelo, Johnston, Field, Kirsammer, Dills and Mathieu. Amanda Emmert serves as ComicsPRO’s executive director.

- Matt Price

http://blog.newsok.com/nerdage

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Special edition Hello Kitty graphic novel coming to ComicsPRO member stores

ComicsPRO and VIZ Media have announced a that a special edition of an upcoming “Hello Kitty” graphic novel will be available exclusively through ComicsPRO member stores. The informal announcement, with more details to follow, was made at the ComicsPRO Annual Members Meeting in Atlanta, Ga. The special edition of “Hello Kitty: Fashion Music Wonderland” will be released late in 2013 and will likely carry an MSRP of $6.99 U.S., according to information provided by ComicsPRO. The graphic novel will be rated ‘A’ for All Ages, and will be published under the company’s VIZ Kids imprint. “ComicsPRO’s Board of Directors is pleased to be working with VIZ Media on this member-exclusive release of HELLO KITTY: FASHION IN WONDERLAND. A strong and marketable product like HELLO KITTY belongs in the industry’s most progressive retail outlets,” said ComicsPRO President Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics in Concord Calif. “Our goal is that this will encourage consumers to seek out ComicsPRO member stores for HELLO KITTY graphic novels while also inspiring more direct market retailers to join ComicsPRO.” Earlier this month, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media) announced a new publishing deal with Sanrio, Inc., the global lifestyle brand and parent company of pop icon Hello Kitty®, to develop a series of original graphic novels starring Hello Kitty. - Matt Price http://blog.newsok.com/nerdage

ComicsPRO sets 24-Hour Comics Day for first Saturday in October

ComicsPRO has announced the date for the 2013 24-Hour Comics Day. Starting in 2013, and going forward, 24-Hour Comics Day will be the first Saturday in October. In 2013, the 10th annual 24-Hour Comics Day will be held on Oct. 5. The announcement was made at the ComicsPRO Annual Members Meeting, held this year in Atlanta, Ga. “The 24-Hour Comics Day committee has decided to make 24-Hour Comics Day the first Saturday of October every year, based on feedback from participants,” said ComicsPRO director executive director Amanda Emmert. 24-Hour Comics Day is an annual challenge for cartoonists to produce a 24-page comic book written, drawn, and completed in 24 consecutive hours. ComicsPRO, the comic book specialty retailer trade group, organizes the day. ComicsPRO invites comic book artists, whether professional or amateur, young or old, to check out a local venue or try the challenge on their own. Host sites should register at www.24hourcomicsday.com, and those who wish to participate can go to www.24hourcomicsday.com and look for events nearby as the event nears. - Matt Price http://blog.newsok.com/nerdage

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The 2013 ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation Award


The ComicsPRO 2013 Industry Appreciation Award

The direct market remains the way most comic-book stories get from creator to fan. ComicsPRO wants to honor those people who stand in that gap and help smooth the process. From publishers, distributors, marketers, creators and more, a lot of people are involved in bringing the stories we all love to market. ComicsPRO would like to stand up and recognize those who have been simply the best at what they do, making the comic-book direct market more successful for all of us. ComicsPRO has created The ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation Award to honor these individuals.

There are two categories for the Industry Appreciation Award, one for professionals who are still active in the business of comics and a Memorial Award one for those who have passed away and left an indelible mark on the profession of comic book specialty retailing. After a period of accepting nominations from members through December 2012, the ComicsPRO Board of Directors presents the final ballot. 

Members will vote for one Award recipient from each category. The winners of the 4th annual award will be announced at the 2013 ComicsPRO Annual Membership Meeting in Atlanta, GA on Friday, February 22nd.


The nominees for the 2013 ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation Award are, in alphabetical order:

Scott Dunbier
Cindy Fournier
David Gabriel
Bill Schanes
Eric Stephenson
 

The nominees for the 2013 ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation Memorial Award are:

Shel Dorf
Will Eisner
Joe Kubert
Julius Schwartz

We would like to thank all of the nominees for the work they do (and have done) to improve the comics specialty market!

Brief biographical notes that accompany the ballots for the award can be found below.

2013 ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation Award nominees

Scott Dunbier

Scott Dunbier is the Senior Editor of Special Projects at IDW Publishing. His responsibilities include overseeing the oversized Artists Editions published by the company.  At IDW, he developed the Richard Stark Parker graphic novel adaptations, the Rocketeer collections and new comic-book series. Previously, Dunbier was an original art dealer and later became the Executive Editor for Wildstorm.  At WildStorm, which became a DC Comics imprint while Dunbier was there, Dunbier oversaw the ABC line of comics created by Alan Moore and helped create the Absolute line of hardcover collections.



Cindy Fournier

Fournier is the VP of Operations for Diamond Comic Distributors. She works from Diamond’s home office of Timonium, MD, where she oversees the myriad of duties related to transportation, warehouse management and operations.  In a very critical role for the industry, Cindy is responsible for pulling together all the various aspects of making sure retailers get their shipments in an efficient and cost-effective manner.  Fournier has worked in the comics field since 1987, starting with the mail order division of  Mile High Comics. She then went on to work for Alternate Realities Distribution Company, which was then acquired by Bud Plant Distribution.  After Bud Plant sold to Diamond, Cindy was transferred to Hayward, CA, to run Diamond’s distribution center there.



David Gabriel

A native of Massachusetts, a graduate of Boston College and life long comic book fan, David Gabriel has never been too far from comics. While working for Bernstein Investment Management & Research, Gabriel dreamed of creating a Mecca for comics. In 1999, he brought that dream to life as he started the New York City Comic Book Museum. Then in 2003, Gabriel joined Marvel and revolutionized their trade paperback program, quickly ascending to the position of SVP, Sales & Circulation, in 2007. From that position, Gabriel works with retailers to craft programs and incentives for the Direct Market.



Bill Schanes

Bill Schanes and his brother Steve Schanes co-founded Pacific Comics as an early direct-market comic book retail operation. A decade later, Schanes co-founded Pacific Comics as a publisher of mostly creator-owned properties, including those from hallowed veterans of the comic book business like Neal Adams, Jack Kirby and Sergio Aragones. After Pacific folded in 1984, Schanes joined Steve Geppi’s Diamond Comic Distributors company in 1985. He has served as a National Account Representative, before ascending to Diamond’s Upper management Team as the Vice President for Purchasing.



Eric Stephenson

Eric Stephenson has been publisher of Image Comics since 2008 and has championed diversity at the publisher as it released a string of direct-market hits in 2012.   A 20-year veteran of the comic book field, Stephenson’s career began in 1992 as Jim Valentino’s assistant during the early days of Image Comics. Later, he became editor at Rob Liefeld’s Extreme Studios. While at Extreme, Stephenson also scripted numerous comics, including “Youngblood” and “New Men.” After a brief stint as a freelance comics writer, he returned to Image in 2001 as Director of Marketing. In 2004, he became Executive Director, then succeeded Erik Larsen as Publisher in 2008. 


2013 ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation Memorial Award nominees


 
Will Eisner

Will Eisner’s breadth of material spans the eight decades of American comics history, veering from his earliest efforts in adventure and superhero comics while the medium was in its infancy, to 35 years of more mature work best exemplified by the standard-bearer for all graphic novels, A Contract With God.  He is credited as an early proponent of the graphic novel and of keeping evergreen material in print. His impeccable design sense raised the bar for every artist that came with and after him. On the business side, Eisner understood the unique relationship between creator and retailer, founding the “Spirit of Comics” award that recognizes the work of the industry’s brightest retailers.



Julius Schwartz

Schwartz, a longtime DC Comics editor, started his career in 1932 as the co-publisher of Time Traveller, among the first science fiction fanzines.  In the 1930s, Schwartz represented noted authors as Alfred Bester, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, and H. P. Lovecraft. Schwartz also helped organize the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939. In 1944 he went to work as an editor for All-American Comics, which soon merged with National Periodical Publications to form DC Comics. Schwartz was best-known for his work at DC Comics, which reinvigorated the superhero genre in the comics industry. His updating of 1940s characters for the modern era revolutionized DC Comics.


Shel Dorf
Shel Dorf, a freelancer in the field of commercial design, helped to launch the comic conventions we love today. Starting in Detroit with Triple Fan Fair in the 1960s before moving to San Diego in 1970 where he helped launch what is known today as the San Diego Comic Con. Dorf was employed as a consultant on Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy adaptation and also contributed interviews to the comics press and movie collector magazines (including The Buyer’s Guide, Film Collector’s World), Milton Caniff: conversations and Mort Walker: Conversations)  Chester Gould’s daughter, Jean Gould O’Connell credits Dorf with bringing “Tracy out to another generation” through his work on the Tracy strip compilations. Jack Kirby made Shel into a character, a father figure named Himon who appeared in Mister Miracle.

Joe Kubert
Joe Kubert’s career spans the history of the comic book in America. He began drawing comics in 1938, writing and drawing both mainstream comic book characters as well as graphic novels of his own conception. Kubert is best known for his work on Sgt. Rock of Easy Co., Hawkman, Tarzan, and illustrating covers for virtually all of DC’s comics. During his 70 years in the business, he founded a School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, he wrote and illustrated his own graphic novels, including the award-winning Fax from Sarajevo. Kubert was inducted into both the Harvey Awards’ Jack Kirby Hall of Fame and the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.  His school trained many of the next generation of comic-book artists.