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

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

ComicsPRO Annual Meeting Set for February 19-21 2015 in Portland Oregon

For Immediate Release: December 23, 2014

Marco Davanzo
Executive Director

ComicsPRO Annual Meeting Set for Portland, Oregon
Retailers, Publishers and Suppliers to meet February 19-21 2015

ComicsPRO, the retailer trade association, brings its 9th Annual Meeting to Portland, Oregon February 19 – 21, 2015, bringing together comic book retailers and vendors to discuss major industry issues and to develop ways to improve the comic book specialty market. The venue for this year’s event is the Portland Hilton and Executive Tower.

"We're very excited to be headed to the Pacific Northwest for the next ComicsPRO Membership Meeting. Not only is Portland the base of operations for Dark Horse and Oni – two very supportive ComicsPRO sponsors— it is a city with an enormous breadth of creative talent and solid retail stores," said Thomas Gaul, President of the Board of ComicsPRO.

All comic book retailers with storefront locations are invited to the conference. Every attending retailer will be presented with a gift bag including graphic novels, toys, promotional items and comics. Publishers will create exclusive comics for ComicsPRO, many with very low print runs. To register as a retailer, please visit

Thursday, February 19th, retailers will meet with Platinum sponsors Dark Horse Comics and DC Entertainment. In the morning, Dark Horse Comics will present major creators including Mike Mignola, Brian Wood, Geof Darrow, Chuck Palahniuk, Eric Powell, and Matt Kindt, featuring highlights in their 2015 releases. In the afternoon and evening, retailers will shift to discussions with DC Entertainment’s top brass.

Another two dozen other comic industry vendors will join the meeting on Friday, February 20th and Saturday, February 21st for presentations, roundtables, and workshops. Roundtable sessions give each of the participating vendors face-to-face time with each attending retailer in a small group setting.

Meeting highlights include:

· An opening reception sponsored by Dark Horse Comics on Wednesday, February 18, 8-10 PM.
· Comic Book Legal Defense Fund reception and benefit auction, Friday February 20.
· Things From Another World store visit and lunch, sponsored by Dark Horse, Saturday, February 21.
· Comic book store tour sponsored by Oni Press, Saturday, February 21.
· Closing reception sponsored by Oni Press and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Saturday, February 21, 8:00 PM.
· Workshops with Q&A sessions led by industry professionals.
· Visits from comic artists and writers to discuss their upcoming work.

The ComicsPRO Annual Membership Meeting is the only annual retailer-driven event in the industry, often cited as the most important business-focused event of the year. ComicsPRO's current projects and plans will also be discussed.

For more information on attending the conference as a retailer or sponsoring the conference as a publisher or vendor, please contact Marco Davanzo, Executive Director of ComicsPRO at Information can also be found at

ComicsPRO is a non-profit trade association dedicated to the health and progress of direct market comic book retailers. ComicsPRO allows retailers to speak with a unified voice on important industry issues, provides educational and mentoring opportunities to current and future retailers, and provides ways for members to reduce fixed costs.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

ComicsPRO Programming for Comic-Con International: San Diego

ComicsPRO,  the trade association for comic book specialty retailers, is once again providing retailer-oriented programming at Comic-Con International: San Diego. These hours of programming are agreat waay to network with other retailers while learning some new tips & tricks to make our stores more appealing and profitable. All retailers are welcome! 

Friday July 25, 2014

9:30AM – 10:20AM
ComicsPRO Fresh Start: Get your day at Comic-Con off to a great start with ComicsPRO - the comics 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!  Room 19

10:30AM -11:20AM
State of the Industry: 
 Comic book and graphic novel sales in direct market comic shops continue to grow. Join ComicsPRO board members as we discuss the year behind us and look forward to the year ahead.  Room 18

11:30AM – 12:15PM
 Promoting Your Store- What's Working, What's Not: Social media, ad media, email marketing, in store promotions such as Free Comic Book Day, etc.   Let's brainstorm together how we can better promote our stores and products so we can keep the strong sales momentum. Room 18

2:30PM – 4:00PM
Will Eisner "Spirit of Retailing" Award Video Viewing: 
Joe Ferrara  (Atlantis Fantasyworld, CA), a recipient of and facilitator for the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award presents a look at the videos for this year's award finalists. Great time to steal some in-store ideas! Room 18

4:00PM – 5:00PM
So You Want to Be a Comics Retailer? Please note: this panel is open to all convention attendees! A great opportunity for those interested in opening their own comic book specialty stores and a chance for the curious to get a peek behind the profession of comics retailing. Bring your best questions for our panel of veteran comic book specialty retailers, including ComicsPRO board members Joe Field (Flying Colors Comics, Concord CA) and Carr D’Angleo (Earth-2, Sherman Oaks & Northridge CA). Room 28DE

5:15PM – 6:15PM 
Celebration of 24 Hour Comic Day: 2014 is the 10th anniversary of 24 Hour Comic Day.   Please come by and celebrate with us!   We'll reminisce about past years while also discussing how to make October 4th, 2014 the best 24 Hour Comic Day ever.  Room 18

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

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