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

Friday, January 18, 2008

2008 Director Election

Three director positions will become open at this year's Annual Membership Meeting, and our Full Members have already been mailed ballots for the upcoming election. Mailed ballots must be received by March 12th, or ballots can be handed in at the meeting March 20-21.

Two of our existing board members have decided to run again and are included in the list of nominees:

Brad Bankston
As co-owner of Austin Books & Comics and Bankston's (Waco), Brad Bankston has been active in comics retail since 1985. Moving to Austin with the purchase of Austin Books in 1994, Brad spent the next years taking a shop that had an established reputation of being an exclusive club and making it into an inviting, growing business celebrated locally for being accessible to new fans as well as avid collectors. Brad specializes in non-traditional outreach and promotion including the annual Austin Books Manga Melee, the Austin Books internet "street" team and a partnership with the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Under his operating guidance, Austin Books & Comics has shown sales growth for fourteen straight years.

Phil Boyle
Phil Boyle opened Coliseum of Comics in 1983. During the quarter century Phil has overseen the expansion of Coliseum into a chain of stores that runs coast to coast in Florida. Among the stores there is a mix of city, rural, and mall stores. Stores range in size from 5000 sq ft to 830 sq ft, which gives Coliseum a unique view of stores of all sizes and markets. Phil has been a member of DC Comics’ RRP since its inception, has worked on advisory panels for publishers, manufacturers and distributors, and serves on the ComicsPRO mentoring board hosted on Delphi. Phil writes the somewhat monthly column Comics Arena for Comics & Games Retailer magazine. Phil’s current projects working with ComicsPRO are creating a program for having retailers paid for dealing with inserts; working with the position papers committee, and writing a position paper for late comics.

Alex Cox
Alex Cox is originally from rural Tennessee, where he was raised in a small business home, working in his family's restaurant. He moved to New York in 1995 to attend the School of Visual Arts, and after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production, Alex worked in varying capacities in television and illustration for several years, with clients such as MTV and Comedy Central. While in college, Alex began working in comics retail, soon managing for one of New York's best known stores. In 2005, along with business partner Mary Gibbons, Alex started ROCKETSHIP, which has since been profiled by the New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, The Onion, and voted the "Best Comic Shop in New York City" in a 2007 Village Voice Readers' Poll.

Gary Dills
Gary Dills is co-owner of Phoenix Comics & Toys in Virginia and The Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio, and he has worked in the Direct Market since 1994. Gary was a member of the ComicsPRO Founding Board and provided the organization with a startup loan to help make the trade association a reality. He is also a member of the Free Comic Book Day advisory board and a frequent poster to the Comic Book Industry Alliance forum, sharing his insights into comics retailing to help other retailers improve their businesses. Gary serves as Chair on the ComicsPRO Outreach Committee, supervising ComicsPRO's presence at trade shows and conventions, Chair of the Nominating Committee, overseeing new board member elections, and Chair of the Staffing Committee, managing the development of ComicsPRO’s paid staff positions.

Amanda Fisher
As part of the Founding Board, Amanda Fisher did the legwork for the creation of ComicsPRO as a nonprofit organization. She is the Chair of the Membership Committee, handling new applications and member files. Amanda began her career in comics at the age of 16, working at The Splash Page in Billings, MT. She helped open a second Splash Page location in Missoula at age 18, and became the manager of that store in 1998. In 2001, Amanda bought the Missoula store with a partner and renamed it Muse Comics. Amanda opened a second Muse Comics location in downtown Missoula in 2006. She has written articles for “Comics & Games Retailer” and is a member of the Free Comic Book Day advisory board. She was recently hired as the ComicsPRO Communications Coordinator, the organization’s first paid staff position, handling its corporate, administrative and outreach work. She is deeply committed to the success of comic book retailers, and her focus within ComicsPRO is finding ways for members to improve their stores.

Derrick Taylor
Derrick Taylor is the owner of Comic Oasis is Las Vegas, Nevada. Derrick dreamed of owning a comic book store from age 5, and began working at Golden Apple Comics of Los Angeles at age 16. In 2005, Derrick sold his successful home theater company and bought Tim Boal's Comic Oasis. Derrick's priorities are introducing new people to comics. He appears at local book fairs and events. He sets up at movie premieres to spread the word of comics, and is also heavily involved with the Boys and Girls Club of America. Derrick has done outreach at Anime Vegas, and held seminars on how to own a hobby shop and present artwork. Derrick loves the comic book medium and its ability to tell a story no matter how small or large, and believes it is a true American art form like Jazz. His goal is for the world to see the potential of comics.

Votes will be tallied at the 2008 Membership Meeting in Vegas, and new directors will be welcomed to the Board of Directors at that time!