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

Thursday, September 25, 2008

ComicsPRO Members vie for Jeff Smith Appearance

September 25, 2008
For Immediate Release

Contact: Amanda Emmert

ComicsPRO Retailers Vie for Jeff Smith Appearance
Auction to Benefit Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Jeff Smith, creator of the best-selling BONE and RASL series, will make his only comic book store appearance of 2008 & 2009 at a ComicsPRO member store as a fund-raiser for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The appearance will be auctioned off to the highest bidding retailer with all proceeds going to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The auction is open to all ComicsPRO member retailers.

The auction will be conducted on ComicsPRO's members-only forum between Sunday October 5 and Sunday October 12. The winner will be able to host this exclusive Jeff Smith appearance, with travel & lodging expenses borne by Cartoon Books. The bidding will close at 5pm EDT Sunday October 12. The auction is open to all ComicsPRO member stores --- and there is still time to sign up!

“This auction and the Jeff Smith appearance not only will help fund the CBLDF, it will hopefully spur more retailers to become ComicsPRO members,” said Joe Field, ComicsPRO President and owner of Flying Colors Comics in Concord CA. “Need I mention that ComicsPRO membership applications are available online at”

The auction idea came about at the 2008 ComicsPRO Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, of which Cartoon Books, publisher of BONE and RASL, was a sponsor. After announcing the initial 20,000 print run of RASL #1 had sold out due to the efforts of direct market retailers, Smith offered to make his only comic book shop appearance this year to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund via the ComicsPRO auction.

"I'm a true believer in the Comic Book Direct Market," says Jeff Smith. "I owe everything to the comic shop owners who believe in Cartoon Books, and comics on the whole. I think the membership of ComicsPRO are among the best of the best, and think their message boards are one of the most important places retailers can communicate with each other. I hope anyone serious about selling comics will think about joining ComicsPRO, and bid in this auction to help us support the work the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund does for all of us."

"Jeff Smith’s career is a great example of how success in the direct market can transform into worldwide success,” said Field. “ComicsPRO is honored to have Jeff recognize the dedication of professional comic book retailers with this benefit appearance."

“The CBLDF depends on efforts from all walks of the industry to raise the funds we need to perform our important work,” said Charles Brownstein, executive director of CBLDF. ”This is a terrific example of creators and retailers coming together to benefit the greater good of comics. The combination of Jeff Smith’s star power and the progressive membership of ComicsPRO makes this auction a win-win for everybody, and the CBLDF is grateful for the support and the recognition this lends to our mission.”

Jeff Smith is the award-winning creator of the beloved BONE series, originally published by Cartoon Books and now being published in color by Scholastic Books. Time magazine selected Bone as one of the 10 greatest graphic novels of all time. Cartoon Books will publish the first collection of Smith's new sci-fi series RASL, titled "The Drift," this winter. Recently for DC Comics, he wrote and drew SHAZAM! Monster Society of Evil.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1986 as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of First Amendment rights for members of the comics community. They have defended dozens of Free Expression cases in courts across the United States, and led important education initiatives promoting comics literacy and free expression. For additional information, donations, and other inquiries call 800-99-CBLDF or visit or

ComicsPRO is the only retailer trade and advocacy group for comic book specialty retailers, with more than 140 members with over 170 retail storefronts. Information and applications for membership are available at For further inquiries, please contact ComicsPRO's Communications Coordinator Amanda Emmert at