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

ComicsPRO Member named Best in St. Louis!

Star Clipper, owned by ComicsPRO members AJ and Ben Trujillo, just won Best Comic Store of St. Louis! Congratulations!

More details at

News of Steve Dillon in Frederick!

Steve gave an interview to the Maryland Gazette before tonight's appearance at Beyond Comics.

Have fun tonight, fellas!

Notes from the Dillon tour part 3

Stop 3 in the 2008 Steve Dillon tour was Captain Blue Hen comics! Steve gives his report:

The signing at Captain Blue Hen went really well. Joe and his crew had raised a rake of dosh ( that's English for 'loads of money' ) for Hero before I'd even uncapped a Sharpie. There was a really good crowd and, once again, my drawing arm was given a good workout with a few people going round for a second time. We finally finished up at around 9-30 and retired for beer, food and conversation about strange movies. It's been great to be able to meet the fans and chat with them in a relaxed environment at all the stores I've been to so far. Conventions just don't have the same feel. Getting to talk to the people at the sharp end ( i.e. the retailers and their staff ) has been a great bonus for me on this tour as, without their efforts, there'd be no market for the stuff that guys like me are doing.

Congratulations to Joe Murray and everyone at Captain Blue Hen for the excellent fundraiser!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Notes from the Dillon tour part 2

Last night, Steve Dillon hit the second stop in his 2008 ComicsPRO/Hero Initiative Tour, and was hosted by George Stasky at his Philadelphia location Brave New Worlds. Steve reports:

Just to let you all know, last night's signing went well. My drawing arm was in constant use, as was the keg of beer. There's another few hundred for Hero's coffers and a good time was had. George got me home before sunrise but only because it was Tuesday.

Great work, fellas!

George had this to add:

The tour signing went very well and Steve was a real warrior. The man doesn't do sketches as you might be familiar with, these drawings are all sketched out in blue pencil and fully inked. Each was a beautiful work of art that took at least 15-20 minutes of his time. Frankly, if I had know the art was going to be so 'finished' we would have required a higher donation than $15 -- $25 would have not been unreasonable. Steve was extremely affable and worked tirelessly for over 5 hours (allowing for plenty of smoke and beverage breaks, of course). The turnout was lively for a Tuesday evening with folks streaming in and out all evening, at least 50 fans got to hang out and have a beer with Steve Dillon. Over $600 was raised for the fund and good time was had by all.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Notes from the Steve Dillon tour

Steve Dillon signed books at Main Street Comics last night, the first stop of his 2008 ComicsPRO/Hero Initiative Tour. Owner Pete Dolan gives us the report:

The fundraiser went well. We had a decent turnout, considering it was a Monday. We did about twice a normal Monday's business, and raised over $300 for Hero. We had a Chinese auction, which was a lot of fun, with over 40 prizes being offered. Two of the most sought after prizes were the complete original art from a 6 page Jughead story, and two pages of original art from Justice League Unlimited #39. Special thanks to inker Al Nickerson who donated the pages to the auction. Steve was a terrific guest, sharing anecdotes with fans and giving advice to aspiring artists. The event went into overtime, with Steve graciously continuing to sign books in order that everyone who showed up could be accomodated. Thumbs up to Steve, and thumbs up to all who attended!

Thanks to ComicsPRO and Hero for making this event happen.

Pete Dolan
Main Street Comics

Thank you, Pete, for being such a wonderful host and for kicking off Steve's tour!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Win Jeff Smith's ONLY 2009 store appearance!

Retailers, here is another great reason to be a ComicsPRO member:

You can WIN an exclusive Jeff Smith signing in your store!

ComicsPRO teams up with the CBLDF and Jeff Smith for this wonderful fundraiser--members will be able to outbid each other for Jeff Smith's only 2009 store appearance, and all of the proceeds will benefit the CBLDF!
ComicsPRO will host the bidding on its member forum. Bidding will open on October 5th and close on October 12th.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Steve Dillon Tour Updated! 9/22-10/1/2008

September 17, 2008


Contact: Amanda Emmert

Janine Bielski

ComicsPRO and Hero Initiative Detail Steve Dillon Store Tour Events

Acclaimed artist Steve Dillon (Preacher, Wolverine, Punisher) will be hosted by a number of ComicsPRO member stores from September 22–October 1, 2008. Dillon’s tour is done in conjunction with The Hero Initiative, and Hero benefit events will be featured at each stop. ComicsPRO is the trade association for comics specialty retailers, and The Hero Initiative is the charitable organization dedicated to helping comic creators in financial need.

The tour coincides with the artist’s visit to the United States for the Baltimore Comic-Con on September 27-28. Store stops include:

Monday, September 22nd 4PM-7PM
157 Dolson Ave
Middletown, NY
Event: Auction of variant covers, promo items and more

Tuesday, September 23rd 6PM-9PM
45 N. 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA
Event: Steve will do head sketches in paperbacks or hardcovers purchased on-site at Brave New Worlds for an additional $15 benefiting Hero.

Wednesday, September 24th 4PM-7PM
280 E Main Street Ste 101
Newark, DE
Event: Steve will do head sketches in paperbacks or hardcovers purchased on-site at Captain Blue Hen for an additional $15 benefiting Hero. In addition, both silent and live auction items will be offered by Captain Blue Hen, and “first in line” privileges will be auctioned off.

Thursday, September 25th 6PM-9PM
5632 Buckeystown Pike
Frederick, MD
Event: A pub night in honor of Steve will be held, with donated items offered by Beyond Comics as well.

Wednesday, October 1st 6PM-8PM
4 West 33rd St
New York, NY

Check with individual stores for specific details on their special events.

“I’m looking forward to a fun and productive trip, which helps out The Hero Initiative all at the same time.” said Steve Dillon. “A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”

“ComicsPRO is happy to welcome artist Steve Dillon into a number of our member stores, especially for such a good cause as The Hero Initiative,” said Joe Field, ComicsPRO president.
And be on the lookout: ComicsPRO and The Hero Initiative will be hosting another fundraising tour with Jimmy Palmiotti and Darwyn Cooke in the first quarter of 2009. Exact schedule to be announced.

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative has had the good fortune to grant over $300,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today. The Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. The Hero Initiative is online at

ComicsPRO is a non-profit organization, comprising more than 120 retailer members in the U.S. and abroad. The goals of ComicsPRO are for retailers to speak with a united voice on important industry issues, to mentor new retailers in an effort to grow the comics specialty market and to supply group benefits to dedicated retailers to save money on shared common costs. ComicsPRO is online at


Monday, September 15, 2008

Join ComicsPRO members Atom! and Portlyn as they celebrate their 2008 Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's always good to see you in Las Vegas.

We're still reeling from meeting so many fantastic retailers and many of the industry's hardest working publishers at the Diamond/Alliance Summit in Las Vegas, but seasoned comics reporter Matt Price already has a nice summary up at Newsarama!

Thank you, ComicsPRO volunteers, for your tireless efforts to reach out to fellow retailers at the show. Thanks to Diamond and all of the Sponsors for making the Summit a great place for retailers to get together and share ideas about improving our industry.

See you in Ft. Wayne!

"Working at the ComicsPRO booth is fun, right, Carr?" "You bet, Manda!"

Thanks for the picture, Daniel!