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

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bob Wayne honored with 2012 ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation Award

DALLAS — Bob Wayne, DC Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of Sales, was honored with the ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation Award in an afternoon ceremony.

The crowd of retailers, publishers and industry figures stood for an extended standing ovation as Wayne was named the recipient of the award, which is intended to honor those who help bring comic books to market.

“I would venture to say that no one in this room knows more about comics or the comics industry than Bob Wayne,” said ComicsPRO president Joe Field in his introduction of Wayne. Given that executives from most of the larger comics publishers and more than 100 comic retail operations were in the room, that’s a nice compliment.

“With his 25 years at DC Comics, now DC Entertainment, we’ve seen tremendous things happen, in large part because of what Bob Wayne’s been instrumental in making happen for us,” Field said.

The other nominees for the award were Cindy Fournier of Diamond; David Gabriel of Marvel; Robert Kirkman of Image and Eric Stephenson of Image.

The 2012 ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation Memorial Award was awarded to the late Phil Seuling, who founded the direct-market method of comic-book sales. Bill Schanes of Diamond Comics Distributors, a former customer of Seuling, accepted the award on his behalf. Julius Schwartz of DC Comics was the other nominee in this category.

Wayne was classy, funny and at times emotional in his acceptance of the award, which is voted on by the comic book retailers who are members of ComicsPRO, the national comics retail organization.

“I’d like to thank all of the members of ComicsPRO for your continued support,” Wayne said in accepting the award. “Many of you are friends, and, I think, extended family.”

Wayne graciously thanked his bosses and co-workers through his years at DC.

He recounted his years in the industry, including starting to sell comics in 1973 at comic-book conventions.

“Yes, I know that was before some of you were born,” he said. “There’s no need to come up later and point that out to me.”

Wayne opened a comic-book store in 1980, which he ran for seven years. He joined DC Comics in August of 1987.

“The people who placed bets 25 years ago as to how many weeks or months I’d last in corporate America … no one asked me for odds.”

In closing, Wayne gave recognition to a special family member.

“When you work in a comic shop, when you work in comics, you hear a lot of people say, ‘Oh, they still make comics? My mother threw mine out.’ And my mother did not throw mine out.”

- Matt Price