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

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

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Special edition Hello Kitty graphic novel coming to ComicsPRO member stores

ComicsPRO and VIZ Media have announced a that a special edition of an upcoming “Hello Kitty” graphic novel will be available exclusively through ComicsPRO member stores. The informal announcement, with more details to follow, was made at the ComicsPRO Annual Members Meeting in Atlanta, Ga. The special edition of “Hello Kitty: Fashion Music Wonderland” will be released late in 2013 and will likely carry an MSRP of $6.99 U.S., according to information provided by ComicsPRO. The graphic novel will be rated ‘A’ for All Ages, and will be published under the company’s VIZ Kids imprint. “ComicsPRO’s Board of Directors is pleased to be working with VIZ Media on this member-exclusive release of HELLO KITTY: FASHION IN WONDERLAND. A strong and marketable product like HELLO KITTY belongs in the industry’s most progressive retail outlets,” said ComicsPRO President Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics in Concord Calif. “Our goal is that this will encourage consumers to seek out ComicsPRO member stores for HELLO KITTY graphic novels while also inspiring more direct market retailers to join ComicsPRO.” Earlier this month, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media) announced a new publishing deal with Sanrio, Inc., the global lifestyle brand and parent company of pop icon Hello Kitty®, to develop a series of original graphic novels starring Hello Kitty. - Matt Price

ComicsPRO sets 24-Hour Comics Day for first Saturday in October

ComicsPRO has announced the date for the 2013 24-Hour Comics Day. Starting in 2013, and going forward, 24-Hour Comics Day will be the first Saturday in October. In 2013, the 10th annual 24-Hour Comics Day will be held on Oct. 5. The announcement was made at the ComicsPRO Annual Members Meeting, held this year in Atlanta, Ga. “The 24-Hour Comics Day committee has decided to make 24-Hour Comics Day the first Saturday of October every year, based on feedback from participants,” said ComicsPRO director executive director Amanda Emmert. 24-Hour Comics Day is an annual challenge for cartoonists to produce a 24-page comic book written, drawn, and completed in 24 consecutive hours. ComicsPRO, the comic book specialty retailer trade group, organizes the day. ComicsPRO invites comic book artists, whether professional or amateur, young or old, to check out a local venue or try the challenge on their own. Host sites should register at, and those who wish to participate can go to and look for events nearby as the event nears. - Matt Price