The ComicsPRO meeting has wrapped up, but not without presenting its two Industry Appreciation awards. Marvel’s svp of sales and marketing David Gabriel won one and MAD/EC founder Bill Gaines won the second. Two awards are presented annually, one to a living and one posthumously.
Gabriel released a statement as follows:
I am honored to be placed alongside previous recipients as Stan Lee, Bob Wayne, and Paul Levitz by the ComicsPRO selection committee. I was saddened that after all these years of being nominated, I wasn’t able to attend this year’s session and speak with all the retailers personally especially in a year of such outstanding growth for us and the industry,” says Gabriel. “Suffice it to say ComicsPRO offers us the ability to meet with retailers, hear what they have to say and figure out the best ways to work with them so that we all reach the same measures of success. We’re always open to dialogue with retailers, both direct or through our connections with ComicsPRO.
“Many thanks to the members of ComicsPRO and the retailer community for this award. I look forward to many more years of partnership in the future, and look toward the continued success of the Direct Market for many years to come!”
Some people expressed surprise that Gabriel, who has had a tempestuous relationship with retailers in the past, would win the award, but a) that was a long time ago and b) no one understand the DM better than Gabriel.
ComicsPRO normally holds its annual election at the meeting but I haven’t heard about any changes at the top yet. I’ll pass them along when I do.
Of course, the big moment was the four hour DC town hall where they announced more details of Rebirth. I’m told that it was basically a long Q&A with Dan DiDio, Jim Lee and Jim Sokolowski taking on all questions; which given the schism between DC and retailers that seemed to rise following the move west, was a necessary step. Some retailers I’ve spoken with are skeptical still; others are more hopeful. Our own Brandon Schatz, who was not at the meeting, has his own feelings here in case you missed it.
Gail Simone delivered the keynote, and the topic was getting more women and girls into comics.
A few more reactions etc.
— Alexander Finbow (@alexanderfinbow) February 21, 2016
— Filip Sablik (@FilipSablik) February 21, 2016
— BCW Supplies (@BCWSupplies) February 21, 2016
I spent a LOT of time talking to retailers at @comicspro and it was honestly, genuinely inspiring. TONS of helpful info on what we do.
— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) February 22, 2016
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.