Several organizations of comics retailers have emerged over the years, from ERCBRA, to COBRA to the DLG and several others we can’t remember. The latest attempt is ComcisPRO, and it seems one of the more serious efforts. Certainly with the comics pamphlet and the 25-year-old direct sales market model under increasing pressure from the evolution of the bookstore, the time is now for like-minded intelligent retailers to band together. DC has made that a little easier by ponying up some seed money:
Comics Professional Retail Organization (ComicsPRO), the only trade group specifically dedicated to the progress of comic book specialty retailers, is announcing that DC Comics has become its first ‘Angel’, with the publisher providing a $5000 kick-start to the efforts of the organization.
In providing the funding, DC Comics President and Publisher Paul Levitz said “Nothing has been more rewarding at our RRP meetings than watching the collaboration between our retailers. ComicsPRO represents a step towards creating a permanent, ongoing forum for communication and cooperation that’s good for the field.”
ComicsPRO board member Chris Powell of Lone Star Comics in Dallas TX added “The team at DC Comics have long been among the first to show support for organizations and initiatives that they see as an aid to the comics industry. It’s gratifying to see this is still the case – support like theirs will help ComicsPRO members and the industry as a whole. Together, we can build better and stronger stores positioned to capitalize on comics’ popularity and wide appeal for years to come.”
“It’s no surprise DC Comics is our first ‘Angel’,” said ComicsPRO President Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff in Concord CA. “This stipend is yet another indicator that the management at DC Comics shares the goal of an ever-expanding and healthy comics’ specialty market. ComicsPRO will use this money wisely to further our mission.”
The goals of ComicsPRO are for direct market specialty retailers to speak with a single, strong voice on important industry issues, to provide educational and mentoring support to current and future retailers, and to offer opportunities to reduce some of the fixed costs that all comics’ specialty retailers incur.
In its first full year of operation, ComicsPRO has grown to more than 80 member retailers comprising nearly 120 storefront locations. ComicsPRO offers members a menu of benefits, including preferential rates on credit card processing from Chase Paymentech, savings on health insurance from Assurant Health, discounts on ComTrac and MOBY comic inventory software, and discounts on business forms from Legal Zoom.com. More member benefits are always being explored for ComicsPRO retailers.
More information can be found at http://ComicsPRO.org.