The first day of full-on New York Comic-Con activities began bright and early with a media presentation at the offices of comiXology. I’ll have details on all that over at Publishers Weekly, but it was an impressive presentation, with David Steinberger, John Roberts, and new CTO Jeff DiBartolomeo all talking about their various areas of expertise. The company has just expanded to a second floor of a midtown office building, and shows no signs yet of slowing down. The most interesting part was a presentation on their customer demographics, but once again check out PW for details.
After that, The Beat and fellow journo Brigid Alverson trekked over to the Javits for the ICv2 Conference. There we met Sterling Steve Morris for the first time! And got to witness Steve and Torsten talking shop. What a day to remember.
Milton Griepp presented his annual white paper on comics numbers and trends. Calvin Reid will have the breakdown over at PW, but the basic message was nothing too surprising….overall numbers are up to pre-market crash (2009) sales—he noted that the comics boom was more due to the end of Borders and its own internal factors and not the big recession.
However, it’s great guns now, and even manga is showing signs of improvement, with Kodansha’s raw-looking ATTACK ON TITAN a surprise sales hit.
Panelists chewed over Kickstarter, digital, and whether we’ve reached “peak geek.” There was nothing too revelatory but much general reinforcement of the idea that comics are reaching a more diverse audience by having so many more channels for distribution, even as huge media hits like THE AVENGERS and The Walking Dead do give comics sales the occasional boost. Still, there are some glaring omissions. Midtown’s Gerry Gladston recounted asking Skybound’s Shawn Kirkham why The Walking Dead TV show doesn’t run ads for the comics. “He explained all the reasons it couldn’t happen, but it’s still a missed opportunity,” said Gladston.
After that it was a VERY brief walk around the show floor for The Beat, still being set up, before racing off to some social events. We ran into an excited ReedPOP employee who told us they’ve been running drills on the whole “tap in and out” process and it’s going to work. Attendees are a bit anxious about all this, but I think it may surprise people.
Here are a few pics and commentary.
Milton Griepp in action.
A good year!
Greipp, Steve Rotterdam and Rob Salkowitz discuss the marketing of the geek.
A quick jaunt around the floor.
The DC booth in assembly…
…and ready to roll. Respite all the controversy, this is actually a great use of this space and a good way to keep foot traffic moving around.
Just in case you missed it, there will be different entrances with different kinds of people. This is where
the total jerkspress, pros, and other special badges will enter. Pray for us all.
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.