The 2014 ComicsPRO meeting wrapped up on Saturday and retailer/reporter Matt Price has, as always, a fine recap of what went on. Among the doings, Image publisher ERic Stephenson won the Industry Appreciation Award, which is a leetle ironic since most of the industry definitely DID NOT appreciate much of what he said in his speech . But he’s a mover and a shaker and sometimes you can’t move things without shaking them up. Julius Schwartz won the memorial appreciation award, given for “indelible mark on the profession of comic book specialty retailing.”

In a statement Stephenson said “I’m honored to be the recipient of this year’s Industry Appreciation Award,” said Stephenson. “The retailers who make up ComicsPRO are among the industry’s very best and I think they do some very important work on behalf of comics and the Direct Market, so as awards go, I think it’s really cool.
“I also think that even though it’s my name on the award, it’s actually more of a testament to how far Image has come over the last few years, and that couldn’t have happened without the hard work and dedication of all the talented men and women at Image Comics. Jessica Ambriz, Emilio Bautista, Branwyn Bigglestone, David Brothers, Jonathan Chan, Jennifer de Guzman, Addison Duke, Monica Garcia, Drew Gill, Emily Miller, Patricia Ramos, Ron Richards, Kat Salazar, Jenna Savage, Tyler Shainline, Jeremy Sullivan, and Meredith Wallace don’t get enough credit for the incredible support they provide to all the creators Image works with, but I absolutely would not be able to do what I do without them.”

Reading Price’s report, this sounds like a strong meeting, with publishers like Papercutz and First Second showcasing work that is far outside the superhero mindset. Synamite, IDW and Dark Horse also announced projects like a 20th anniversary Hellboy initiative, IDW’s “Super Secret Crisis War!” cartoon crossover and Dynamite’s Queen Blood book. Diversity continues.

Photo by Matt Price.