ComicsPRO, the trade organization for comic book specialty retailers, is holding its first ever virtual Open House today October 14, starting at noon PDT. Topics will include presenting the ComicsPRO Champion awards — saluting those who helped us survive the pandemic — and a session on metadata which sounds long but…well, it’s an important topic.

The event is open to all. Info on how to register is below.

“Our Open House has three goals,” said Marco Davanzo, Executive Director of ComicsPRO. “First, we want to present our yearly Industry Awards and honor those individuals and organizations that helped keep the industry afloat during the Covid-19 shutdowns. Second, we want to inform current and future membership and the public, about our plans for 2022. Finally, we want to jumpstart an industry conversation about recent data issues, including basic standards and fragmentation.”

The morning session for the ComicsPRO Online Open House will feature lectures and Industry Awards. The afternoon session be an industrywide data discussion. The schedule is posted at

ComicsPRO will be awarding seven ComicsPRO Champion Awards to those going above and beyond in 2020 at the start of Covid-19. The recipients of the ComicsPRO Champion Awards are:

• Creators 4 Comics. (Sam Humphries, Gwenda Bond, Kami Garcia , Marieke Nijkamp, Constance Eza) – C4C Led the way for raising money for BINC in April 2020. Raised $400,000+ for comic stores, in less than a week.

• David Steward II – (Oni, Lion Forge) – His $100,000 contribution in 2019 created the Forge Fund (a restricted fund within BINC) with the purpose of helping comic shop employees. He was the first to set up a fund within BINC to specifically target comic book specialty stores.

• Jim Lee – Donated his time and sketched 60 sketches that raised $643,000 for direct market stores. This was on top of the $250,000 donated by DC Comics to BINC when the restricted fund transitioned from the Forge Fund to the Comicbook United Fund. Another $199,000 was generated by other artists’ sketches.

• David Gabriel – David Gabriel spearheaded the pandemic efforts at Marvel Comics including a credit to direct market retailers for two weeks, which gave retailers flexibility to pay other bills.

• Steve Geppi – During the shutdowns, Steve showed great leadership by limiting distribution to reorders only and providing Diamond-developed tools helping retailers to pivot to online and curbside sales without new inventory bills to pay.

• Image Leadership Team – Supplementing Image Comics returnability of comics, both Robert Kirkman and Todd McFarlane helped direct market stores by donating items for auctions and sending out free books.

• Bill Schanes – His Give Comics Hope effort raised money to help comic book stores. BINC was able to give out 302 grants with monies raised.

“ComicsPRO will also be recognizing more than 30 other individuals and organizations as the ComicsPRO Rising Tide,” added Davanzo. “These individuals and organizations helped lift the whole industry with their hard work in 2020.”

Additionally, ComicsPRO will be thanking the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC) for helping to funnel monies to Direct Market Stores (owners and employees). In 2020, BINC helped 2,200 individuals, families and stores with $3 million in emergency financial assistance.

The afternoon Data Discussion brings together comic retailers, publishers, distributors, data professionals, librarians, and book industry professionals to discuss recent data fragmentation in the comic industry. Discussion will also focus on data standards and data flows. For those interested in attending attend the data discussion, register here: