The annual meeting for the retailer organization ComicsPRO wrapped up over the weekend. The meeting is closed to the press but retailer/newspaper columnist Matt Price has an informative series of posts on the event, which consists of meetings and publisher presentations. It was a transitional year for ComicsPRO following a scandal involving former treasurer Gary Dills, who resigned and saw one of his stores closed. But the organization seems to have rebounded in the midst of the general comics renaissance that is taking place.
According to Price, publishers acknowledged the seismic shift going on in the comics reading demographic:
The watchword for a lot of the ComicsPRO annual members meeting was “diversity,” as both publishers and retailers realized the demographics of their audience are shifting. There were a lot of newsbits and notes coming out of the meeting, but there didn’t seem to be many strong areas of dissension — publishers announced ways to work with retailers to mitigate risk and to let them know what content would be of most interest to which audiences.
New board members were also selected. Pete Dolan of Main Street Comics in Middletown, N.Y. was elected as president, replacing Thomas Gaul. Other board members include VP Carr D’Angelo of Earth 2 Comics; recording secretary, Chris Brady of Four Color Fantasies; and treasurer, Ralph Mathieu of Alternate Reality Comics. Brady and Jayme Foster of Southern Fried Comics in Hattiesburg, Miss., were elected to the board, joining the above plus Chicago Comics’ Eric Kirsammer.
The annual Industry appreciation awards were presented. Bill Schanes, formerly of Pacific Comics and Diamond and now an industry consultant, was selected as the living winner; hall of fame artist and educator Joe Kubert was selected posthumously.
In other news, the event included perhaps the last chance to fete outgoing sales guru Bob Wayne, whos, as we’ve noted many times before, is the most popular human on earth among comics retailers.
Archie unveiled the above comicsPRO exclusive cover to The Black Hood #1 (on sale this week) by Michael Gaydos.
— Calum Johnston (@comxguy) February 20, 2015
Many more photos from the events from the twitter feed of Strange Adventure’s Calum Jonston
However undoubtedly the greatest optics of the event was the Fight Cub 2 severed arm giveaway, to promote theupcoming book by Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart. So many uses.
— Scott Allie (@ScottAllie) February 21, 2015
And some more random tweeting about the event.
Just want to make it clear that you check the timestamp on that last RT, you'll see I was still at the #comicspro party.
— Steve Lieber (@steve_lieber) February 22, 2015
Got a lot of serious wisdom from the nation's comics retailers this week, wish #ComicsPro could come to Portland more!
— Parker (@jeffparker) February 22, 2015
— Pander Brothers (@PanderBros) February 22, 2015
My #ComicsPRO experience was great, though to be fair it mostly consisted of eating stupid amounts of meat.
— Brendan H. Wright (@BrendanHWrong) February 22, 2015