by Zachary Clemente


Not only is Image ramping up to their 4th (count ’em!) announcement fest in January, but they’ve also doubled the programming, adding a second day to the extravaganza for retailers. At the last Image Expo the day before San Diego Comic-Con, Publisher Eric Stephenson delivered a rousing opening speech about the changing world of comics publishing. While specifically knocking on the doors of *cough cough* other publishers, this speech – coupled with his previous one at ComicsPRO (detailed by the good folks at Multiversity) – resonated with retailers, leaving many with questions about Image’s rapidly growing catalog, the cost of shelving new issues, and return policies. Image began addressing these concerns with changing their returnable rules and finding new ways to aid in-store promotion and the inclusion of the Image Expo Retailer Summit will only further Image’s relationship with retailers. More info below.

Image Comics is proud to announce the expansion of programming and events for retailers at IMAGE EXPO 2015, with the addition of the first ever IMAGE EXPO Retailer Summit. Image Comics invites our retail partners to an exclusive and intimate gathering that will begin on January 8th with IMAGE EXPO, and continue for retailers on January 9th with IMAGE EXPO Retailer Summit.

The goal of this summit is not only to provide attending retailers with unprecedented access to creators, publisher staff, service providers and exclusive information about upcoming releases, but also to integrate and involve retailers directly into the summit itself.

IMAGE EXPO Retailer Summit to include the following programming:

IMAGE EXPO Retailer Summit Kick Off

During this presentation, Image Comics will review current and future retail focused programs, incentives, and sales tools. Both retailers and creators will be privy to retailer specific announcements and information not otherwise available during the IMAGE EXPO.

Retailer Panel

This panel will be comprised of featured retailers who will lead a discussion on industry practices, concerns, and objectives. The goal of this discussion will be to examine and explore successful techniques/approaches in order to build and strengthen the Direct Market’s presence within the comic book industry at large, benefitting all retailers in attendance.

Creator Panel, Creator/Retailer Q&A

Image Comics creators will be on hand to discuss industry practices, concerns, and objectives from a creator’s perspective. Afterwards retailers will be welcomed to participate in a Q&A session with creators.

Image Comics/Diamond Talk-Back

Representatives from Image Comics and Diamond Comics Distributors will address attending retailers regarding future projects and endeavors. After which, the floor will open to all attendees in a collective talk-back.

I’m actually a little jealous that this isn’t something I would be able to attend – I feel that the Image/Diamond discussion is a rather important one and I’d love to hear how it shakes out. Top image by Delcan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire from their upcoming Image title Injection, announced at the last Image Expo in July.

More info on the Image Expo 2015 Retailer Summit here.


  1. I know this sounds like a dumb question…. but do you need to be a retailer to attend the Retailer Summit? The event is usually held on the East coast, isn’t it?

    I’d like to rub elbows with the best retailers and I’ll have advanced copies of my book that I’d like to hand out to retailers / distributors.

  2. Not sure Jimmie, I think the best course would be to email Corey Murphey, coreymurphy (at) imagecomics (dot) com, to see if that’s cool. It sounds like a worthwhile endeavor!

  3. Corey is a she :)

    Image Expo was a 3-Day consumer show in Oakland in ’12, a one-day mostly-presentation format in SF in ’13, what sounded like a half-day thing at San Diego CCI in ’14 (I didn’t go to that one), and this is their first 2-day show, with one day being retailer-driven this year. Retailers had *programming* in ’13, but not a full-on summit. It was never on the East Coast.

    I think it is *incredibly* smart to have a retailer-day. Great great move on their part.


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