Industry veteran Rich Johnson has joined Diamond Book Distributors Vice President, Sales and Business Development. Johnson is one of the key figures in the story of getting graphic novels accepted in bookstores, and brings decades of experience to the role at Diamond’s book distribution arm.

His new position will involve working with sales and marketing to manage business development efforts including evaluating new business opportunities and working to expand the distribution network for DBD publishers.

“As a constant advocate and catalyst for graphic novels in the book trade, few have done more than Rich Johnson to introduce the comic arts to American readers of every age,” said DBD president Tony Lukus in a statement. “I’m delighted to welcome Rich to the Diamond Book team where he’ll work with our publishers to drive sales and help find new ways to bring their innovative books to an evolving marketplace.”

Most recently, Johnson served as President and Founder of Brick Road Media, a publishing consultancy firm, but he also worked at Lion Forge as vp Sales, Marketing & Business Development; was Co-Founder and Co-Publishing Director for Yen Press / Hachette Book Group; and as vp of Book Trade Sales at DC Comics oversaw some of their most successful bookstore ventures. . He has taught at Drexel University and  is currently an Adjunct Professor at Pace University in their Masters Publishing Program.

In his own statement, Johnson said, “I have worked with Diamond in various capacities over the years and I am looking forward to joining this amazing group of book and comic professionals in a more official capacity. I feel like I’m joining long-standing friends on a new adventure.”

DBD is currently the bookstore distributor for Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Valiant Entertainment, Gemstone Publishing, Paizo Publishing, and others

Johnson is also a friend and colleague and former Beat contributor, having written many informative stories about various aspects of the comics publishing business. He’s also the author of Spider-Man: Web-Slinger, Hero, Icon, published by Rizzoli.