Tag Archives: comicspro

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DC Primal 100-Page Comic Giant

The weekend is almost here! Who’s spending it watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on repeat? Sound off in the comments! While you wait for the work day to end and the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Newsarama – IDW CEO Steps Down After ‘Challenging’ 7 Months On the Job – So much drama for this company.

The Beat – Bob Wayne: Comics need diversity and retailers need to nurture change – Yes it does and yes they do.

The Beat – Retailer Brian Hibbs has a 10-point plan for the comics industry – Thoughts on this?

ComicBook – New ‘Walking Dead’ Spinoff Being Developed by AMC – Not too surprising.

Deadline – ‘Jesusfreak’ Preview: Graphic Novel Depicts Christ As A Stone-Cold Killer – This looks cool!

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: November Garcia on Growing up Catholic in the Philippines in the 80’s – Free comics people!

Reviews

CBR – Buffy the Vampire Slayer #2
Comics Bulletin –
DC Primal Age 100-Page Giant

Around the Tubes

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d everyone get? What’d you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

CBR – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Gets Limited Theatrical Re-Release – It’s still in theaters… so weird.

Comicbook – ‘Suicide Squad 2’: Will Smith Exits James Gunn’s DC Comics Movie – This is not too surprising.

ICv2 – New Board Members, Officers Elected at ComicsPRO – Congrats to all!

The Comichron – He-Man, Incredible Hulk #181 Facsimile lead mid-February reorders – Now, this is a bit unexpected.

ComicsPro 2019: DC is Expanding their 100-Page Walmart Line Into Comic Shops (Update)

DC Logo

This year’s ComicsPro seems to have been filled with positive news and not the doom and gloom as expected. Yesterday, we brought you the news of the non-story over DC cutting their line of comics by 10-15%. It’s a non-story since it already happened and nobody really noticed anything strange. Buried in that though was some of the shifts that DC is focusing on, like their YA lines, and expansion of what’s working.

In talking to comic shop owners, DC’s Dan DiDio explained their 100-page comic program at Walmart, which mixed new and old material for $5, is a success. DC is looking to have the comics available to the direct market later this year after they add more material to the titles.

As DiDio said, these comics are standalone stories which are entry points into the DC Comics line, something everyone has been asking for.

One complaint from comic fans is that not every area has Walmarts forcing fans to pay higher prices from scalpers. This will resolve that by making them available to comic shops and thus their customers.

DC has already expanded the concept into Target with their DC Primal one-shot which was at a higher price point and all original stories.

Update: Dan DiDio is slamming the hyperbolic misinformation (again).

Successful and continuing. For those fans of the DC Giants at Walmart, have to clear up some misinformation making the rounds. Just want to let you know these books are doing well, so well that we are looking to expand the number of original pages in each book and include distribution to the direct market. Look for these and new titles later this year. The promise is to keep it one of the best values and reading experiences in the market. Best, DD

ComicsPro 2019: DC’s Demise is Greatly Exaggerated and Just Wrong

If you read some blog reports coming out of ComicsPro, DC Comics is slashing their line with one clickbait site claiming “RIP DC” and another falsely claiming DC would cut their line to just 20 titles! We’re not linking to them because we don’t support clickbait. Instead of spin and lies, we talked to individuals at ComicsPro about what was said to bring the straight honest truth.

In his presentation for DC, Dan DiDio addressed the rumors that they’d be cutting their line. Multiple attendees felt DiDio did so to address the ridiculous rumor their line would be cut to 22 titles. Instead he estimated it’d be about 10-15% of the line. With between 50-60 comics released a month and 30-50 graphic novels, that comes out to 5-9 fewer comics a month and 3 and 8 fewer graphic novels. So maybe 20 fewer graphic novel and comics total, not 20 comics totally published. As usual, comic rumors have turned into a horrible game of telephone so sites can claim first!

The titles being cut? The lower selling comics. They’ll be replaced with new titles which will hopefully sell more. In other words, business as usual. In the end, DC will be producing around the same amount of product they usually do.

From those we talked to, it was also emphasized this cut wasn’t presented as due to struggling or necessary but instead as a way to shift talent and resources to growing categories, something retailers have asked for. An example would be DC’s upcoming young readers lines DC Ink and DC Zoom. Young readers continue to be an explosive category which has seen increased sales. It also helps build the next generation of readers and fans. It’s a move that’s well received by our sources.

There’s hundreds of comics released every week and impossible for retailers to support them all from every company. The goal it seems isn’t fewer comics but to focus on quality and talent and not spread resources too thin.

In fact, DC said they’d be attempting to expand their successful program with Walmart providing the same material to the direct market once more original material was included. Again, an expansion of what’s working.

But, what was interesting and the biggest concern was the break in trust at ComicsPro. An article, with false exaggerated claims, was posted by a clickbait site while DiDio was still talking. As said by multiple attendees ComicsPro is closed so that publishers and retailers can be honest and exchange ideas and concerns. The article was posted without “context” and before DiDio was done talking, angering retailers in the room towards those that broke the trust of the event. As emphasized to me, the ComicsPro meeting is “extremely important for the health of the industry” and the spin and outright incorrect information erodes that trust.

Yes, cuts to the line were mentioned by DC in their presentation but other publishers mentioned the same thing without the hyperbolic coverage (if coverage at all). As an example, BOOM! Studios in their presentation said they’d continue to cut their line, exactly as they did the year before. 15% to be exact. But, where’s the stories about the sky falling for them? They don’t exist because it doesn’t get clicks.

The story coming out of ComicsPro isn’t that the industry is crumbling. The tone, especially after Diamond’s report of explosive gains in January, is rather positive. Instead, the story seems to be that we should expect not just better comics but better and more responsible reporting as well.

Update: It’s such non-news the cut already happened and no one really noticed beyond every month comics are cancelled.

ComicsPro 2019: AfterShock Partners with Comic Retailers as “Agents of Change”

AfterShock

As a Premier Sponsor of the 13th Annual ComicsPRO MeetingAfterShock Comics unveiled a robust and fully-funded program of relevant, tangible and targeted support for retailer efforts to meet the challenges of what most consider to be an uncertain time in the comic retail channel, commonly known as the direct market.

While “reports of the direct market’s death are greatly exaggerated,” the publisher realized there are deep reasons for concerns over the influence a few publishers can have on retailers.

AfterShock’s recently launched “Read Dangerously” campaign will see the rallying cry extend beyond the publisher’s back covers via fresh creative executions that showcase new and established titles throughout 2019. Paid online advertising on comics news and genre-specific enthusiast sites, along with targeted print advertising, are part of the plan. AfterShock’s will expand their paid sponsorships of half a dozen other authoritative and professionally produced podcasts – and will include shoutouts to specific stores whose ordering activity warrants such support.

In fact, store customization, ranging from dedicated AfterShock sections to targeted messaging, is a key component of AfterShock’s strategic plan. Geo-targeted Facebook advertising, store IDs and links featured as part of “on sale” social media postings, customized digital assets furnished directly to retail partners, and paid, store-specific print advertising in local weekly and daily newspapers have been announced.

While the majority of the planned marketing activity will be in full swing by the beginning of the second quarter, March will see the launch of a dramatically enhanced website, debut of a new “Rumblings from AfterShock” consumer newsletter and the institution of a “Shock Clock” SMS program that invites fans to opt-in to receive weekly reminders of AfterShock titles hitting stores that week – something that AfterShock will make store-specific with increased orders.

All of this activity is in addition to the publisher’s ongoing first issue returnability program, 1:10 incentive cover initiative and publicity campaigns.

But perhaps the most significant new initiative announced as part of AfterShock’s ongoing commitment to the direct market is the dramatic expansion of the publisher’s long established and highly visible “store visit” program. Since the program began almost two years ago, members of AfterShock’s editorial and marketing teams – most notably Publisher Joe Pruett and newly appointed Director, Retailer Relations Lisa Y. Wu – have visited close to 300 stores across North America with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of the ongoing challenges navigated by our retail partners on a daily basis, as well as promoting opportunities available through support of AfterShock titles.  

These efforts will be multiplied by a factor of 30, as recruitment begins for members of a new AfterShock Army – highly trained and knowledgeable comics enthusiasts and service-oriented representatives each based in one of 15 territories into which AfterShock has divided North America. Designed to enable AfterShock to visit and keep in touch with more stores in more places and more frequently, the program will be spearhead by Ms. Wu. Recruitment ads will begin appearing online, in social media and in AfterShock titles.

AfterShock is set to surpass the 100 title mark over the next 24 months.

Representing AfterShock at the ComicsPro Meeting are Pruett, Rotterdam and AfterShock CEO Jon Kramer.

Around the Tubes

As lots of folks were on their way and preparing for ComicsPro, it was a pretty quiet day yesterday as far as comic news. Check out some of what stood out as you get ready for the weekend.

The Beat – ComicsPRO: Nancy Spears is heading up DC’s sales and more – Some changes but not the earth shattering news some expected.

CBR – Captain Marvel Advance Ticket Sales Surpass Wonder Woman & Aquaman – This is a good sign and not really surprising at all.

ComicBook – ‘The Walking Dead’s Michael Cudlitz Shuts Down James Woods Over Sexist “All-Chick Zombie Series” Remark – Go Cudlitz!

Captain Marvel movie poster

Valiant Heads to ComicsPRO 2019 for a Toyo Harada Wake

Valiant Entertainment is heading to the 13th Annual ComicsPRO meeting taking place February 21-23 in Charlotte, NC with a bunch of cool freebies and an unforgettable celebration of the world’s most powerful man.

Valiant will host an hourlong reception for ComicsPRO attendees to celebrate the life of Toyo Harada from 7:30-8:30 pm on Friday, February 22nd. Guests will receive a Valiant tie and in memoriam cards and have a chance to sign the late Mr. Harada’s guest book. Funeral attire is encouraged but not required. It’s what the late and great Mr. Harada would want, after all. He may be gone, but his memory lives on in The Life and Death of Toyo Harada #1 by Joshua Dysart and CAFU, on sale March 13th.

ComicsPRO attendees will also receive “Welcome Bags” from Valiant and even more retailer-exclusive goodies during roundtable chats with Valiant staff. Want to relieve some stress? Squeeze a chunk of New Japan with the Fallen World stress ball, based on the upcoming series by Dan Abnett and Adam Pollina debuting on May 1st. Need to jot down some important secrets? Use the Fallen World pen! And after a long day, unwind with the Fallen World shot glass.

Show the world you rock by sporting a Punk Mambo pin, based on the gritty new series debuting April 24th by Cullen Bunn and Adam Gorham. Or use the Punk Mambo pink highlighter to brighten your scribbles on The Forgotten Queen sticky notes, based on the phenomenal new series by Tini Howard and Amilcar Pinna coming out on February 27th. There may or may not be some other fun items. (Spoiler: There are.)

While these items are for attending ComicsPRO retailers only, fans who wish to obtain any of these cool collectibles should check if their local comic shop is a member of ComicsPRO and planning to attend the annual meeting.

Inaugural ComicPro “Nuts and Bolts” Conference to be Held in Baltimore

ComicsPRO, the comics specialty retailer trade association, has announced that registration is now open for the Comic Industry One-Day Conference. Being held on September 27th, 2018 at the Baltimore Convention Center, this conference will feature a series of 1-hour presentations to help retailers improve their businesses.

This year’s presentations will be announced in the next two weeks.

They may include:

  • Working with schools
  • Free Comic Book Day
  • Local Comic Shop Day
  • Social media class
  • Working with universities and libraries
  • Human resources
  • Diversifying product mix
  • Building a kids section and customer base
  • How to profitably sell back issues

Every retailer attending the Comic Industry One Day Conference will be presented with a gift bag that will include a copy of the 2018 Baltimore Comic-Con VIP Yearbook (Strangers in Paradise) and various other giveaways from Diamond and major publishers. Attending retailers will also receive free attendance to the Baltimore Comic-Con.

ComicsPRO 2018: Valiant and Voodoo Doughnut Unveil Exclusive Collaboration in Celebration of Shadowman #1 – In Stores March 28th!

Valiant Entertainment is collaborating with the world-famous Voodoo Doughnut in honor of Shadowman – Valiant’s voodoo-powered hero, returning to comic shops worldwide on March 28th in Shadowman (2018) #1 – that will be made available exclusively to retailers attending the ComicsPRO 2018 Annual Membership Meeting in Portland, Oregon.

Custom designed by Voodoo’s renowned team of sugar-inspired artisans, attending retailers will have their choice of two exclusive Shadowman specialties, each adorned with a hand-piped rendition of the character’s iconic mask – chocolate on a vanilla frosted doughnut filled with chocolate Bavarian cream, or vanilla on a chocolate frosted doughnut filled with raspberry jelly – during Valiant’s annual ComicsPRO presentation on Friday, February 23rd.

 

 

 

ComicsPRO Industry Awards Nominees Announced

ComicsPRO has announces the nomineed for its annual Comic Industry Awards. The awards honor those people who are or have been the best at what they do, making a significant difference in the business of the comic-book specialty market. ComicsPro is the trade association for comics specialty retailers. A non-profit trade association, the organization is dedicated to the health and progress of direct market comic book retailers. ComicsPRO allows retailers to speak with a unified voice on important industry issues, provides educational and mentoring opportunities to current and future retailers, and provides ways for members to reduce the fixed costs they all incur.

There are two categories for the ComicsPRO Awards, the Industry Appreciation Award for active professionals in the industry and the Memorial Award to recognize giants of the comics business who are no longer with us.

The 2018 ComicsPRO Industry Award nominees are:

Industry Appreciation Award

  • Raina Telgemeier – Her blockbuster best-selling graphic novels, including Smile, Sisters, Drama, and Ghosts are leading the way in exciting and igniting new and younger comics readers.
  • Gene Luen Yang – The first graphic novelist to be named The Library of Congress’ Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene is also a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant and is the creative force of many graphic novels including American Born Chinese and the Secret Coders series, as well as the co-creator of DC Comics’ New Super-Man.
  • DC Comics Retail Support Team – The DC Comics Retail Support Team work tirelessly to give comics retailers the information and tools to build their DC business.
  • Adam Freeman – As Director of Sales at Valiant Entertainment, Adam has been instrumental in helping spread the word to retailers and the public about the Valiant Universe. Freeman is a former retailer and has worked for various other publishers in his career

Memorial Award

  • Steve Dillon (Deadline, Preacher, Punisher)
  • Len Wein (Writer/editor, co-creator Wolverine, Swamp Thing)
  • Carl Barks (Scrooge McDuck creator, the “Good Duck Artist”)
  • Bernie Wrightson (Frankenstein, co-creator Swamp Thing, seminal horror artist)

ComicsPRO members will vote on the nominees with the results announced at the 2018 ComicsPRO Comic Industry Conference in Portland OR February 22-24.

At the annual meeting, the ComicsPRO Board Of Directors will also posthumously present the first ever ComicsPRO Unsung Hero Award to Diamond’s Outside Sales Manager Dave Hawskworth. Hawksworth’s career spanned 30 years, initially working at Capital City Distribution’s Columbus OH warehouse, before transitioning to Diamond Comic Distributors outside sales manager position when Diamond bought Capital City in 1996. Dave passed away unexpectedly on January 9, 2018. ComicsPRO is honored to have Dave’s wife Patti attend the Portland event to accept the award.

The ComicsPRO Unsung Hero Award will be given at the discretion of the ComicsPRO Board of Directors to those in the comics industry the Board deems worthy of special recognition beyond mere praise as a result of their tireless efforts to improve the comics industry.

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