Z2 Comics has announced a new fulfillment facility in Denver, as well as the rollout of a direct sales program geared toward comic book specialty retailers and independent record stores. Joining the team to lead this program is comic book sales and marketing veteran Devin Funches.
Devin Funches most recently served as sales manager for the Oni Lion Forge Publishing Group for five years, establishing and positioning Lion Forge at retail to usher in tremendous growth across markets just before the companies merged. Prior to that, he spent six years at BOOM! Studios in sales and marketing and e-commerce positions. Devin brings with him a wealth of experience from the book trade, specialty, international, direct, digital, and institutional markets. Prior to a successful publishing career, he began his professional life at Acosta and Coca-Cola.
To support this program, and increased web sales, the company has also opened a fulfillment center in Denver, CO to be overseen by co-founder Sridhar Reddy. The warehouse team is led by Isaiah Kelley, with a fulltime staff to oversee the company’s shipping of orders to both retailers and consumers.
Starting today, in addition to Z2’s books being made available to retailers through Diamond Comic Distributors and Simon & Schuster, stores can order product direct from Z2 with competitive shipping rates, discount tiers based on volume, and returnability across all titles after only 60 days. Additionally, Z2 will offer non-returnable exclusive deluxe retail packages unique to stores that participate in this program with no minimum order per account. Participating stores will also have the first opportunity at hosting touring Z2 musicians, inclusive of signings, possible in-store performances, and more.
In the lead up to San Diego Comic-Con, Lion Forge has announced new panels and some amazing staffing changes. Geoff Gerber, formerly, Lion Forge’s lawyer, will take over as President with David Steward remaining as Founder/Publisher. The company will be located at Booth #2300, so stop by and check them out.
Here’s the rest of the team that’ll be forming like Voltron (and you should check out their Voltron: Legendary Defender #1 this week too):
Rich Johnson– V.P Sales, Marketing and Business Development
As Vice President Book Trade Sales for DC Comics, Johnson worked at DC for nearly a decade where he established the category of graphic novels within the bookstore and library markets where it exploded into a publishing and pop culture phenomenon. Johnson later moved to Hachette Book Group, serving as co-founder and Co-Publishing Director for Yen Press, and later launched Brick Road Media, LLC as a consulting firm for pop culture clients.
Syndee Barwick – Director of Marketing and Product Development
Syndee Barwick has over 25 years of writing, marketing, brand strategy and management experience in the entertainment industry. After working with award-winning artists in the music industry, Barwick worked with DC Comics/Warner Bros. for nearly 20 years as both Director, Marketing and Director, Product Management – DC Directspearheading DC’s super-successful in-house collectibles division.
Mark Smylie – Executive Editor
As founder of comic publisher Archaia, Smylie published the NY Times bestseller and Eisner- and Harvey-Award winning comic book Mouse Guard; the Eisner winner Return of the Dapper Men as well as Eisner nominees The Killer, Tumor, and Spera.
Joseph Phillip Illidge – Senior Editor
Joseph Phillip Illidge began his editorial career began at Milestone Media, Inc., the first Black-owned mainstream comic book company to have a co-publishing deal with DC Comics. He then moved to the DCU as an editor of the Batman line of comic books. He is is a writer, editor, columnist, and public speaker on the subjects of race, the medium and business of comics, and the corporate politics of diversity. In addition to his coverage by The New York Times, CNN Money, the BBC, and Publishers Weekly.
Devin Funches – Sales and Marketing Manager
Devin Funches has six years of professional comics experience. Formerly from BOOM! Studios where he oversaw and assisted in sales in a variety of channels including The Direct Market, The Book Trade, E-Commerce and convention circuit. He also assisted in marketing and did the strategic planning of their e-mail and customer service program.
Thursday, 7/21/16, 6:00p.m.-7:00p.m. Adapting Television to Comics — Writers from both TV and comics discuss the challenges and triumphs of translating hit TV shows to comic books. Whether it’s crucial differences in script timing or translating the legacy of fan favorite shows to a new medium and new audience, these pros have seen it all. Featuring Joelle Sellner (Saved by the Bell), Geoff Thorne (Knight Rider), Lesley Vamos (Punky Brewster), Mairghread Scott (Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs), and Jonathan London (Miami Vice). Room 29AB
Friday, 7/22/16, 5:30p.m.-6:30p.m. Comics from the Squared Circle — An insider’s look at the overlapping worlds of comics and professional wrestling, including a historical retrospective and predictions for the future of wrestling comics. Featuring Lucha Underground superstar Chavo Guerrero (Chavo Guerrero’s Warrior’s Creed), WWE hall-of-famer Andre the Giant’s daughter Robin Christensen-Roussimoff, and record-breaking wrestling comics writer Mike Kingston (Headlocked). Hosted by Heidi MacDonald (Comics Beat). Room 8