ComicsPRO Annual Members Meeting 2010 wrapup comments and thoughts
The ComicsPRO Annual Members Meeting is in the books, and again I heard lots of positive responses from retailers as the meeting wrapped up. One retailer told me he was scared of the future coming into the meeting, but leaving he felt hopeful again.
Concerns about digital caused a lot of unrest among retailers — and may again — but all the publishers at the meeting reiterated their strong support for the direct market. Most expressed the hope that digital comics will work primarily to reach readers currently outside the direct-market system and a firm desire to point digital readers back to the direct market.
DC Comics brought 12 people to the meeting, including a good portion of its top executive team, and focused the event less on sales pitches, and more on an earnest discussion of how to add growth to the industry. DC sought give-and-take from retailers on hot topics like price sensitivity, variant covers and marketing strategies.
Retailers I talked to were very pleased with DC’s frank approach. Many hoped that positive energy and candor would translate to higher sales of DC Comics by the attending stores.
Diamond Comics, the largest distributor of comics, said problems with its Olive Branch facility that plagued retailers a year ago have now largely disappeared, and Diamond is again meeting high standards of delivery.
Several retailers expressed to me that this was the best-organized and most smoothly run ComicsPRO annual meeting yet, which is a good sign for the continued growth and maturity of the organization.
Love of the medium was evident, from keynote speaker Robert Kirkman to ComicsPRO Industry Award winner Paul Levitz; from retailers with decades of experience to those who were weeks away from opening their doors for the first time. Those who attended the ComicsPRO meeting show a willingness to prepare and tirelessly work for the industry and medium in the future.
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