ComicsPRO 2011 meeting wrapup comments and thoughts
DALLAS, Texas — The ComicsPRO Annual Membership Meeting has closed, and again this year, many retailers in attendance said they left with a renewed sense of optimism.
DC Comics brought 11 people to the meeting, including a good portion of its top executive team. They discussed some beginning ideas about digital, but also talked a great deal about marketing print comic books.
Representatives of Diamond Comics said that last year was down slightly, but given the tumult in the rest of the economy and the bookselling market, I think that has to be considered a success.
Several retailers expressed to me that the meeting was incredibly well-organized and run, a real coup for a nearly all-volunteer organization. Participation and attendance among sponsors and retailers was up markedly.
Keynote speaker Ted Adams and Image president Todd McFarlane both shared ideas for marketing and working with direct-market retailers as the most important marketplace for selling their comics.
Announced at near the end of the meeting was a plan for ComicsPRO to begin working on a retailer metrics program that could provide better sales and sell-through information to publishers. This was met with rousing applause. That’s the kind of thing that makes ComicsPRO so worthwhile – interaction between publishers and retailers that result in initiatives beyond what any one alone could create.
- As much-reported via twitter, Marvel’s David Gabriel promised a “death in every quarter” for the publisher. The first is the Human Torch; the second is probably the already-announced “Death of Spider-Man” in the Ultimate Comics line.
-Todd McFarlane says with a new artist on “Spawn,” he’s way ahead on the book for the first time ever, and he plans to ship 15 issues in the next year. McFarlane had galleys on hand for the next several issues.
- DC, who currently has the only significant co-op program in the direct market, announced some much-desired changes in the program. Other publishers indicated interest in starting their own co-op programs.
- The Bonfire Agency, represented by Ed Catto and Steve Rotterdam, both shared some innovative ideas in comics marketing that could impact the direct market in a positive way.
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