ComicsPRO 2012 meeting wrapup comments and thoughts
DALLAS — The ComicsPRO Annual Members Meeting for 2012 has closed, and many attendees touched on the importance of stability. After the tumult of the past few years, retailers seem to be refocused on improving their stores and maintaining profitability. While some stores are looking at expansion, it seemed that the plans for some publishers’ lines were becoming tighter and more focused.
Consistency was seen as key to success; Terry Moore attributed much of his success in “Strangers in Paradise,” “Echo” and “Rachel Rising” to putting out a comic every six weeks on a consistent schedule. The gathered retailers were extremely receptive to Moore and excited to continue working with him.
Among the reasons retailers believe the DC “New 52″ has been such a success is the consistent shipping schedule. DC announced the vast majority of the books shipped on time, with only two slipping from their planned date (including the most recent and an upcoming issue of “Justice League”). Those could have shipped on time, but would have involved shipping part of the story arc out of order, and it was determined by DC that pushing the books a week each would be less harmful to sales.
Image’s Eric Stephenson gave a great speech celebrating creativity and independence.
“Creativity starts with people,” Stephenson said. “The reckless spirits who can’t stand still, the fearless minds who refuse to play it safe. At Image Comics, we believe in creative people. For 20 years, we’ve made a home for them. A place where they can be creative – on their own terms.”
He said Image’s safe harbor for creativity on its own terms should resonate with the direct market, where each independent store celebrates creativity on its own terms as well.
Diamond Comics reported that the direct market was up overall 1.8 percent in 2011, and 1.2 percent in the comics category.
The event was again incredibly well-run and organized; kudos to the ComicsPRO board of directors and executive director Amanda Emmert.
- DC plans to work with retailers to market “Before Watchmen” using some of the same tools that were used with great success on “The New 52.”
- Dynamite plans an extensive sales push for “The Shadow,” including hand-drawn variants by Jae Lee (1:200) and Alex Ross (1:250).
- Avatar plans to market “C-Day” on March 14, with a reissue of “Crossed” #0 called “Get Infected.”
- DC’s Vertigo plans a free preview comic of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” graphic novel, which should be in stores in time for Free Comic Book Day. The graphic novel will go on sale in April 2012.
- Image’s recent string of successes could very well continue in the upcoming “Glory” and “Hell, Yeah” from Joe Keatinge. Pages from Brian K. Vaughan also looked very impressive.
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