The growth of creator-owned comics like “Saga” and “The Walking Dead” will be discussed at the ComicsPRO Annual Members Meeting in Atlanta next week.
Comic-book retailers will meet with 30 key vendors, suppliers and publishers at the event.
ComicsPRO President Thomas Gaul, of Corner Store Comics and Beach Ball Comics in Anaheim, Calif., said the market potentially is in the middle of a shake-up that may remind some of the comics boom of the early 1990s.
“Creator-owned is once again becoming a dominant force,” he said in an interview with The Oklahoman. “And while I think it looks very little, if anything, like 1992, it's most definitely got several of the bigger companies on their toes — and maybe even their heels. I see 2014 as the year that the majors decide whether creator-owned is drinking their milkshake or is truly additive, and I think there could be different answers for each of those companies, depending upon their output.”
Sales continue to grow in the industry, Gaul said, and he anticipates that to continue.
“Sales remain strong in 2014,” he said. “We've only just started the creator-owned versus mega-universe foot race, I think.”
Gaul said the chance to interact with publishers and other retailers helps make the meeting productive for many in the industry.
“For me, just the interaction with other retailers, both during the meeting and after hours, is enough justification for my time and expense,” Gaul said. “Add to that the direct face-to-face contact with 30 different vendors via roundtables, the workgroup sessions, plus the guests and exclusives, and I really think it's an easy choice to make.”
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ComicsPRO Annual Members Meeting