Word Balloons: Comics retailers at ComicsPRO say they want stability, creativity

Word Balloons: Retailers at ComicsPRO conference share ideas, news of gains with publishers, vendors.
by Matthew Price Published: February 17, 2012
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— Stability and creativity were hallmark qualities praised at the ComicsPRO Annual Members Meeting for 2012.

After the tumult of the past few years, comic book retailers seem to be focused on improving their stores and maintaining profitability. The plans for some publishers' lines were becoming tighter following the massive success of DC Comics “The New 52” in 2011.

Diamond Comics reported that the direct market was up overall 1.8 percent in 2011, and 1.2 percent in the comics category.

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.

DC Entertainment executives at the annual ComicsPRO meeting, including co-publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee, spoke of wanting to maintain momentum from “The New 52” relaunch in 2012, as those products are released in graphic novel format. The publisher also plans for big things in 2012 from the “Watchmen” prequels and graphic novels tied to the release of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

DC Entertainment also released information from its survey of “New 52” buyers — the buyers were primarily male, older than 18, and had household incomes of under $60,000.

The survey, conducted in conjunction with A.C. Nielsen, surveyed in-store and digital buyers, as well as those who responded to an online survey.

Consistency was seen as key to success outside of DC Comics as well. Terry Moore of Abstract Studio attributed part of his success with “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 many expressed excitement to continue working with him in future projects, including Moore's “How to Draw” series.

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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