ComicsPRO is a comic store retailer exclusive organization that was formed to give a unified voice to concerns that comic book store retailers have with our publishing partners in this industry and to find ways in which we can all make our comic book stores even more fun and efficient. Last week, this year's meeting was held in Dallas and with many more new members and publishers being present than in previous years to communicate how things can be better on both sides of the fence, the future looks really solid from my perspective for the comic book industry.
In this first photo here is Dan Didio, co-publisher of DC Comics, with Jon Cohen, of Beyond Comics in Maryland (or did I get them mixed up - grin!). All of the first day I had wanted to get a photo of the two of them together and I'm thankful that they agreed to doing this photo instead of just slugging me!
I've known Jon for years, from previous retailer get-togethers, but I never really got a chance to speak to Dan Didio on a one to one basis, until the next night when he was sitting amongst myself, Kate, Jud, from Earth-2 Comics, Richard, of Zeus Comics, and Jay, from Maximum Comics during dinner. Dan graciously listened and talked to us during and after dinner for a good lengthy stretch. Before talking to Dan Didio last week at the ComicsPRO meeting, I didn't get much of an impression that he was the best person to be in the position he's in at DC Comics. Well, I'm here to eat my words and state that Dan Didio IS VERY passionate about making DC Comics a big force in this industry. I wish that everyone out there who owns a comic book store, is a comic book creator, or comic fan, could have been listening in to his dialogue with us about where things are within DC and the industry as this would show his naysayers what he's up against.
I'd like to state to any comic store retailers who happened to have stumbled onto my blog here, that aren't already ComicsPRO members, that I've had many such one on one conversations with people in this industry (such as Dan Didio) over the years at ComicsPRO meetings that aren't possible to the same extent in any other setting, convention, or online forum that I've been a part of. The value of these direct conversations with fellow retailers and other industry people can't be stressed enough.
The staff at the Doubletree worked really hard to have vegetarian and vegan food options. Most places have a really hard time making breakfast vegan options, but as long as they have fruit and bagels, I'm happy!
I'm going to admit that when I first heard that Todd McFarlene (creator of Spawn and owner of some very expensive baseballs) was going to be one of the guests at this year's ComicsPRO meeting, I was skeptical of what he could say that would be of any worth to myself and the organization, but as soon as he started speaking I knew he had been around the comic industry block a few years, you could tell that he really had an understanding of the business side of the comic book industry, and had many interesting promotional ideas that comic stores could do. I seriously could have listened to him talk all day!
Another great vegan dinner the Doubletree kitchen crew put together!
Me with my winning CBLDF auction bid on a plexiglass drawing Jeffrey Brown (Clumsy, Unlikely) did of Wolverine. CBLDF stands for Comic Book League Defense Fund and this nonprofit organization exists to defend the first amendment rights of comic book store retailers, comic book creators, and publishers. This unique, fun piece of art will be on display at Alternate Reality Comics in the very near future when I find just the right place for it!