ComicsPro 2023 Part 1: The Retailers
A three-part look at the news, themes and insights from this annual meeting of comics industry professionals.
It’s been a long couple of weeks (oh no, months?) detoxing from the ComicsPro 2023 conference. Pittsburgh was a lovely host for North American comic shop owners, distributors, publishers and a few creatives to meet and discuss ways to make our industry better.
When I attempt to describe ComicsPro to outsiders, I often use the shorthand of it being a sort of comic shop owners’ union. That’s not a one-to-one analogy, of course - but more people seem to understand that than the concept of a trade organization. Essentially, ComicsPro provides us a unified front when attempting to solve comic book retailer problems.
I was asked to write a short synopsis of why Neighborhood Comics is a member of ComicsPro by Brian Garside, developer of the Manage Comics platform. This is what I sent:
For the first few years of Neighborhood Comics' existence, we were not members of ComicsPro. Margins were tight enough without sending money into the ether. However, the more I talked with other shop owners, the more I realized the behind the scenes industry work that ComicsPro performs. All comic shops - members or not - benefit from the organization's negotiations with publishers, distributors and creatives. Membership allows you to have a voice and be an active participant. That means directly supporting initiatives that matter most, from data integrity at the publisher level to securing mental health resources for our staff. I'm proud to say that our store is a current member in good standing and will continue to support ComicsPro and the work they perform on behalf of us all.
For the first piece in this series, I’m focusing on my fellow retailers.