The Isotope Communique
Posts Tagged ‘Image Expo’
Image Expo: Retailer Panel

People know I love sharing my enthusiasm for the wonderful world of comics and the broader culture that surrounds it, so I’ve been asked to be a featured guest on more comic convention panels than I can remember. The most fun ones for me personally have always been as a moderator, as a naturally inquisitive person I just love asking people questions. And I’ve also been thrilled about being on several panels at non-comic related tech and social media conventions, because it’s great to have an excuse to talk about comics to an even broader audience of folks who probably wouldn’t attend the likes of a WonderCon or a Wizard World.

After several years of being a guest on panels focused on comics retailing, I swore off doing them. In my experience it was always the same retailers up there talking about the same stuff year after year, with a real lack of diversity in their retailing philosophies. I suppose it was fun a couple times being the odd man out, talking about the economy of experience and the fact that the Isotope’s target audience has always been traditionally ignored customers (women, non-collectors, new readers)… but man, those retailing panels always struck me as kind of a waste of everyone’s time, especially as most of the panels were of the “so you want to be a comic retailer?” variety. With the radical changes in the industry in the past decade it was bizarre to me that most of the guests you’d see year after year were all people who’d been in business for half a century. Wouldn’t it be more useful to get some new blood up there behind the mic who just went through the hardships of signing their first lease or getting their first Diamond account? A bunch of old wolves telling ancient war stories might be a fun panel to see, but not particularly useful to anyone except as a marketing opportunity for those retailers. And if that’s all they were going to be, I’d rather flex my marketing muscle elsewhere.

So… I just stopped doing them.

This weekend at the Image Comics Expo is the first time I’ll be on a comics retailer panel since 2006. Because the topic of this retailer panel interests me and I think it will ultimately be useful for folks. If you’re going to the con on Sunday, stop by and check it out. Especially if you’re an indie comic creator (or a prospective indie comic creator)… it should be full of useful information to help you help us retailers sell more of your comics.

Retailing the New Generation of Comics
With creator-owned hits like The Walking Dead, Morning Glories, and Chew grabbing their places on the sales charts and bringing in new readers to comic shops, the comics industry is excited about new titles and new ideas. What are the best retailers in comics doing to strengthen and support the creator-owned comic revolution while competing with faceless online outlets or big box bookstores? If you’re a comic creator, retailer or fan, we’ll help you understand how to stay on top of the next wave of hidden gems.
PANELISTS: Brian Hibbs (Comix Experience), Steve (Third Eye), James Sime (Isotope), Todd Martinez (Image Comics), Jim Zub (Skullkickers)
1pm – 2pm in Workshop Room B

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Saturday through Sunday

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